01 Feb 2018
The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) and the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM) have released a joint statement on culturally safe and respectful care.
The NMBA and CATSINaM issued the statement to remind nurses and midwives of their responsibility to provide care that is free of bias and racism, challenges belief based upon assumption and is culturally safe and respectful for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples.
To support cultural safety in nursing and midwifery, the NMBA worked closely with CATSINaM to develop this principle in the new Code of conduct for nurses and Code of conduct for midwives (the codes). The codes take effect for all nurses and midwives in Australia from 1 March 2018.
The codes set out the legal requirements, professional behaviour and conduct expectations for all nurses and midwives in all practice settings. They provide clear guidance and include the expectations for nurses and midwives in supporting the health of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The NMBA and CATSINaM are asking nurses and midwives to review the joint statement and the new codes, as nurses and midwives play an important role in delivering safe and respectful health care to all Australians.
‘Cultural safety is about acknowledging how our own culture and assumptions can have an impact on the care we give. It’s about ensuring we are self-aware and work in a genuine partnership with people, both the people we care for and our colleagues,’ NMBA Chair, Associate Professor Lynette Cusack RN said.
‘Systemic racism contributes to poor health outcomes experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. By providing health care in a culturally safe and respectful way, and contributing to culturally safe and respectful health systems, nurses and midwives can make a real contribution to health equity for all Australians,’ Janine Mohamed, Chief Executive Officer of CATSINaM said.
The NMBA and CATSINaM encourage all nurses and midwives to read the joint statement and get to know their new codes of conduct now.