NURS1004 Narratives of Health and Illness

NURS1004           Narratives of Health and Illness

Assessment 1.    Essay

Due:                     Week 9, Monday 30th August, 2021

Weighting:          60 %

Length:                1800 words


Narratives of health and illness are about the stories that a person attaches to their life experience and how they make sense of their own wellbeing and the health care system.

The purpose of this assessment is to help you understand how health and narratives are shaped by various factors.  It will enable you to reflect on how narratives are intertwined with broader social, cultural and historical factors that need to be considered when thinking about people’s health and wellbeing and the provision of safe health care.

The essay links to learning objectives 1 and 2

  1. investigate the social construction of health and illness in relation to historical, cultural, structural and individual factors and the social determinants of health
  2. describe and discuss the construction and diverse meanings of health, wellness, illness and disease for the health consumer’s narrative in local and global settings


You are to watch the TV show

“You Can’t Ask That”.  Series 1 Indigenous (accessed via ABC iView) –

ABC TV. (2016). You Can’t Ask That [Film]. Series 1, Episode 8. Indigenous. ABC iView.

This documentary provides the context for the essay in terms of hearing the stories or many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the links to colonisation, racism, trauma, the stolen generation, dispossession, health, ill-health, culture and strength.


You are to write an 1800 word essay.  Structure your assignment with an introduction, four sections that use the headings below, and a conclusion.  Please include headings in your essay as it helps to structure your assignment. The word count for each section is a guide.

Please include a reference list and at least 8 academic references (this is the minimum).  You will need to include the ABC Iview show in your reference list, but this is not counted as one of the references. You are encouraged to source references from prescribed readings and the readings suggested below.

An academic essay is written in the 3rd person.

Recommended structure and marking criteria

Introduce the topic of the essay
Words 100 wordsMarking Criteria (part of writing style)
Describe what a health narrative is and why understanding a person’s narrative is important for nursing care. Remember to link to the supporting academic literature.200words10%
Discuss how historical factors including colonization, the trauma of dispossession and racism impact negatively on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health. Remember to link to the supporting academic literature.700 words40%
Discuss how cultural factors impact positively on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health and well-being. Remember to link to the supporting academic literature.350 words15%
Discuss why is it important for nurses to have knowledge of their own culture, values, assumptions and beliefs in order to provide safe health care. Remember to link to the supporting academic literature. You must link your discussion to the documentary and provide examples from the documentary to answer this section (related to culture, values, beliefs, assumptions).  350 words15%
Conclusion: Summarise the main points (without introducing anything new).100 words(part of writing style)
Referencing (sources, referencing) 5%
Writing Style (grammar, spelling, punctuation, structure, coherency, introduction, conclusion) 15%
  Total  1800 words100 % (which is converted to a mark out of 60)

References and referencing

In this assessment please integrate at least 8 scholarly references from the *academic literature (you may use more) to support your ideas. All referencing is to be in APA 7th format. Here is a link to the referencing guide where you can find resources and guides to help.

The reference list is not included in the word count. The in-text references are included in the word count.

** Please ensure you have completed the Academic Integrity Module (see guidelines below) which will help you to understand referencing, academic integrity, and how to avoid plagiarism. There are penalties for plagiarism (even if it is accidental). One way to double check you have not used the words of others without acknowledging their work (which is plagiarism) is to carefully review your Turnitin originality report before you submit your final essay. You can submit your draft to the Draft Turnitin folder lots of times so do this and review your report.

Guidelines for submitting your assessment

  • Your assessments must be submitted as a Word document, text document with .rtf extension or as a .pdf document. Line spacing should be either 1.5 or 2 to allow for marker’s comments, and font style either Calibri or Times New Roman with 11 or 12 font size.
  • Note any approved extensions on the front page of your essay.
  • All assessments are to be submitted online via the Turnitin submission link on the BB site within the Assessment Tasks and Submission Folder.  You can submit your draft to the draft essay Turnitin submission link and check the Turnitin report. When you are satisfied with your work, submit your final document to the FINAL Turnitin essay submission.
  • Work submitted late without an approved extension will attract a penalty

The University’s penalty scheme is as follows:

  • a penalty of 5% of the available marks will be deducted from the actual mark at one minute after the time described under clause 25(b)
  • a further penalty of 5% of the available mark will be deducted from the actual mark achieved by the student on each subsequent calendar day;
  • Penalties will be applied until the mark reaches zero.

* Academic Literature

A reference from the academic literature means the reference is from a credible, scholarly source such as a peer reviewed journal, a government website, books published by a reputable publisher usually written by experts in the field.  (Such as those provided in the above list)

Non credible sources include newspapers, magazines, blogs, general web pages, and social media. i.e.  They are not written by experts, they are not peer reviewed journals or credible academic sources. See the following link which helps you to evaluate sources.

Further Academic Sources

Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council. (2016). Cultural Respect Framework 2016-2026 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health:  A national approach to building culturally respectful health system.

Doran, F., Wrigley, B., & Lewis, S. (2019). Exploring cultural safety with Nurse Academics. Research findings suggest time to “step up”. Contemporary Nurse, 55:2-3, 156-170,

Finlay, S., Canuto, K., Canuto, K., & et al. (2021). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander connection to culture: building stronger individual and collective wellbeing. Medical Journal of Australia, 8, S12– S16.

Laverty, M., McDermott, D., & Calma, T. (2017). Embedding cultural safety in Australia’s main health care standards. Medical Journal of Australia, 207(1), 15-16.

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. (2018). Code of conduct for nurses.

Parter, C., Murray, D., Mohamed, J., Rambaldini, B., Calma, T., Wilson, S., Hartz, D., Gwynn, J., & Skinner, J. (2021). Talking about the ‘r’ word: a right to a health system that is free of racism. Public Health Research Practice, 31(1).

Randall, B., Hogan, M., Sand Hill Road, P., Reverb, F., & SBS TV. (2006). Kanyini. [Australia]: Reverb Film.

Rix, E., Barclay, L., & Wilson, S. (2014). Can a white nurse get it? ‘Reflexive practice’ and the non-Indigenous clinician/researcher working with Aboriginal people. Rural and Remote Health, 14(2), 2679.

Sherwood, J. (2013). Colonisation – it’s bad for your health: The context of Aboriginal health. Contemporary Nurse, 46(28-40).

Taylor, K., & Thompson Guerin, P. (2019). Health Care and Indigenous Australians: Cultural Safety in Practice (3rd ed.). London: Red Globe Press.

** Mandatory Academic Integrity Module

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