Racist Patients

  1. 8
    Our floor is culturally diverse. We have employees from all walks of life. We recently had a patient on the floor that said that he only wanted white nurses to take care if him. I'm not sure if our manager obliged, but I think that its never ok, also I personally just wouldn't think about this when I'm in pain or in need. Its crazy. Also I have been noticing that certain patients make comments to try and relate to me or assume that I know certain things because I'm AA. A patient said to me today,"My lipgloss be poppin.." singing a song that he thought he was relating to me by singing. Or a patient said to me " Do you eat collards and fried chicken". Little comments like that. I correct them and brush it off. I have too many other problems in my day to worry about this. Also, I should say that I reside in Ga. Is it just me?
    NRSLDT, jaclibra, NurseShelly, and 5 others like this.

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  2. 152 Comments...

  3. 4
    Im sorry to hear this. Without starting a war here, part of the issue is that until there are more minorities in the field, things like this will happen. Other part is that some patients are just ignorent no matter what. Whether they were raised that way or not, some just will not learn or accept difference. Correcting them is the right thing. Im glad you can brush it off, sometimes I find it hard to do this.

    Im puertorican. Despite wearing the nursing uniform and only the colors that LPNs and RNs can wear. I often get asked If Im the housekeeper (by staff that KNOW what the uniform colors are) or where can they find cleaning supplies.

    ETA: Nothing wrong with being a housekeeper. Just being asked this repeatedly based on my ethnicity gets ******* annoying.
    Last edit by Crux1024 on May 28, '09
    jaclibra, NurseShelly, showbizrn, and 1 other like this.
  4. 2
    people can be very ignorant, and i feel sorry for them. we had a pt who only wanted AA nurses and no white or fillipino .. it was very hard to accomdate him because we have mostly fillipino nurses. i am white and was the charge nurse that day and had to go tell him we are limited in our AA nurses. he told me that was my problem... ooh well ... the manager had to go talk to him. it was a very long day for me.. i hope i spelled fillipino right .. sorry if i didn't.. i think it's not just the OP i think these racist people are all over. what a shame .. because we are all human beings no matter what the color is on the outside.
    showbizrn and 2BSure like this.
  5. 3
    "i often get asked if im the housekeeper (by staff that know what the uniform colors are) or where can they find cleaning supplies."

    that's just sad and disgusting, staff should know better, i used to get really ****** at stuff like that but i realized going into the nursing field i have to have thick skin, and i'm only taking my pre-req's, but students and teachers that are of other races, minorities, etc have had snooty attitude towards me in the past(i'm aa) so it's like whatever to me now
    Reedstephanie, showbizrn, and Crux1024 like this.
  6. 7
    Quote from Williss2
    Our floor is culturally diverse. We have employees from all walks of life. We recently had a patient on the floor that said that he only wanted white nurses to take care if him. I'm not sure if our manager obliged, but I think that its never ok, also I personally just wouldn't think about this when I'm in pain or in need. Its crazy. Also I have been noticing that certain patients make comments to try and relate to me or assume that I know certain things because I'm AA. A patient said to me today,"My lipgloss be poppin.." singing a song that he thought he was relating to me by singing. Or a patient said to me " Do you eat collards and fried chicken". Little comments like that. I correct them and brush it off. I have too many other problems in my day to worry about this. Also, I should say that I reside in Ga. Is it just me?
    OK I know this isn't helpful but I had to read your post several times to understand it. Why? I am in Alcoholics Anonymous so AA means something completely different to me. Oh well, I thought it was funny.

    ------------

    Now back to your post....

    Asking for a white nurse is unreal and archaic. I would be interested to know if your manager did oblige and, if yes, what their reasoning was. As for the other comments -- it is a great pity that being ignorant isn't painful. I suspect you are more than clever enough to know when someone is insulting you or not. If you think these people are trying to relate surely that is a good thing? I don't think racism is the same as ignorance but one can fuel the other. Now why they cannot relate to you on purely a human level is anybodies guess -- it is 2009 for goodness sake. Maybe the fact that they feel they can ask you stuff speaks to their respect for you.


    I have no idea if this helps you reframe it or not. I am sorry that anyone would see fit to ask for a "white" nurse. That disgusts me. Wouldn't it be lovely to send in some white nurse that spoke terrible English and had bad BO. Would serve him right.

    Maybe it is late and I am talking complete rubbish.
  7. 0
    Quote from Crux1024
    Im sorry to hear this. Without starting a war here, part of the issue is that until there are more minorities in the field, things like this will happen. Other part is that some patients are just ignorent no matter what. Whether they were raised that way or not, some just will not learn or accept difference. Correcting them is the right thing. Im glad you can brush it off, sometimes I find it hard to do this.

    Im puertorican. Despite wearing the nursing uniform and only the colors that LPNs and RNs can wear. I often get asked If Im the housekeeper (by staff that KNOW what the uniform colors are) or where can they find cleaning supplies.
    OMG the frigging housekeeper?
  8. 18
    I am a black female nurse who currently lives in Texas so, yes, I also catch this type of flack on a somewhat regular basis.

    I am frequently mistaken for a CNA or housekeeper by visitors and some other staff members, even though my name tag that clearly states my title and I wear the color-coded scrubs that the other licensed nurses wear. My appearance and speech are also professional. Meanwhile, it is common for visitors to approach a Caucasian dietary worker, CNA, or housekeeper and automatically assume this person is "the head nurse."

    A family member once blurted out, "I'm sick and tired of the care being provided by all these ____ (insert the 'N' word)!"

    Another family member stated, "The black employees are so lazy."

    Since I work in elder care, I deal with many elderly residents who espouse "old-school" beliefs about people from the different races. These people aren't going to be changed, so I deal with it to the best of my ability. I'll also remove myself from a situation that causes me to feel uncomfortable.

    Keep your head up and don't permit anyone to play mind games with you. No one else is worth your mental health.
    Debilpn23, voneek, ToxicShock, and 15 others like this.
  9. 23
    I was charge one day in the ER and our ill tempered, frequent flyer, allergic to everything except "the good stuff", drug seeking racist patient called me in there and said "I don't want a black nurse!" I told him "Wow, that's too bad. I was going to send the best nurse on the floor in with your pain meds, but since you don't want her, I guess it will be a really long wait...we're really slammed" and walked out of the room as he called "wait, wait, I changed my mind!"

    I let his whiny little racist butt sit out there in triage area for 2 hours.

    I wish there was a way to educate people, but stupid is stupid. I also won't subject ANY of my nurses to that. They are all educated professionals and deserve to be treated as such. Nowhere in the job description will you find the words "verbal punching bag," contrary to the current delusions of upper management who seem to think the "customer" is always right.

    I've also noticed one thing that really disturbs me, and this is something of a sidebar, but as an educator, it really makes me angry that I see so much stereotyping in test banks (as some people mentioned already, why is the minority pt always portrayed as a housekeeper?) I was taught NOT to even mention race when writing an exam question, unless it is necessary (ex- if you are talking about ethnic background playing a role in risk factors, such as white women over 40 that are overweight for gallbladder disease).
    sparketteinok, Debilpn23, jaclibra, and 20 others like this.
  10. 3
    People are stupid, no getting around it People will always make stupid comments, ask stupid questions, even if they are trying honestly to be nice, "trying to connect" with people of other cultures, they will manage to make a fool of them selves. But it's nice to know at least they are trying I suppose. . .?

    If we were all the same things would be way too boring. And if our pts were all perfect we'd have no stories to tell
    Mollypita, crownurse, and 2BSure like this.
  11. 1
    Quote from 2BSure

    I have no idea if this helps you reframe it or not. I am sorry that anyone would see fit to ask for a "white" nurse. That disgusts me. Wouldn't it be lovely to send in some white nurse that spoke terrible English and had bad BO. Would serve him right.
    Ha Hah! That would be sooo cool! Wouldn't it be nice to have 'Nurse Ratchet' reincarnated for patient's like that? It would serve them right. Oh, and tell them that Nurse Ratchet loves to give enemas!
    shugrr22107NA likes this.


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