The disparity in health outcomes between Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians continues to increase. Barriers to accessing health care, particularly surgical treatment, contribute to health inequalities among Indigenous Australians. Despite a positive correlation between improved patient experiences and health outcomes, there is little research available on nursing interventions to improve Indigenous patients’ perioperative health care treatment.

This discussion paper investigates culturally appropriate and evidencebased nursing interventions that can be applied in the perioperative setting to improve the surgical experience of Indigenous patients. It was shown that establishing trust among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients through anaesthetic nurse practices and advocating for family involvement is critical in providing culturally safe care and enhancing patient experiences. Indigenous health liaison officers were also identified as a valuable resource in bridging cultural and communication gaps between health care providers and Indigenous patients. These findings demonstrate that using tailored nursing strategies while providing perioperative care to Indigenous Australians can enhance their perioperative health care experience and contribute to improving health outcomes of Indigenous Australians.

It is therefore recommended that perioperative nurses adopt these strategies; however, further research is needed to investigate implementation of an enhanced role for anaesthetic nurses, advocating for family involvement and referral to Indigenous health liaison officers. Such research should evaluate the impact of these new holistic and patient-centred approaches on the health outcomes and experiencecs of Indigenous patients.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.