Byalawa: a learning and teaching resource for working with Indigenous patients and clients

Posted on: 5 December, 2011
Issue: Vol 11 No 4, October 2011 – December 2011
Related to Cultural ways Education Workforce

The Byalawa website is an online teaching and learning resource designed to demonstrate culturally appropriate ways of working with Indigenous patients and clients. The resource is intended to be used by clinical teachers in a variety of settings and contexts. One of the main ways in which the resource can be used is to help health students learn how to elicit an effective case history and to interview patients in a culturally appropriate way.

The resource features six interviews conducted by health professionals with Indigenous clients. The videos are intended to represent a range of patient and practitioner demographics, while demonstrating themes that are universal to all health professions. The practitioners featured in the videos are real health professionals who have been asked to respond to their ‘patients’ exactly as they would in real life. The interviews therefore demonstrate a mix of practitioner strengths and weaknesses, which the resource authors say correlates with research indicating students learn best from imperfect examples.

Each video case study is supplemented by detailed scenario notes, descriptions of teaching themes, and sample lesson plans and activities. All the resources are freely available from the Byalawa website.

The resource is designed by the Byalawa Project Team as part of an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Competitive Research Grant. The Byalawa Team included health academics and clinicians from The University of Sydney and James Cook University and represented a wide range of health professions.

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