Dealing with the Prejudiced (long post:sorry)... - page 3

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   BBFRN
    Originally posted by dianthe1013
    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
    Sorry, but I still think that there is a big difference between cultural tradition and racial bias.
  2. by   LilgirlRN
    I'm often called in to start an IV when no one else can get it, I often hear "Oh good they sent someone in who knows what she's doing". This is often from a person who has had either a male nurse or a black nurse or heaven forbid a black male nurse who happens to be gay. I always tell the patient that it's not because I am white that I can stick you, it's because I've been doing this for so long. It makes me mad too, not only the prejudism against my coworkers but to assume that I have a skill just because I happen to be caucasian. Get this a lot more with the elderly than I do young folks.
  3. by   yodakelly
    In my icu, we pretty much shield staff from any hateful behaviors by patients. "oh, you don't like sharon because her butt is too big? ok, we'll change the assignment so you don't have her." ok, i'm exaggerating, but too often when a patient or family dislikes a nurse, it's due to a childish, small minded reason: their color, their accent, their 80's hairdo, but very rarely has anything to do with actual skill or the care they provide. i work with a bunch of generally good people, and i figure they shouldn't have to be submitted to the bad vibes, so i would vote for just avoiding the situation in most situations. though when i am caring for a patient that makes an off hand comment about anouther nurse that i feel is based on some form of small mindedness, i usually just look at them like i have no idea what they are talking about (wow, jim is chinese? i hadn't noticed!) and only reply that they are a really great nurse and how much i like them personally.
  4. by   Brita01
    Originally posted by yodakelly
    ok, i'm exaggerating, but too often when a patient or family dislikes a nurse, it's due to a childish, small minded reason: their color, their accent, their 80's hairdo...
    That's it! All you nurses with the 80s hairdos, you're outta here! :chuckle

    On a serious note, I have yet to experience any blatant racism to my face or a patient refusing my care for any reason. The closest I've come is hearing in report, "I think he/she is a racist." But when I go in the room and introduce myself, I get no weird vibes, funny looks, or hostility. I'm sure I have unknowingly taken care of racists (working in La and all). But as long as they keep it to themselves, we won't have any problems.
  5. by   cna on her way
    I have to say that I have seen racism first hand and I am a white CNA. I had an 80something year old black male tell me that he only allowed black women to assist him. And he would flat out tell me to leave him the hell alone anytime I went in to touch him. Then again, I have a 79year old black man presently who only likes white women, go figure. Prejudice comes in all shapes and sizes. I think that as long as a patient is cooperative, don't change the nurse unless he/she wants a new assignment. But if the patient is being really rude and nasty, speak to the charge nurse and change the assignment until someone can let the patient know that either he/she accepts the nurses they are assigned or they may request to be transferred somewhere else. The last patient I mentioned is cooperative even though he reminds us everyday who he prefers. He never says rude or nasty comments he just states his preference and he gets whoever is there. We don't make a switch and he understands that, whether he really likes it or not. And he's never once complained about the care he has received. As far as cultures and racism, sometimes they can go hand and hand. But that is a judgement call and everyone will have different opinions. Theres no need to argue about it. I believe that a hospital is for treatment and not a hotel. If you want it your way, go to Burger King.
  6. by   LasVegasRN
    Originally posted by cna on her way
    ...If you want it your way, go to Burger King.
    I like the way you think!
  7. by   researchrabbit
    My best friend's mom has Alzheimers. This is someone I've known since I was 8 years old. She was one of the most liberal people I've ever met (two of her four children have interracial marriages and children). She was an active leader in her community and church and her home was open to everyone. I never heard a bad word about anyone (much less any racial epithets) in all the time I've known her -- and I spent as much time at her house as I did at my own.

    HOWEVER...she is now in her 80s, doesn't know who most of the important people in her life are, and says some of the most awful racial things I have heard in years. I am STILL flabbergasted at hearing it for myself.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that some people may have organic-related personality changes. Doesn't make it nicer if you have to deal with it, but might help you ignore it.
  8. by   yodakelly
    researchrabbit,

    that reminds me of "gertrude" the mean old lady that rolled up and down the halls of the LTC where i worked as a cna, cursing like a sailor and swinging like one too. her family swore she never said a four letter word in her life, and was a sweet and kind person as long as they had known her.

    OBD amazes the heck out of me. I just don't get it.
  9. by   NurseGirlKaren
    Originally posted by yodakelly


    that reminds me of "gertrude" the mean old lady that rolled up and down the halls of the LTC where i worked as a cna, cursing like a sailor and swinging like one too. her family swore she never said a four letter word in her life, and was a sweet and kind person as long as they had known her.
    Then I should be the most docile nursing home resident around when my time comes, right?
  10. by   Asiancutie
    Originally posted by researchrabbit
    My best friend's mom has Alzheimers. This is someone I've known since I was 8 years old. She was one of the most liberal people I've ever met (two of her four children have interracial marriages and children). She was an active leader in her community and church and her home was open to everyone. I never heard a bad word about anyone (much less any racial epithets) in all the time I've known her -- and I spent as much time at her house as I did at my own.

    HOWEVER...she is now in her 80s, doesn't know who most of the important people in her life are, and says some of the most awful racial things I have heard in years. I am STILL flabbergasted at hearing it for myself.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that some people may have organic-related personality changes. Doesn't make it nicer if you have to deal with it, but might help you ignore it.
    when i get 80, i think i would be prejudiced too. only cute nurses are allowed to take care of me hehehe..........
  11. by   researchrabbit
    Originally posted by Asiancutie
    when i get 80, i think i would be prejudiced too. only cute nurses are allowed to take care of me hehehe..........
    :roll
  12. by   mattsmom81
    Our job is to take care of sick people warts, flaws and all. I'm not there to enforce the latest PC mindset and inflict my mores on my patients. It likely won't do any good anyway.

    With today's customer satisfaction trend we will not be supported by administrators if patients complain...so why set ourselves up? I agree with 3rd shift guy....nurses can get fired over fabricated complaints and stories too, unfortunately. :

    Now I won't let ugly or blatant bigoted remarks go unnoticed in a lucid patient, and will defend my staff...but when there is a demand to change nurses (for WHATEVER reason) I generally will do so if possible. Unless we can easily mediate it, and the nurse prefers to stay on the case.

    Some may flame me here but that's OK...I can take it..hehe. I've had black patients request black nurses and hispanics request hispanic nurses...and this seems generally regarded as cultural/comfort issues and OK.

    When a white patient requests a white nurse it tends to immediately be construed as racist...when comfort level and culture may play some role as well. I think we should try to keep an open mind and avoid judging sick and vulnerable patients too harshly. I know its hard sometimes.
  13. by   RNFROG3
    I agree to take the nurse out of the situation just from the lawsuit aspect if at all possible. I sure wouldn't want a colleague taken thru that horror for some trumped up charge.( But I am tired of dealing with that issue and always being worried about legalities.)
    I moved to the er in part because of crap like that. When your not breathing and your heart is stopped noone cares about race, sex, nationality, or religion. I did remove my self from a case when I worked med-surg though. I have a deep and painful experience with a certain religion and I wasn't absolutely sure I could give non-biased and excellant care to tha person, so I asked to take a different patient. I ended up taking two extra patients because of the way the rooms are set-up but that was fine by me. Religion doesn't usually come up in the ED and if it does in a non emergent setting I would remove myself again. I would be afraid that I would be distracted and just don't trust myself. We take care of each other here. Another nurse remves herself from lil old men with terminal CA. Her Dad died a year ago and it is just too painful. The objectivity level goes down when distracted with personal issues. In most cases it never comes up for me and isn't ever and issue but I always want to give the best care possible and maybe sometimes it can't be from me.

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