Racism in the workplace - page 9

Not to be a downer or anything but I have noticed some harsh things said about patients and sometimes even co workers in my unit when they think no one else can hear them. Has anyone else dealt with... Read More

  1. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from Roy Fokker
    What's this got to do with racism in the workplace?
    EVERYTHING.

    We are a product of our society. That involves our macro-relationships as well as our interpersonal ones.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  2. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from multicollinarity
    I think it is a shameless ploy for ratings. Shame on CBS. The last thing we need is more division.
    I have to agree. I don't see what the heck some sort of racially/ethnically teamed show is supposed to do for the we're-all-people stance.
  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    And i think it's absolutely ridiculous that whether a word is offensive or not depends on the race it's coming from.
  4. by   Roy Fokker
    Quote from earle58
    pretending race/racism doesn't exist?
    who said that was synonymous with equality?
    i'm saying that's what is creating the apathy.
    no one is saying that it is stereotypes and individual prejudice.
    but- why not start with yourself?
    granted, it's not changing the larger picture.
    but what would happen if everyone (on an individual basis) just started rejecting the use of this vulgar epitaph?
    it has to start somewhere roy.
    and it's not just with racism.
    we certainly don't have world peace.
    but i can do everything i can, to make my corner of the world a little bit better.
    it has to start somewhere.

    when i was growing up, my mom was best friends with a black woman.
    this black woman and her kids were the only black family in town.
    when she left her husband, they came to live w/us.
    we started getting eggs thrown at our house and called all sorts of names because of befriending this black family.
    as a child, i did not understand the hate and the ignorance spewed towards this family and now, my family.
    the black family (i'll call them the jones) wanted to stay inside our house.
    they feared for their safety.
    i remember being spittin' mad at the senselessness of these hate crimes.
    me and the jones kids would go outside to the playground.
    all the white kids started trying to beat them up, throwing stones, bottles.
    i started to try and fight them all.
    i wouldn't let me or the jones kids walk/run away.
    and i couldn't contain my fury.
    my adrenaline pumping, i remember turning to one of the joneses and demanded "WHY AREN'T YOU MAD???"
    i couldn't stand to see them hovering.
    suddenly the older jones kid got this look in his eye, kind of a get-it moment, and turned to the crowd and roared "NO MORE".
    the look in his eyes shocked the bejeebees out of all the onlookers and perpetrators.
    between him and me, everyone ended up backing away.
    from that time on, the violence stopped.
    when we got on the school bus, the kids left us alone.
    some even said hi.
    my point is it has to stop somewhere.
    you have more power than you think.
    everyone does.
    no more.
    it starts with you.

    leslie
    That intersting post, was entierly wasted because you didn't understand my argument.

    I never said "pretend racism doesn't exist". Please read my post again.

    My argument is "Just being colourblind is not enough".
    Pretending "race doesn't affect relationships" is being naieve.
    We're striving for racial equality in our society - this won't be achieved by claims to being colorblind.

    Understanding and accepting that race does affect human relationships, and then choosing to work against it is the prudent option. Racism is more than just about stereotypes and prejudice.



    cheers,
    from-a-guy-who-hasn't-been-called-rag****-for-a-week-now.


    PS:
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    I think what he meant is that it's clearly a nuture issue then a nature issue.

    People aren't inherently evil; it IS a learned behavior.

    I think there has been great improvement here, though. And, I think that is what Roy is speaking to.
    Thanks.
    Last edit by Roy Fokker on Aug 25, '06
  5. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    I have to agree. I don't see what the heck some sort of racially/ethnically teamed show is supposed to do for the we're-all-people stance.
    It's merely a symptom of our self-segregated society. CBS couldn't capitalize on it if it weren't an issue that strikes a chord with the masses.

    The fact that it's controversial to actually design a TV program that mimics our societal self-regulation just points out that we all know, on some level, that we have failed to adequately actualize MLK's dream.

    It might be 'crude' for CBS to so obviously point that out. But, it's our - all too real - reality. Why shouldn't it be 'reality TV'?

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  6. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    I linked above a very long thread that discussed in detail the current use of this word by our youts. The last several pages has my take on it.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    i just reread that 30 pg thread, which is still opened btw.
    the problem in the workplace (as opposed to a school setting), is employees are expected to adhere to a code of professional conduct.
    compounded with not to argue with the pt, there is a real situation of ambiguous solutions.
    there's nothing in our p&p manuals addressing racial slurs by pts.
    and as in gen'l society, employees in the workplace deal best by looking the other way.
    i always say something if i hear this word being used.
    but that's me, and only me.
    when offended employees have gone to mgmt, they were always told to ignore it: "they're demented": "they're due for a psyche eval and will getting medications to deal with their agitation" and "don't take it personally" (gotta love that one).
    no matter what interventions or lack thereof, ultimately one can choose to tolerate it or not....from the pts that is.
    sometimes it's ok to just to take pity on their miserable souls.

    leslie
    Last edit by leslie :-D on Aug 25, '06
  7. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from earle58
    i just reread that 30 pg thread, which is still opened btw.
    the problem in the workplace (as opposed to a school setting), is employees are expected to adhere to a code of professional conduct.
    compounded with not to argue with the pt, there is a real situation of ambiguous solutions.
    there's nothing in our p&p manuals addressing racial slurs by pts.
    and as in gen'l society, employees in the workplace deal best by looking the other way.
    i always say something if i hear this word being used.
    but that's me, and only me.
    when offended employees have gone to mgmt, they were always told to ignore it: "they're demented": "they're due for a psyche eval and will getting medications to deal with their agitation" and "don't take it personally" (gotta love that one).
    no matter what interventions or lack thereof, ultimately one can choose to tolerate it or not....from the pts that is.
    sometimes it's ok to just to take pity on their miserable souls.

    leslie

    leslie
    Well I will say this: I've heard preachers cuss like a sailor in their demented years. I don't think that means they 'cussed' off the pulpit, but that their 'self-regulation' is impacted by their dx process.

    It does no good to 'correct' somebody using slurs because they've lost the ability at self control, be it demetia, or delirium. It's simply not a 'lesson' that type of pt can assimilate: if they could, they probably wouldn't be spouting off in the first place.

    Now, somebody that knows darn good and well what they are saying: I am completely at ease treating uncooth behavior curtly. There is an 'inter' in inter-personal relationships, be they personal OR professional. That means that my imput is just as valid to the conversation.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  8. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    And i think it's absolutely ridiculous that whether a word is offensive or not depends on the race it's coming from.
    In a perfect world these words wouldn't be used. I do know that sometimes it is freeing for a group to claim an offensive word. I'm a bit uncomfortable with it, but I know it can help them. For example, 1/3 of my church is gay or lesbian. I've heard some of the lesbian women saying "hey d*ke" as a greeting, or teasing. I know what they are doing. I still wish they wouldn't though.
  9. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from Roy Fokker
    We're striving for racial equality in our society - this won't be achieved by claims to being colorblind.
    who do you think is striving for racial equality?
  10. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    It does no good to 'correct' somebody using slurs because they've lost the ability at self control, be it demetia, or delirium. It's simply not a 'lesson' that type of pt can assimilate: if they could, they probably wouldn't be spouting off in the first place.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    it does no good for who?
    you don't think the offended person feels validated when someone is defending their honor?
  11. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from earle58
    it does no good for who?
    you don't think the offended person feels validated when someone is defending their honor?
    Possibly.

    But, one of the duties of our profession is that nurses get a much more up close and personal view of the 'underside' of our society. Ask any ER nurse about that. Shoot, any nurse. I'm not chiding you, just pointing it out.

    It might do some good to point out to an offended co-worker that you disagree.

    But:

    1. They should know this about you based our your previous experiences with them.

    2. Part of being a professional in this business IS the ability to deal with the issues within our society that impact people at their most vulnerable. A professional, in my opinion, should be able to understand this without the need to be 'defended'.

    3. IF a pt is in a situation where they cannot evaluate the morality of thier speech, pointing out and correcting the immorality of it is a valuation of that pt's morality at a time when they are most vulverable.

    When we measure immorality, criminal or otherwise, we tend to focus - and rightly so - on 'intent'. I see no need to correct a moral lapse when the ability to evaluate 'intent' is lacking for medical reasons; for that person, it wasn't a 'lapse' - it wasn't a matter of an inappropriate CHOICE.

    And, if a healthcare worker can't understand this and shake it off: this MIGHT be the wrong line of work. Because, we ARE the frontline for such things. Nurses have been 'accused' of being 'angels' for generations. I think we, just like real angels, are privy to some of humanity's most sordid behavior. IF they couldn't deal with it, they wouldn't be very effective being our guardians.

    And if we can't deal with it, we wouldn't be very effective, either. That's not to say that we shouldn't 'reproof' bad behavior (just like that angel on our shoulder does all the time). But it does mean that we don't place value judgments on behavior uncontrollable by the actors.

    Again, I'm not talking about pts that know good and well of which they speak.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  12. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I do know that sometimes it is freeing for a group to claim an offensive word.
    It's freeing to some, yet confusing and restrictive to others. Instead of solving a problem, it's creating a new one.
  13. by   leslie :-D
    i understand my nsg role perfectly; and all of its' implications.
    even the 'offendees' know the difference between a pathological process vs. a mean and miserable disposition.
    but even the codes of professional conduct are not so clearly defined by my nurse practice act.
    our profession especially is laden with moral and ethical scenarios.
    our npa can try and dictate the 'whats' of their expectations.
    it is not defined as to 'how'.
    and so, it is up to us as individuals, as to the battles we choose and fight.
    i can only try and coexist on this earth, as peacefully as possible.
    my profession does not define me or my relationship w/man, even if they're my patients.
    rather, it is my unique character as an individual on this planet, that will define my relationship in and out of work.
    we all deal with our pts as we deem appropriate.
    it's a personal application to the art of nsg, not a science.
    one nurse might assess the pt to be cognizant of their actions.
    another nsg might note an altered ms w/the same pt.
    if a pt is delirious, then he cannot be held responsible for what he says.
    and the same for moderate to advanced dementia.
    working in hospice for 10+ yrs has afforded me to see the worst of the worst of human trauma.
    if one of my pts casually uses the 'n' word, i casually redirect w/the name of that person.
    most times, it has no effect w/the pt.
    but it sure has boosted an ominous morale, even if it's one employee.
    so even if it is about the nurse-pt relationship, i happen to think those confines should be expanded to encompass all involved w/this pt.
    furthermore, i'm not declaring war when i protest the use of this word.
    it's not big drama: just matter-of-fact redirection or limit setting.
    i don't do it necessarily for the pt.
    i just happen to think a harmonious workplace is more productive and therapeutic to all present.

    leslie

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