Script and critical reflexive practice

Using the organization where you were on placement as the location

(please identify at the start of the script), prepare a script (no more than 500 words) of what you would say in your conversation with a service user that you have just met. This is to include the introductory statements and sequence of questions you would use with your client.

Your aim is to build a connection/relationship with this person and to also find out if they identify as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person.

This is a possible rubric that could be used if you were to be marked upon this skill – Based upon Amy Bromley’s work.

Fail

No demonstration of insight into own statements. No ability to see the client’s perspective. This student needs to further develop their skills to work with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander client. Their practice is deemed culturally unsafe.

Eg. “Are you an aborigine?”

Reflections such as “I would focus on the alcohol use because this is an issue for aboriginals”

Pass

Asks basic questions but the focus is on ticking a box.

Generally references policy mandates rather than demonstrates understanding the importance of cultural identity.

Eg. “Do you identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander?”

Yes? Okay, so here are a list of our services…”

Reflections such as “I ask them about their identity because this is the organisations’ policy”

Credit

Attempts to go beyond basic questions but it is clear that the student struggles with understanding the holistic nature of cultural identity.

The reflection accurately reflects important cultural considerations.

Eg. “Do you identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander?” “Yes” “Great, where’s your mob from?” “Kaurna land” “Wonderful, good fishing there.”

Reflections such as “It is important to connect to the client in small ways such as through a shared activity like fishing.”

Distinction

The script provides more structure around asking questions and shows how the student is thinking of the client’s comfort.

The reflection starts to move beyond just academic reflections to also contain personal reflections.

Eg. “So first I’m going to ask some questions that will help me know more about you and your cultural background. This will let me support you to find services that are a good fit for you and your family – does that sound okay?” “Yes” “Okay, Do you identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander?” “Yes” “Thanks for letting me know. Our Aboriginal health worker, Debbie, is a Wiradjuri woman. Would you like her to join us for the next meeting so that she can better explain our Aboriginal services?”

Reflections such as “I realised while writing this script just how uncomfortable it can feel asking someone about their cultural identity. I became aware of my own fragility influencing my responses and I quickly offered to bring in an Aboriginal worker so that I did not feel uncomfortable. This relates to the literature…”

Higher

Distinction

While not perfect, the script shows an understanding of genuine interaction and the importance of building connections. There is

good insight into how history affects contemporary experiences.

The reflection builds on a foundation of academic literature, but is deeply personcentred and connected to practice. The focus is on ways to improve rather than getting it right.

Eg. “Do you identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander?” (silence) “Yes” “Hmm you sound a bit hesitant, are you worried about sharing your cultural background? (gentle tone) Would it help if I explained why this information is important for our service to know?” “Yeah” “Well I know that services often don’t do a good job of supporting Aboriginal people. There has been a lot of hurt in the past and there is still ongoing racism. Our service here is not perfect, but my goal is to ensure you feel culturally safe. Would you feel more comfortable with a friend or family member joining you? Our Aboriginal health worker, Debbie, is a Wiradjuri woman. She would be happy to talk to you more about how we can all work together to offer you the best support.”

Reflections such as “Although I explained the reason for collecting cultural information, I should have done this first. Historically the collection of racial or cultural identity information has been associated with trauma and discrimination. I inadvertently left my client feeling vulnerable and uncomfortable because I was not transparent and did not clearly offer them self-determination about what questions they could choose to answer.”

From Bennett and Bodkin-Andrews Reflective Cycle, think about self, organisation, relationships and systems:

SELF – Think about how you feel as you use the language from your script

RELATIONSHIPS – Think about your relationships with your co-workers

ORGANISATION – What does the ‘space’ look like? Is it safe? How has your organisation worked to create a safe space?

SYSTEMS – Think about the system in your location/organisation? How does this help or hinder your interaction.

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