Nurses: If everyone was color blind, would this fix racism? Several years ago nurses use to wear mainly white uniforms. Now hospitals all over are mandating cohesive attires. By implementing changes. Nurse must wear the color blue or white uniform. So that patient can easily recognize who’s the nurse. The shoes color always white and still remain to this day. Black nurses are still being made to feel less than. Why not look beyond skin color? Judge a person based on their actions instead? Two questions that will likely never be answered. Depressing as it may be, in an industry where support and care are at its core. Health care racialist actions still take place everyday.
Most hospital has cultural diversity classes in place. Overt preferential behavior still follow on a daily basis. Racism is a difficult topic to discuss with anyone yet we need to discuss. ” Some issues are not meant to be a secret we need to keep talking”. Our reputation in this twenty-first century. Is challenge everyday and as a whole recognitions and accolades are given to others. While we work diligently behind the scene.
Nurses Teamwork matters to me.
Why did we go into nursing you may say? For the same reason everyone did care for patient. Florence nightingale said it best about teamwork matters. “With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician. In his work and devote myself. To the welfare of those committed to my care” This is the nurse’s oath working as a team and is the only way to survive.
Afro-American is made to feel less than their Caucasian co-worker. Some question their abilities which may lead to a spiral of negative roller coaster and left one feeling inadequate.
Few families will even go to the extent of not allowing their children. To stay in a health care facility. If white nurses are not working. Instead of basing their decisions on the health and well being of their children. They base on complexion of nurse’s skin. This in my opinion is absolutely ridiculous. “It’s medicine’s open secret,” Kimani Paul-Emile, an associate professor of law at Fordham University, told The New York Times”. “The medical profession knows this happens but doesn’t want to talk about it,” she wrote in an article in the UCLA Law Review titled “Patients’ Racial Preferences and the Medical Culture of Accommodation.”
Black Shoes oh no any will do.
And there’s also patients themselves who can’t see past skin pigmentation. Take for instance when I walked into a patient’s room and the patient asked me to get him a food tray and ice and to tell the nurse that he needed medicine. I wanted to say I’m dressed in blue scrubs like all the other nurses, my name tag is boldly saying Register nurse I am wearing white shoes, but yet you don’t think I’m the nurse?
Stephanie Stith, RN, has dealt with bigoted comments throughout her entire 15-year career. She said her coping mechanism is to just stay calm and remind herself that it’s not worth lashing out at a biased patient. She also admits that she often gets mistaken for a lower-level employee, such as a service worker,” minoritynurse.com.
This will never go away in the health care industry, but we need to come together and unity. We must have pride in our work, always putting patient care and teamwork. After all, we are in the field to be of service to the sick. We have taken the same oath to continue for the betterment to serve and lets not forget that because at the end of the day it’s not about our shoes its teamwork. What would you do?
Hi, Patrice. I appreciated reading your post. I agree that there are patients and even a few families that are prejudiced. But I found them to be the exception rather than the rule. ( I worked most recently in east Texas, a less enlightened part of the country than Atlanta probably)
frankly, they also were often families who were difficult to deal with in other ways, not matter what their status was in society. when those issues came up, often for many of us who were white, it was extremely embarrassing. Especially when they were often choosing a white nurse who was less experienced for a really great black nurse.
but at a time when families are stressed during illness, we are not going to change long held beliefs. I wish we could these are times when we have to deal in terms of customer service. It is maddening, but we do!
often, over time, they learn that in order to have the good care, they will have to have all colors of people care for them. no hospital will be able to promise pure white care. it is impossible.
the degree of professionalism we show to them, no matter how they treat us, is what convinces them that their beliefs are wrong. is it easy…no! especially when they make their decisions on something as superficial as the color of a person’s skin. it seems ludicrous!
but there are people who still that simple. we just have to consider the source, realize we aren’t on their level and move on, showing them good quality care in the meantime.
as a white RN, I have had patients make judgements about me based on minimal information and superficial information. one passing word had taken out of context and they knew I hated them.
we also have to realize they are often a little out of their minds. …they are sick and stressed as are their families in ways we don’t always realize for many, hospitals are fearsome places.
they are places where the realness of both patients and nurses show up in unexpected areas. sadly, as the professionals, we have to be the ones who give leniency and grace to the patients and their families when they don’t treat us well. it is just another way we realize we have a calling and not just a job. It is another why we are worn out at the end of a shift.
Martha, You make me smile and cry and the same time. Touching I am glad you understand. Yes, you are correct at the end of the day we have to give good customer care because we know better and people tend to be more sensitive when they are sick. Nursing is a calling . Yes, tired ….Thanks for your support.