Indigenous Health

A series of podcasts developed by the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists. These resources have been developed to provide an introduction into working with indigenous patients, for further information you are encouraged to consult the rest of the podcast series.

The podcasts are accessible in a number of formats including video, audio transcripts and audio file. The numbers in brackets refer to the time it takes to listed to each podcast.

  • Asking about Indigenous Status (9:54)

“The notion of Indigenous identity is an all or nothing concept rather than spectrum to Aboriginal people. So a person is either Aboriginal or they are not.”

  • Communication (9:54)

“Listening is about (being) one with entirely, wiht the ears, mind, heart and body.”

  • Consent (7:09)

“There are some key differences between consent obtained in the western context and consent from out Indigenous patients.”

  • Culture (9:47)

“In 1788 approximately 700 tribes spoke 250 languages, now in the 21st century only 20-25 languages are actively been learned by children.”

  • Culture Shock (5:03)

“If you evern feel overwhelmed, isolated or vulnerable – seek help.”

  • Diffusing Anger (8:43)

“Realise that their anger of lack of cooperation is not directed at you personally but instead is a response to the situation in which they feel that they’re powerless.”

  • Pain Management (5:25)

“I think it is worthwhile asking a patient why they think they have pain. Their understanding of the cause of pain mybe very different to ours.”

  • Pre-Operative Visit (7:45)

“My own conversational etiquette has led me to expect a certain kind of interactive pattern in form of frequent affirming sounds like ‘mmm’, and affirming body language like nodding. These sounds and body language are not used as commonly Aboriginal conversations. It is assumed that when you listen, you listen.”

  • Traditional Families (5:46)

‘in some parts of Australia, children are seen as independent nature spirits who choose the parents they want to be born to. As a consequence parents don’t have as much ownership of their children as we tend to have in western culture, and children tend to experience much greater autonomy. A child may be encouraged a few times to eat or do a certain thing, however, the final decision rests with the child.”