I am an American. - page 8

by UnionRN2

27,481 Visits | 237 Comments

In the last staff meeting, NM states Dr. A has complained because the female nurses make eye contact with him. We were instructed to respect his (and other doctors) culture and NOT make eye contact or appear assertive. When... Read More


  1. 0
    You need to under stand though that as nurses we do need to be assertive...actually quite often depending on where one is working as a nurse..and if this nurse..like me..has to work with a closed minded doctor..mit makes every work day challenging, negative, if she can't properly advocate for her pts.
  2. 1
    True, but it just goes to show a person is not at a higher level of thinking if these foreign people feel the need to inflict their values on us. That would be what... The Concrete Operational stage? Where evrything is black and white and what they believe just HAS to be the 'right' way. Sad...they should test for this in hospitals and then have to have a special colored sticker on their badge to warn the rest of us who have to deal with them lol.
    Phlavyah likes this.
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    I think they should sue this arrogant guy for sexual harrassment!
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    I have two comments. First, I like the post requesting the NM to put this into a policy format; you know that will never happen. And second, when I am in any meeting where upper management is blathering on and on about some inane topic, I just think to myself: "3 u's" because there are 3 u's in shut the **** up! I have zero tolerance for much of the nonsense in nursing anymore. So, everybody, let's make "3 u's" our mantra!
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Aug 5, '10 : Reason: Language
    Hospice Nurse LPN, nursel56, Scrubby, and 1 other like this.
  5. 0
    Quote from NocturneRN
    It's not always that simple. Even for those who are determined to respect the "ways" of a "majority culture," it takes time to figure out what those "ways" are. It's possible that this doctor's behavior is the result of misconceptions, rather than any intent to force his native culture on American nurses.
    He probably went to medical school here as so many do. Then they stay instead of returning to their own countries so they can make some $$$. Sorry, I don't buy it. I am so tired of the predjudice against women everywhere. I am also tired of docs with huge egos. We are all people for goodness sakes. Can't we treat each other with respect?
  6. 0
    I dare ya facility administration, I double-dog-dare ya!

    Each and every one of the nurses in that meeting now has a nice little "Ace in the hole" or a "Free spin" to be used over, and over.
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    Quote from healthstar
    very interesting. i always wondered about this too. eye contact is important to americans but offensive to other cultures. i agree. why should some people put their culture aside to respect other peoples culture. it is going to be very difficult for me to communicate with a person that does not accept eye contact. i can never carry a conversation without eye contact. i have talked to some arabic and chinese people about their culture related to eye contact; and they said it is okay to look at them in the eye, but just for a sec, they just don't like it when people stare at them while talking.
    if i were in this guy's country and the culture there was that it was offensive to make eye contact, i'd avoid making eye contact as much as i could and apologize for my rudeness if i forgot and looked someone in the eyes. this guy, however, is in my country and rather than all of us adapting to his culture, he needs to adapt to ours.
    mammac5, Phlavyah, Scrubby, and 3 others like this.
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    Quote from chloecatrn
    op, could you do this? could you look briefly at this doc when you're speaking to him, then carry on the rest of the conversation? also, could you speak to your nm about talking to legal about the ramifications of what this doc is asking the nurses to do? if you're not openly and actively communicating with a doc about his patient's condition, then you'll be just as liable if something goes wrong.

    i do, however, want to stress that my discomfort with this situation is because of the potential ramifications for harm to the patient, not because he's in america and should do things "our way". the united states is a great melting pot, and it's important to have respect for all cultures. if this were a patient, would you be saying the same things? if you would, you might be setting your workplace up for a huge sensitivity retraining if the patient felt the need to complain.
    while it is important for us to respect all cultures, we, too have a culture that needs to be respected. all too many people seem to forget that in their zeal to be politically correct. the nurses in an american hospital should not have to turn themselves inside out to respect physicians from other cultures. we have our own culture and they, having chosen to live on our soil and work in our environment, need to respect that. if it were a patient, one could presume that he also chose to be in the united states and that no one kidnapped him and drug him unwillingly across our borders. most of us believe we should cut a little more slack for a patient because they're sick, they're scared, they're vulnerable. but even then, there are limits. anyone who is in our country should expect to have to deal with our culture. we'll try to accomodate the patients as much as possible, but if someone inadvertently looks a male saudi in the eye and he finds it offensive, perhaps he should just try to cut us some slack being as how he's in our country and all.
    RetRN77, tshores, RNSC, and 5 others like this.
  9. 2
    Quote from healthstar
    i totally understand. i agree with you. i just don't like the way ( the doctor) acted, they both work in the medical field and they both should find a way to respect each others culture. you can't make people respect your culture, you also have to respect theirs. i would be okay if this was a patient who complained about eye contact because it is all about what the patient wants and not what the doc/nurse wants.
    eye contact is pretty ingrained in our culture. we're taught that it's rude not to look someone in the eye. so when we're trying to understand someone, be polite to them or convey sympathy, we tend to look at them, not away from them. a patient who complained about eye contact would be in the wrong as well. yes, it's about the patient, but eye contact is a normal and natural thing and it's understandable that an american would forget the other's culture from time to time and meet their eyes. even if i were bending over backwards to respect that kind of culture, i'd still slip now and again. a person -- patient or not -- who has chosen to be in our country ought to make allowances for our culture and that might mean forgiving inadvertent eye contact rather than complaining every time it happens.
    RetRN77 and nursemarion like this.
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    Quote from healthstar
    Very interesting. I always wondered about this too. Eye contact is important to Americans but offensive to other cultures. I agree. Why should some people put their culture aside to respect other peoples culture. It is going to be very difficult for me to communicate with a person that does not accept eye contact. I can never carry a conversation without eye contact. I have talked to some arabic and chinese people about their culture related to eye contact; and they said it is okay to look at them in the eye, but just for a sec, they just don't like it when people stare at them while talking.
    Ever had a doctor who won't look you in the eye? I have -- they keep looking away as they explain things. I'd keep trying to catch their eye with questions, because I wanted to clearly understand his information and instructions on how to treat the problem that brought me there in the first place (usually something w/ one of my children.) That lack of eye contact really bugged me, though now I have a better understanding of why they were doing that. The impression it gives me is that they don't have very good people skills, a less-than-desirable bedside manner.
    MsPiggy and RetRN77 like this.


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