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Communicating Safety and Care in the Context of Linguistic and Cultural Diversity in Aged Care. An intercultural Approach to Training

Increasing linguistic and cultural diversity among nurses and care workers, combined with growing complexity in health profiles (e.g. the challenging behaviours or unmet needs associated with dementia), are increasing the complexity of communicating safety and care. This complexity poses an increasing challenge among staff and those they care for, and is especially acute where communication takes place across languages and cultures. The aim of this project was to develop professional learning resources and practical strategies to enhance the capacity of supervisory and direct care staff to manage this communication complexity. Of particular concern in contexts of linguistic and cultural diversity is communicating care and safety around challenging behaviours or unmet needs. Building on a previous study (Scarino, O’Keeffe, Crichton, O’Neill & Dollard, 2014), the project took an intercultural approach to the development and design of the resources. The outcome of the project is a set of five professional learning modules that reflect principles of intercultural learning. The project team collaborated closely at all stages with management and staff at Helping Hand and South Cross Care and the project Advisory Group. The modules, which incorporate video clips and a guide for facilitators, were developed in four stages. The first stage comprised analysis of critical incident reports; focus groups comprising nursing, care and training staff; and video interviews with staff and residents. The second stage, designing the modules, drew on the data and findings of this project and the data and recommendations of the original study. The third stage involved trialling, evaluation and revision, and the fourth stage, finalisation and dissemination. The modules cover five key, interrelated themes around accomplishing safety and care in the workplace in the context of increasing linguistic and cultural diversity:

1. The ways in which behaviours / needs are understood, with a clinical focus on conditions associated with challenging behaviours / unmet needs and their implications

2. The layer of complexity added to communication by linguistic, cultural and faith-based diversity

3. Attentiveness to language / how we communicate

4. The value placed on knowing the person, their personal history, life journey and memories

5. Risk management: tension between notions of ‘being at home’ and the accomplishment of care within the efficiency model.

Each module builds on the other, focusing on a particular aspect of practice while maintaining a common orientation relevant to workers at all levels of the organisation: carers, enrolled nurses, registered nurses, trainers and managers. The modules are designed for flexible delivery, on- or off-line, and incorporate a four-segment structure that can be adapted to the needs and interests of participants and the professional development time available.

Download the documents below

Communicating Safety and Care in the Context of Linguistic and Cultural Diversity in Aged Care. An Intercultural Approach to Training (PDF, 6.1MB)

Module 1

Module 1 - ‘Challenging behaviours’ or ‘unmet needs’: A clinical perspective (PDF, 200KB)

Please click here to access the Module 1 Videos.

Module 2

Module 2 - Understanding linguistic, cultural and faith-based diversity in relation to challenging behaviours or unmet needs (PDF,  392KB)

Please click here to access the Module 2 Videos

Module 3

Module 3 - Communicating in relation to challenging behavioursor unmet needs (PDF, 346KB)

Please click here to access the Module 3 Videos

Module 4

Module 4 - Relating to the person with challenging behavioursor unmet needs: Personal histories, life journeys and memories (PDF, 399KB)

Please click here to access the Module 4 Videos

Module 5

Module 5 - Managing risk in relation to challenging behavioursor unmet needs (PDF, 319KB)

Please click here to access the Module 5 Videos