Linda, you've already said everything pertinent to Susy's questions regarding working as a CNS in an inner-city hospital that I would have said myself. You said it so well, too, because it is a very important aspect of care to be considered by any nurse or other health professional who may consider taking a job in an area that may cause "indifference" or a possibility of "judging" one's patient population based on their "lifestlyle choices".
I had the opportunity to interview (years ago) for a health department job working with OB patients in an inner-city low income area, but did not take the job for the very reasons mentioned here. The first thing the Nursing Director of that Health Division said to me was she didn't think I had the "background or the lifestyle" to master dealing with that particular population because I had grown up in a middle class suburban environment that was predominantly white, plus I've also lived that lifestyle while raising my own children.
Once I heard her version of what I woud be up against, etc., I had to agree with her on everything. Even though my heart was in the right place, I would not have been doing those moms in the inner-city low income environment any good whatsover, so I respectfully bowed out of the opportunity to work with that population.
That was a first experience for me as I had never come up against anything like that before, so I must state that it certainly opened up a train of thought for me that had not presented itself before.
Looking back in hindsight, could I take a job like that today?
I don't think so. I was right to decline taking a job like that because the job was not about me simply being able to be a nurse with a good heart and good intentions. The job was about being able to give those moms something they could relate to and feel "at home" with. I may have intimidated them with my "upper middle class" status. I could NOT relate to their lifestyle since I never had to live the life they did.
So, for what my sharing of my own personal experience with this was, I hope it broadens the train of thought for those considering undertaking a job like this, or in working with innercity clientele in any area. Unless you can relate........decline for their sake....IMHPO.