Race relations and nursing enviroments - page 2
I have been told by a rumour that there are racial tensions between the black and white nurses and that the black nurses were forced to leave some hospitals due to the hostile conditions. Is there... Read More
Mar 23, '04Quote from bizzymum919
Everyone is speaking about how the Philipino nurses were welcomed in their area, but are they just as friendly to Black Britons?
As with most countries I expect it's attitude and common courtesy that see everyone through. Rude, obnoxious and discourteous behaviour is treated with contempt as it should be. I think that should go whatever colour or creed you are
Mar 23, '04I work in England. All hospital trusts are required to conduct an annual staff survey, and one area covered is racism. Last year there was only one recorded incident, and the complainant was me. A patient called me a "Big Scots xxxxxxx" One of the three descriptors was inaccurate!
Mar 23, '04I have never seen a racial problem where I work now, or in the past. These things usually come down to individuals, not whole classes of people.
Mar 25, '04Hi, sorry I'm posting so late to bizzymum's original question. I saw this today and thought I'd give my experience as a black nurse working in the UK. I came to England in 1999, and first went to a hospital in Suffolk (not very far from London). From the first day I went to work on the ward, the nurses did not talk to me. The only communication was at handovers, and even then some of them would turn their backs when I was talking. The doctors would come on the ward rounds and would rather ask the health care assistants (nurse aides) about their patients, than speak to me. Another Caribbean nurse was working on the ward at the same time when I was there, but the roster was always done in a way that we would never be be on the same shift together(talk about trust). If I asked a question, people would just ignore me.
I left after six months and came to Birmingham which I heard at the time was more multicultural. It is a bit better in that I see more people like myself, but I still get racism from some of my colleagues. The filipinos don't get as much racism like most blacks and some pakistanis. I've also noticed that there is some tension amongst people from the different countries that make up the UK, but in no way would I describe that as racism (they are all white), that is nationalism.
Sadly, racism is alive and well in the UK and is said to be institutionalised in the Health service, Police force etc. A lot of my black friends feel the same way and can't wait to leave here. This has been my experience and that of countless others, and will probably become yours if and when you decide to come here.Last edit by Baby G on Mar 27, '04
Mar 25, '04Thank you so much Baby G. That is exactly what I have been told. My cousin did say the other day that they were horrid to the black carribean nurses and many have left for places such as the US and Canada because the environment became so unbearable. :angryfire She also mentioned that also contributed to the nursing shortage in the UK and now they are trying to make some changes in regards to racial sensitivity, but from what you are saying it is not happening where you are.
I really hoped that I would be able to go to the UK and have people accept me as just a nurse; not a black one, or a carribean one, but just a Registered nurse and be taken seriously because here in the US everyone DOES communicate with eachother and the doctors even as just being a nurse's assistant at this time, they really value my opinion and observations of a patient because I am so hands on with them.
I would really lose my temper if any doctor turned his back on me when I was speaking to him. It is NOT done here in the US. The nurses here would not stand for it !
Even though in the US there is social racism and such, in the healthcare field it is few and far between. There is a bit of attitude towards certain people esp Fillipino and middle eastern, but the overall treatment is more respectful than what you have stated and experienced.
My family really misses me and wants me to relocate back home and I miss them too. But if I am going to have to FIGHT and SCREAM to get respect for what I have worked SOOOO hard for, then I might as well not bother. NO ONE especially a hard working nurse should have to FIGHT for respect that she truly deserves no matter what race or colour she is.
Thanks for your perspective.
Mar 25, '04Just a quick addendum to the last post. I just spoke to my mum who was a nurse in the UK in the 50's, 60's and 70's where race relations were not at their best and she stated that she NEVER had a doctor, or nurse not speak with her about her patients. My mum stated that a person is judged individually and how one presents themselves. She lived in Brighton, London, Sussex and Birmingham to name a few places and she stated that she never really had any problem with racism. There was a lot of nationalism ie Australian nurses vs British nurses and US nurses vs British nurses in regards to how they did their patient care and work ethics, but doctors were respectful. AND in the 50's for a black woman to go to a nursing school with whites is MAJOR in race relations because in the US at that time, it was not only not done, but against the law to intergrate in many states.
My mum assured me to have a visit and see for myself. So, off to Yorkshire I shall visit.
Mar 26, '04Baby I am soooo horrified to hear your story
That sort of behaviour is totally unacceptable as far as I'm concerned
I'm really glad you decided to take your Mum's advice and see for yourself. Sometimes I think that's the only way to make a decision. Yorkshire is beautiful. But then I'm just a bit biast .
Mar 27, '04Hi Bizzymum... in no way was my post intended to influence your decision to come to the UK after you've finished your studies. I was merely answering your question from my experience. Some people judge you not from the way you present yourself, but by the skin you present yourself in, no matter how intellectual and confident you are. Some black people I know pretends that the racism does not exist, because that is the way they can deal with it. I can't pretend and I don't intend to.
By the time you get here I will be in the States working. I have already passed my NCLEX (New York), and I'm presently doing a Degree to upgrade from a Diploma. I've been a nurse for ten years and I've given five of those to the National Health Service, and I don't intend to give anymore for much longer.
I hope we can catch up in three or four years time, and we can talk about our experiences or even post them here. By then I hope race relations in Britain will improve dramatically. Good luck in your endeavours (endeavors).
Mar 27, '04Congrats on passing the NCLEX in NY!! There is reciprocity here in the US and you can move anywhere in the states your heart chooses. NY City is quite like London, but Upstate is the place to be to raise children because of slower pace of life.
Living in the Southern part of the US where racism is obvious and also hidden when someone is "trying" to portray themselves as educated has taken its toll on my nerves. :angryfire I do not think any place is more divided than the US.
You stated that you moved to the UK in 1999. Where did you live before?
I appreciate your honesty and openess of what I could expect so that I will not be shocked if and when I got the cold shoulder from someone. But as my mum states that one must document everything and if I tell the Dr, or nurse and they shrugg me off, then I will document that they were told and what time they were told and the rest is on them.
Also I thought Birmingham would be nice since there is a larger West-Indian community and lot of festivals and awareness celebrations ???
Again congrats on the NY NCLEX!! :hatparty:
Mar 27, '04Thank you. I am a born, bred and educated Jamaican. I was born in Manchester (Jamaica) and lived there for most of my life, then moved to Kingston where I did my general training. I worked there for five years then came to England to gain some more experience and to further educate myself. And yes, to get a better pay than what I was receiving at the time.
Don't get me wrong, Birmingham is nice and has got a large West Indian community, and there are plays and cultural events that I go to. However there are people who make you feel that you are not welcomed in the workplace and in society as well. I have few white friends who I wouldn't swap for the world, but that doesn't mean that there isn't racism. In some cases these friends can't even invite you into their homes because they know their family and friends would be outraged to have you in their houses.
As you said Bizzy, I'm just being honest. I don't beat around the bush to make things appear prettier than they are. Anyway, I'm planning to move to Houston. I hope that's a good choice, cause I hear Texas is notoriously racist. Oh, why can't we all just get along !!!!????
If there is anyway I can help, let me know.
Mar 27, '04Houston TX has some of the best food places, but the racism is even unbearable for other Texans. My family lives in the Dallas area, but Houston for such a large city is terrible. I know for fact that the nursing conditions and pay is wonderful down there, but the ignorance is rampant. A town, just outside of Houston, off I-10 called Vider, TX is completely ran by racists to the point that the Federal gov't will not provide any aid to that city. The government tried to integrate the city and asked blacks to move in and they would provide the homes and bonuses and jobs and such, but the white residents of this all white city chased the black children home from school in their trucks throwing sticks and rocks and the adults were given death threats and their homes were shot at with shot guns and pistols. The black people with the government's help were relocated within a year.
I find that the US is going full circle with the racism. People are getting evenmore less tolerant of others and people are trying to move further away from any sort of person of colour that is different that themselves (white and black and hispanic). You will find many people will live very far away from the hospitals. They will work in an intergrated environment, but not live in one.
I think the same reason that is driving you out of the UK and to the US is the same thing that is driving me out of the US and to the UK. :wink2: