Nursing care and indigenous Australians: An autoethnography
Background: Public mental services in Australia have failed to provide culturally appropriate care for Indigenous Australians despite several national reports and policies that have attempted to promote service improvement in this area.
Purpose: This research focused on the experiences of working as a mental health nurse in an Australian public mental health service as the focal point for an autoethnography.
Method: The research used written journal reflections to critically explore culture within a public mental health service as it related to the care of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
Findings: The mental health service was a place where white privilege was maintained through the dominance of the biomedical model of mental illness. Standardised approaches to nursing care further strengthened white privilege within the mental health service, and produced care practices that were unable to respond appropriately to the mental health needs of Indigenous Australians.