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REFLECTION JOURNAL

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      The descriptions provided in the two cases give the framework with which nurses are expected to adhere to maintain quality and safe nursing practices in the health care system. As indicated in the Code of Ethics value statement six, it is apparent that nurses should embrace and foster a culture of safety at all times by constantly engaging in the establishment of shared understanding and knowledge of safety in their nursing practice (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA)., Royal College of Nursing, Australia., & Australian Nursing Federation, p.50-80,2008).  Having experienced the daily nursing practice in contemporary healthcare environment, I have observed that nurses play an important role to ensure risk management processes are implemented as well as support the establishment of appropriate work environment that lowers the impact of preventable adverse incidences in the healthcare system.

‘Cultural safety’ shows that nursing practice is greatly influenced by personal cultures as well as the prevailing organizational culture in a health care facility (Waterson, p.85, 2014).  Nurses are required to constantly undertake a process of self-reflection about their cultural values, beliefs, and assumptions to leverage professional trust that offers quality care for all people without bias. Healthcare practitioners including nurses are expected to understand and acknowledge the cultural dimensions such as heteronormative privilege, class privilege, white privilege and gender privilege (Wachter, p.67-80, 2012). They are expected to respect and appreciate other cultures as a way of meeting individual care and safety standards of patients.

Although the concept of ‘cultural safety’ gives similar expressions about the influence of culture in the provision of care and safety in the health care system, on the other hand, this concept differs considerably with the nursing code of ethics value statement six.  The sixth code of ethics makes a provision that allows nurses to value and champion delivery of safe care that is within their skills and knowledge. This provision contrasts the ‘Cultural Safety Principles’ that calls upon a mutual respect of patients’ cultural orientation (Byers & White, p.78, 2004).  Thus, the principle of cultural safety requires that nurses accommodate the diverse cultural needs of the patients beyond their personal skills and assumptions.

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