Cultural awareness & psychological impact

Cultural awareness

Cultural awareness is an understanding of the likely impact of your behaviour and beliefs on health, illness, and care. Ensure you ask permission to provide treatment or to examine a casualty. The first aider should always respect the rights of a casualty who refuses treatment.

When providing first aid, respond in a culturally aware, sensitive, and respectful manner. The casualty may have beliefs, customs or values that are different to your own.

Be empathetic, unbiased, and non-judgemental.  Do not let your personal biases and opinions impact the way you interact with the casualty, regardless of their race, culture, religion, gender, age, disability. EG:  It may be more appropriate for a female first aider to attend to the first aid requirements of a female casualty from certain cultures.

Psychological Impact

An emergency can cause unusual stress in people who have been directly or indirectly affected by it. Every person will react differently and a range of responses to an emergency is normal.

Emotional responses to disasters can appear immediately or months later. Understanding what you are feeling and taking positive steps to deal with emotions can help you cope with the disaster.

Talking with friends and family about what you are feeling will provide you with support and allow you an outlet for your emotions. If you have strong feelings that will not go away, feel stressed, anxious, experience changes in mood or behaviour, difficulty with sleeping, flashbacks or start to misuse drugs or alcohol, seeking professional help is recommended.