Importance Of Cultural Safety

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Cultural safety was introduced by the Nursing Council of New Zealand in 1990 and since has had a profound impact on the education of nursing and delivery of healthcare (Richardson, 2010). The Nursing council defines cultural safety as “the effective nursing practice of a person or family/ whanau from another culture, and is determined by that person or family” (Nursing Council of New Zealand, 2011, p.7). Byrson’s (2010), Newson’s (2009) and Richardson’s (2010) have written articles describing their journey through understanding cultural safety. This essay summaries their articles, and draws on the key themes of cultural safety. It examines the comparrisons between Richardson (2010) and Byrson (2010) understanding of cultural safety and the…show more content…
She illuminates that cultural safety and practice needs to be re examined so health care providers get a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of the meaning. This is due to the individual interpretation of the idea and how it is perceived and applied into everyday practices. She also states that it is not just the responsibility of the nurse but the environment in which they work. For example within the vast areas of nursing, resources that enable or disable nurses to be culturally safe vary. Another key point identified is that cultural safety is just as important as clinical, medical, and technical safety. By combining these practices, it creates trust in the relationship between the nurse and patient. Trust allows patients to disclose information, whilst protecting their identity and sense of self.
This thesis provides a guide to cultural safety in healthcare practice. It is based on relationships and networks of power that produce or enable cultural safety. It provides an understanding for Registered Nurses to manage or negotiate relationships at a personal, professional or institutional level. This in turn creates an environment where the patient can experience culturally safe care (Richardson,
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Bryson (2010) discusses if power is taken away from the patient then cultural identity is compromised, in turn leading to diminishing health and self determination. Richardson (2010) concurs and further explains that if a patient is unable to control their involvement in their treatment then they are more likely to withhold aspects of themselves in order to protect their identity and sense of self.
Another key point mentioned is the need for further education around cultural safety and how it is implemented into the health care environment (Richardson, 2010). Bryson (2010) stated that she found cultural safety difficult to understand whilst studying her Bachelor of Nursing. The complexity of the word cultural safety was misinterpreted, and she believed the concept was about ‘ethnic’ safety. After her clinical placement she realized cultural safety refers to a person as a whole. Integrating a person, ethnicity, religion, beliefs, morals and wider value and
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