ABOR2000 Foundations Of Nursing Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander People


This assessment is designed to develop critical thinking and responsiveness to how social determinants of health impact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s health and nursing care.

Case Study:

Marli is a 7 year old Aboriginal girl from a remote community in the North West Region of NSW. Marli attends the local primary school with her 3 brothers and 2 sisters and has never been to the city before. Over the last 2-3 weeks, Marli has not been feeling well, she has had sharp, stabbing pains in her chest when she breathes, is running out of breathe quickly when playing with her brothers and sisters and has a cough that is making her light headed. Marli also has Asthma but she can’t remember where she last used her ‘puffer’, Marli thought that not using her puffer was maybe why she was unwell. Marli’s mum, Sharon, is a single mum and has had trouble getting Marli into see the Doctors at the local Community Health Centre, Sharon doesn’t have a car and her other family members lives out of town. Sharon was starting to get quiet worried about Marli’s pains in her chest and that her lips would go blue after she had been coughing for a long time. A family member offered to take Sharon and Marli to the hospital in the neighbouring town after hearing Sharon’s concerns. The small, 10 bedded hospital has one Doctor available at all times, the Doctor was very concerned about Marli and felt she needed urgent care from a larger hospital that has more resources. Marli and Sharon were quickly flown to a metropolitan hospital by the Little Wing’s safe flight transport for treatment.

You are working on the Paediatric ward while on your student placement. The Registered Nurse you are working with has informed you, that you are allocated the new admission from ED, a young Aboriginal girl who has been flown in from ‘somewhere’ for queried pneumonia and potential of uncontrolled asthma. The In- Charge Nurse handing over, seems to be unhappy about this admission, she continues on to make remarks about the appearance of the young girl and her mother and how they probably ‘won’t even look Aboriginal’, she continued on laughing to the other nurses and suggested that ‘they will just want everything for free’. The Registered Nurse you are working with went bright red and whispered to you ‘this is very inapproiate’ and she quickly turned and rushed away. Marli and Sharon arrive to the ward soon after, you introduce yourself and ask if you can check Marli’s vital signs. Marli doesn’t look at you but looks at her Mum. Sharon apologises as Marli has never been on a plane and is feeling very scared, they have never left her community before and never seen a hospital this size.

Please answer the following questions and consider what you have learnt from weekly learning materials and the case study:

In your answers you must consider:

– The social determinants for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including access, funding, housing, employment, infrastructure and education.

– Present health care inequalities and strategies/promotion/frameworks that are current in today’s health care system.

– Explore potential personal biases and/or personal lens relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Your work must be supported by relevant, contemporary literature and a minimum of 6 references, 2 of these references must be from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander authors.


  1. Identify what health services and resources you are aware of that could help support Marli and Sharon in the hospital admission? And why it is important?
  2. Identify and discuss how you could encourage and engage a culturally safe environment for Marli and Sharon?
  3. Briefly describe the social determinants of health and inequalities that Marli and Sharon have faced in regards to Marli’s health?
  4. Reflect on how you felt about the handover from the In-charge nurse?
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