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TAFE NSW course helping close the gap for Aboriginal healthcare workers

TAFE NSW Kingswood

TAFE NSW course helping close the gap for Aboriginal healthcare workers

Between 2006 and 2016, Australia saw an overall 13 per cent decline in the amount of Aboriginal healthcare workers across the country, [1] something that a TAFE NSW class of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander TAFE NSW students are passionate to change.

Currently employed as healthcare workers across Western Sydney, the group have completed a Certificate IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice at TAFE NSW Kingswood, to upskill their health care practices and improve health services for indigenous patients.

TAFE NSW Health Studies Teacher, Kylie Lockwood said, “The Grattan Institute recently released research that indicated over 60 per cent of females who completed a health care course through vocational education are in occupations highly relevant to their course.[2]

“This certificate provided students with the practical skills they need to perform health assessments, assist in the planning and implementation of basic health care and identify health issues and needs within the Aboriginal community.”

With increasing evidence that the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healthcare workers reduce communication gaps, reduce discharges against medical advice, provide cultural education, improve follow-up practices and enhance patient referral linkages,[3] these students are critical to delivering culturally appropriate care.

Louise, who has worked as an Aboriginal healthcare worker since 1999 said, “The course has been a great refresher for me and has given me a more in depth understanding in my role as a healthcare worker. I knew the basics but thanks to the clinical hands-on aspects of the course, I now have a better understanding and have increased my medical knowledge as an Aboriginal healthcare worker.

With her daughter Hannah and fellow work colleagues Kyanne, Lara and Michelle also completing the course, Louise said, “It’s really great to see so many up and coming young Aboriginal women working in health.”

TAFE NSW Kingswood student, Dolie said, “This course has not only been about learning primary health care skills that are going to assist us in the workplace, it’s also about sharing knowledge from our diverse cultural lands and discussing the importance of cultural support in the workplace while delivering services.

“We have all learnt so much from our TAFE NSW teachers and they have been very accommodating on the cultural aspects of the course, however they have also learnt a lot from us - it’s been deadly.”

To find out more about Aboriginal Cultures and courses at TAFE NSW visit www.tafensw.edu.au or call 131 601.