Thursday, 22 March 2012

Charlatan Training: How Aboriginal Health Workers Are Being Short-changed

An Australian policy think tank says Aboriginal health workers are expected to do much more than they are trained for. A Centre for Independent Studies report, Charlatan Training: How Aboriginal Health Workers Are Being Short-changed says Indigenous health workers are often expected to do the job of a nurse, as well as being a community worker and translator.

Researcher Sara Hudson says federal, state and territory governments need to define the role and train workers appropriately. "The general Aboriginal health worker role is quite a broad one," she said. "There has been a lot of difficulty in actually defining what their responsibilities are. "And because it is so broad, many Aboriginal people who are working as a health worker actually feel that they're a jack of all trades and they feel overburdened with all their responsibilities."

The report says many Aboriginal people have made a "rational" decision not to become health workers. The report says many workers feel they are expected to do too much and their training is substandard.

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