Pharmacist Guide to Cultural Responsiveness with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
A guide to cultural responsiveness with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People has been published to ensure pharmacists and pharmacy staff are aware of the health beliefs, practices, culture and linguistic needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, families and communities.
The Guide to providing pharmacy services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, released by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia suggests all people working in this area undertake cultural responsiveness training.
National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said a culturally safe environment was one in which people felt comfortable and respected.
“To make a pharmacy more culturally safe for local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, pharmacists should seek the advice of local community members as to how the pharmacy can be made more welcoming,” Mr Kardachi said. “A culturally safe pharmacy may include such things as a sign that welcomes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people or flags and local artwork. It might also have health resources specifically written for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and perhaps a private area to discuss medicines.”
Mr Kardachi said that often it was the pharmacy assistants who engaged most frequently with patients and so all pharmacy staff should undertake cultural awareness training.
These principles apply in any situation where pharmacists and staff provide services offsite, including visiting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, health centres and remote locations.
”Staff should be trained in cultural responsiveness and it should be an important component of staff performance management reviews. Staff should also be encouraged to attend community events such as NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee) events,” he said.
Mr Kardachi said The Guide to providing pharmacy services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was an invaluable resource which covered cultural awareness and responsiveness, communication skills and relationship building.
“In addition the Guide points to delivery of appropriate pharmacy services and also how to ensure such services are accepted and built upon,” Mr Kardachi said.
To further support pharmacists in providing pharmacy services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, PSA is offering a CPD webinar in September and a session at PAC14, where Donna Murray, Chief Executive Officer of Indigenous Allied Health Australia, will talk of her and her families’ experiences as Aboriginal patients in pharmacy and describe what it means to be a culturally responsive pharmacist and how to create a welcoming and culturally safe environment in the pharmacy
The Guide is available at http://www.psa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/Guide-to-providing-pharmacy-services-to-Aboriginal-and-Torres-Strait-Islander-people-2014.pdf •
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