I am an American.

  1. 246
    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 asked to clarify assertive we were told assertive was "asking or suggesting something for the patients".

    Excuse me! I am American and I am living in America! How come these doctors don't have to respect my culture? How come they don't have to respect me (I am a woman)?

    Of course I will continue to make eye contact and I will continue to request things my patients need and I will continue to suggest things that the patient needs. I will continue to advocate for my patients. If the doc doesn't like it... tough crap. I live in America and have the rights afforded American women. I am not giving them up to stroke the ego of a bigot.
    TLCfromSC, pinkchris2000, isthatso?, and 243 others like this.
  2. 237 Comments so far...

  3. 27
    ...and the NM went along with this physician's request? Obviously, the NM wasn't looking out for the nurses' and more importantly, the patients' interest. Since when is being "assertive" a negative quality in a nurse? "Aggressive", on the other hand, is entirely different.
    pinkchris2000, kakamegamama, Lexi86, and 24 others like this.
  4. 45
    Quote from UnionRN2
    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 asked to clarify assertive we were told assertive was "asking or suggesting something for the patients".

    Excuse me! I am American and I am living in America! How come these doctors don't have to respect my culture? How come they don't have to respect me (I am a woman)?

    Of course I will continue to make eye contact and I will continue to request things my patients need and I will continue to suggest things that the patient needs. I will continue to advocate for my patients. If the doc doesn't like it... tough crap. I live in America and have the rights afforded American women. I am not giving them up to stroke the ego of a bigot.
    I would have made eye contact with the NM and then requested "I a written policy signed by yourself and the doctor stating we are not to ask for anything for patients, then I will happily comply."

    Or you could just do what most do and pretend to care, then go about it with business as usual.

    Biggest part of nursing that a lot of people don't get is when to listen to management, and when to pretend you are listening.
  5. 18
    Quote from eriksoln
    Biggest part of nursing that a lot of people don't get is when to listen to management, and when to pretend you are listening.
  6. 15
    That is nuts! Did this doc think that when he got here his American colleagues would just magically transform and behave like the women from his native country? Insane.
    RNTOBE_1970, Lexi86, Crispy Critter, and 12 others like this.
  7. 2
    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.
    RetRN77 and limestone like this.
  8. 45
    He is in your country it is up to him to adapt to you. This really makes me mad. He should go home if he doesn't like assertive women.
  9. 13
    I think cultural sensitivity is important to a point, and that point is when it interferes with the effectiveness of doing your job properly which is safely caring for your patients. So I agree with you, I wouldn't change my behavior and continue to do what needs to be done.

    And really what can the administration do if the doctor pushes it? Granted, I am a pre-nursing student with moderate experience working in hospitals, but they can't discipline you for this, it would be gender bias and more importantly not doing your job. As I understand it BoN and malpractice lawyers aren't going to say "oh, okay then," if you fail to advocate and contact the doctor when needed because the doctor said he doesn't like women asking him things. It's not about being an American as much it's not worth your license to listen to a sexist idiot.
    kakamegamama, Lexi86, TiddlDwink, and 10 others like this.
  10. 28
    Wow that ****** me off just reading it!!
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Aug 5, '10 : Reason: Language
    kool-aide, RN, Lexi86, Orange Tree, and 25 others like this.
  11. 8
    Quote from healthstar
    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.
    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.
    kakamegamama, bowlofsurreal, Kuffy, and 5 others like this.


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