Are Australian Universities Perpetuating the Teaching of Racism in Their Undergraduate Nurses in Discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Courses? A Critical Race Document Analysis Protocol

Keera Laccos-Barrett, Angela Elisabeth Brown, Roianne West, Katherine Lorraine Baldock

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Abstract

Systemic racism has a profound negative impact on the health outcomes of Australia’s First Nations peoples, hereafter referred to as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, where racism and white privilege have largely become normalised and socially facilitated. A national framework is being mobilised within the tertiary-level nursing curriculum to equip future health professionals with cultural capabilities to ensure culturally safe, equitable health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In 2019, nurses comprised more than half of all registered health professionals in Australia, and current national standards for nursing state that Australian universities should be graduating registered nurses capable of delivering care that is received as culturally safe. It is therefore critical to evaluate where learning objectives within nursing curricula may lead to the reinforcement and teaching of racist ideologies to nursing students. This protocol outlines a framework and methodology that will inform a critical race document analysis to evaluate how learning objectives assert the social construction of “race” as a tool of oppressive segregation. The document analysis will include each discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health course within all undergraduate nursing programs at Australian universities. The approach outlined within this protocol is developed according to an Indigenous research paradigm and Colonial Critical Race Theory as both the framework and methodology. The purpose of the framework is a means for improving health professional curriculum by reducing racism as highlighted in nation-wide strategies for curriculum reform.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7703
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022

Keywords

  • Australian Aboriginal
  • curriculum
  • education
  • health inequity
  • nursing
  • race
  • racism

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