Ever felt a bit nervous about working with someone from a different cultural background? Ever felt anxious about being in a new place for the first time?

Your Background (Video 5)


How does your background influence your experiences in the Australian Workplace? Australians are culturally diverse people. This is what these students found.

Nursing Student (China):
During my Prac for CP4, I was in the operating theatre so I guess everybody having an operation is very scared, and this lady she was coming from Hong Kong. She was having a small surgery and local anaesthetic and she was quite scared. But during the surgery, I talked to her in Cantonese and she felt more relaxed and the surgery went quite smoothly. She was very happy at the end.

Lecturer (School of Nursing and Midwifery, QUT):
So some students have found that what is normal in their culture is not necessarily normal in our culture, an example of that is that students have said that in their culture it is actually a sign of respect when talking to somebody who might be older than them, who might have a status higher than them or even of a opposite sex - is that they will look down to the ground when they are talking to them- and that is respectful. Where here in Australia it actually can be seen as a sign of disinterest rather than even anything to do with respect. It is probably best to look directly to the person when speaking to them. If a student is unsure as to what is “normal” within that ward area, then certainly go and ask a staff member how it is perceived and how they should actually act - or even by watching other people and how they are communicating can be helpful for them.

Nursing Student (Taiwan):
I come here like three years ago, cause when I was working in hospital I just think “Oh no”. I had like a couple of chances to meet overseas clients and I found I had somehow like, you know, difficulty with working with these people. I knew somehow the cultural shock or maybe cultural barrier between two countries, and when I learn these things or receive these things and next time if I’m still a health worker in the hospital in my country maybe I can offer some benefits or something for these patients.

Nursing Student (Nigeria):
When you have been flying in from all other countries they are bringing in their own values, which probably will not work in Australia about this, you know this is what they are use to where they are from. And they are bringing in their own culture you know, based on that you can learn from each other.