Dealing with the Prejudiced (long post:sorry)... - page 2

The analogy of the prejudiced patient that was brought up in the VIP suite thread has kept sticking in the back of my mind. I hope that raising this question does not offend anyone (ready for flames... Read More

  1. by   Nurse Ratched
    I had one occasion where a patient didn't want to be roomed with a patient of another ethnicity. Fine. We happened to have a bed available (the *only* other bed available, btw) with a demented elderly person who required frequent trips by staff into the room throughout the night. Let's just say Mr. Bigot didn't get much rest that stay . Perhaps next time he'll just shut up and be grateful to have a QUIET roommate like the original one he was assigned lol.

    As far as people requesting staff changes due to racial prejudices, maybe I'm just lucky, but I haven't seen it yet.
  2. by   traumaRUs
    I live in the midwest and I work in the ER in a large teaching hospital. Some of the mid-eastern MDs are having a difficult time right now. We don't really tolerate it. Its sad that in this day and age, we still have this discussion.
  3. by   BBFRN
    Originally posted by dianthe1013
    Most racist people do consider their beliefs a "tradition," though. It's considered politically correct to cater to one's cultural beliefs because that is something that, as you say, should be respected. But, when you get right down to it, prejudices can be "cultural," as well.

    Let's say you have an elderly Italian gentleman who still clings to the Old World view that women shouldn't be anywhere outside the home. Maybe he can understand having a female nurse (he's seen plenty of those, after all), but on this day he also has a female transporter, respiratory therapist, and doctor. So, if he freaks out, is it okay?
    But I don't really see cultural quirks to be much different from racist "preferences."

    Donna
    As an Italian with many, many "Old World" Italian relatives, I do not have one family member that cares one iota what the gender/race, etc. is of the person taking care of them. Most Italian men that I know- and I know a lot, LOVE to have a woman take care of them in any capacity. To them, that's what we do best- as Dr.'s, nurses, wives, mothers, etc. What you see culturally on the outside is your perception. No man in my family is going to tell any woman in my family what to do- they are not mysoginists, although, if you're prone to watching The Soprano's every week (as I am), then it's fairly understandable that you could believe this. I don't take your statements as a personal affront to my particular culture, but try to understand that what you see based on your perception is not always what is. Pace, amico!
  4. by   nursemouse
    Thank you very much for your excellent and insightful responses to this difficult topic. To those who live where you don't see this, thank goodness there are such places in the world. TraumaRUS, I agree that it's sad that we are still having this discussion, and hopefully the time will come when this topic will never be raised again. I appreciate your help! Nursemouse
  5. by   zudy
    Originally posted by traumaRUs
    I live in the midwest and I work in the ER in a large teaching hospital. Some of the mid-eastern MDs are having a difficult time right now. We don't really tolerate it. Its sad that in this day and age, we still have this discussion.
    I know how you feel, traumaRN. Many of our MD's from the mid-east have a difficult time from some of our pts. I am doing my best to raise my children to understand that we are all God's children, and that if we all meant to be exactly the same, God would have made us that way. I can only hope my children never have this discussion.
  6. by   llg
    One aspect of this situation not being fully addressed here is the potential for a lawsuit (or some other retaliation) against the staff member who was forced upon the patient. Sometimes, it is safer for the staff member who is being discriminated against to simply be kept out of danger from the patient. The patient may blame that staff member for anything that goes wrong and file suit.

    Each case has to be judged separately. While most of us do not want to support discrimination and would like to fight it when we see it, we must be careful not to put our colleagues in danger by forcing them into caring for a patient who may seek a way to retaliate. We should protect our colleagues from such individuals. Sometimes, forcing the issue only inflames the situation and causes more harm than good.

    llg
  7. by   Asiancutie
    Originally posted by 3rdShiftGuy
    I support the idea of not sending a minority into prejudiced patients room if it can be avoided.

    Suppose I am told to care for a known homophobe. I'm uncomfortable to begin with, but detach and provide care in a professional manner. He slurs an explitive my way and I cuss his ass out. I get fired.
    I would like to be a nurse of someone prejudiced so I can jam that needle up his ass....
  8. by   Tweety
    Originally posted by Asiancutie
    I would like to be a nurse of someone prejudiced so I can jam that needle up his ass....
    :roll :chuckle
  9. by   colleen10
    Wow!!! I always learn so much when I come here and it always gets me thinking.

    I abhor any type of discrimination whether it be based on sex, race, ethnicity, sexual preference, etc. But, I am understanding 3rd Shift Guys and Ilg's point of view and I do have to agree that even though prejudice is very wrong sometimes you need to take the high road and try to switch nurses in that situation. Not for the sake of the patient but solely for the nurse so that they are not put into a potentialy stressful or abusive situation.

    As wrong as discrimination is you won't be able to change the ways of the patient and for the sake of the nurse, if you can adjust the assignments I think it would be best for all involved. If you can't, then maybe it is just best to address the persons discrimination head on and give them the option of going to another facility.

    I have this point of view because I currently work for a bunch of neanderthols that think the only thing I can contribute to society is my uterus. It has hurt me financially ( I don't get raises because I have no way to contribute to the business) and career wise (because I cannot progress in a company where I am not allowed to do anything). Is their behavior wrong and uncalled for? Yes, but if I made an issue of it they could make my life miserable and put me out on the street. Then I would be in even more trouble and not able to pay my bills and get through Nursing School. So, I keep my mouth shut, don't make an issue of it and go against my beliefs and self pride but the outcome could be much much worse.

    I am intersted to know though, that those of you have experienced discrimination was it by older/elderly people or have you even seen it in younger people? I guess I'm thinking that I hope people in my generation are more open minded and that they don't discriminate as much as older people might. However, it never ceases to amaze me some of the things I have seen people in my generation do.
  10. by   dianthe1013
    Originally posted by lgflamini
    ...What you see culturally on the outside is your perception. No man in my family is going to tell any woman in my family what to do- they are not mysoginists, although, if you're prone to watching The Soprano's every week (as I am), then it's fairly understandable that you could believe this. I don't take your statements as a personal affront to my particular culture, but try to understand that what you see based on your perception is not always what is. Pace, amico!
    Well, I'm glad you don't take my comments as an "affront" to your culture, because it's my culture, too. I don't watch The Sopranos, and I am not basing my comments on what I see as an "outsider."

    The reason I used this example is because I have seen it. I have seen other things, as well, but I thought I'd present an example that was less likely to happen as often so as to highlight the absurdity of it.

    I'm sorry if you assumed that I meant all little old Italian men are bastards who think women should be seen and not heard. That was not my intent. My intent was to show how closely related racial bias and cultural "tradition" can be. I chose an example within my own ethnic group so as not to be "smacked down"...and it happened anyway. Goes to show, y'know?

    Donna :kiss
    Last edit by dianthe1013 on Apr 1, '03
  11. by   Teshiee
    I think there is a big difference. Traditions of a certain cultures usually are not intential of attacking anyone. For instance in the Muslim culture a female patient may not be seen by a male doctor. It is no intention on the gender but a culture belief that I wouldn't take offense but for someone to not want me as a nurse because my skin is different something is very wrong. All of us can have similiar culture and be of different ethnic back ground. I don't wish to make this a giant debate but allowing patients to dismiss a nurse because of racial profiling is wrong and never should be tolerated.
  12. by   LasVegasRN
    Hmmm. My young rebellious self used to think I would take the assignment of the blatant racist and enjoy watching them squirm because I was all they were gonna get. My old mellowed out self is getting to the point where I don't care anymore. Too many scars from being young and rebellious. Too many patients who had no problem saying, "I don't accept n-ggers in my home" or, "I prefer not to have a colored nurse - nothing against YOU personally, ya know" kinda BS.

    To answer another question, yes, it's mostly the elderly with these attitudes. I found from working both in the southern states and northern states that southerners have a much easier time callling you a n-gger to your face. The northerners will whisper or go around you to ask for another assignment. The good thing is most of these people will die soon. The bad thing is a lot of their children were raised the same way.

    And so it goes.
  13. by   nursemouse
    This is really tough...as Vegas and Colleen pointed out, we aren't going to change these patients' intrinsic and bigoted beliefs, which in many cases were formed before we left the cradle. The most, perhaps, that we can hope for is a grudging concession that "Well, you aren't as bad as most of those..." I am a white woman and haven't experienced as much of this prejudice as some of my peers have; for that reason, I've felt the need to be protective of them when in authority positions-unfairly, perhaps, as indicated by some of your posts. And hidden prejudice is harder yet; I've had some of the most seemingly-kind and gracious patients shock the daylights out of me by voicing prejudicial epithets.

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