Racism in nursing

  1. 0
    Please share your experiences.I am not a white female nurse, and occasions have risen where I have suspected that I was victimized because of my race.I just moved on and ignored it, because people who have a problem such as racism, # 1, may not even be aware that they are discriminating and #2, if they are, are probably too comfortable in their attitudes to want to change it.

    those complaints about you that reach the managers about your attitude problems or your mistakes, if any, are usually exaggerated and petty. i really find it disgusting, when the same folks cuddle up to a minority doctor or other 'higher-up' who has authority over them, yet are unmerciful to those over whom they have power.
    Last edit by KCIN on Jul 5, '05
  2. 19,796 Visits
    Find Similar Topics
  3. 45 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Quote from KCIN
    Please share your experiences.I am not a white female nurse, and occasions have risen where I have suspected that I was victimized because of my race.I just moved on and ignored it, because people who have a problem such as racism, # 1, may not even be aware that they are discriminating and #2, if they are, are probably too comfortable in their attitudes to want to change it.

    those complaints about you that reach the managers about your attitude problems or your mistakes, if any, are usually exaggerated and petty. i really find it disgusting, when the same folks cuddle up to a minority doctor or other 'higher-up' who has authority over them, yet are unmerciful to those over whom they have power.

    There are all kinds of prejudices in nursing. There are new graduates who are out of nursing school or those that are transferring into a higher level unit who are bullied by the more experienced nurses, etc. I've seen older nurses set up and let go because of their age. I don't think color has anything to do with it. Many hospitals prefer male nurses and they actually get paid a higher starting rate than females. There is alot of prejudice in nursing but when you see this happening, there is a problem from the head down. The managers are allowing this to happen and turn a blind eye instead of taking a stance.
    Don't let this discourage you. We are in the profession to care for the sick.
    Let things go in one ear and out the other and if you need to address a problem, do it professionally and keep your cool at all times. Good Luck
  5. 0
    Quote from Kate2233
    There are all kinds of prejudices in nursing. There are new graduates who are out of nursing school or those that are transferring into a higher level unit who are bullied by the more experienced nurses, etc. I've seen older nurses set up and let go because of their age. I don't think color has anything to do with it. Many hospitals prefer male nurses and they actually get paid a higher starting rate than females. There is alot of prejudice in nursing but when you see this happening, there is a problem from the head down. The managers are allowing this to happen and turn a blind eye instead of taking a stance.
    Don't let this discourage you. We are in the profession to care for the sick.
    Let things go in one ear and out the other and if you need to address a problem, do it professionally and keep your cool at all times. Good Luck

    thanks for that positive outlook.i guess i was still angry because of what happened to me last week, and i have not figured out how to deal with it.i just read somewhere here in this forum a comment by texasccrn that attitude is the difference between adventure and ordeal. i will laugh and move on this way.
  6. 0
    I cannot rule out some racism in nursing. Why would nursing be immune?
    And it can be from any group to any group.

    The worst situation of unwarranted discrimination against a fine nurse was by a supervisor. The nurse was written up for being one or two minutes late repeatedly. She was written up for her tone of voice on the phone. A family member complained about rude treatment and this nurse was written up.
    At the arbitration the staff nurse quietly said, "I don't know why she hates me, I am a good nurse.
    The manager blurted out, "You look just like the woman my husband left me for!"

    You just never know.
    I think your respomse was correct. Making accusations of racism could backfire and lose you the support you may need if some are unfairly victimizing you.
  7. 1
    Well there is definitely racism in nursing, I have experienced it quite a bit especially when I was a nurse tech during my college years. However, I would never let it drive me out, why give someone else that type of power over you? Also, I can assure you that racists work in every profession so there really is nowhere to hide. You are going to have to learn how to deal with this situation, that's life. I would suggest you document and look for proof and witnesses to the behavior you have witnessed. And be sure that racism really is the problem. Sometimes people are just mean and race is not the issue. If you are being targeted then don't let the perpetrators get away with it, call them out and shine the light of day on their disgusting behavior.
    Lisarnccm likes this.
  8. 2
    i personally think that there is probably less racism in nursing than in most other professions..basically because we have to depend on each other in emergencies
    i have worked with asian, black, redneck, cajun, gay m/f, canadian, english and just about anything that you can think of in between..
    some of the nurses were outstanding..some i suspected found their licenses in a box of cracker jack..but it had no relation to sex, race, sexual preference, point of orgin, level of education, pigamentation etc
    i hope that op finds some smarter nurses to work with
    pseudomonas and ohioSICUrn like this.
  9. 5
    Racism is in the world. No matter the profession...no matter what job a person in the world holds, they may be able to work their job, but excelling at people skills -- globally -- is quite the challenge for many people -- racist or not.

    I went through nursing school in the early 1980's, and most definitely came up against people who were racist (either raised to be racist, or became racist at some point in their teen to adult years for their own personal reasons).

    I have personally and professionally experienced racism, and over the past couple of years -- ageism.

    Fortunately for me, one good thing I learned from my parents was not to judge people based on their color, race, ethnic culture, how they dressed, spoke, etc. For that reason, it was pretty easy for me to blend in various social circles, more difficult but not impossible to blend in with professional circles on my job, and to always first see a person by what comes out of their mouth for what comes out of the mouth is what the person is made of...in general.

    We all get ****** when we are mad, and say things we later wish we hadn't said aloud, so I'm not talking about emotional times as this. I'm talking about our initial approach to others different than ourselves, and our continued approach to others based on our own pre-set prejudices.

    I've had patients refuse me as a nurse because I'm not white. I've had problems with staff for the same reason. I'm often mistaken by patients and staff that don't already know I'm a RN for being a CNA, housekeeping, secretary. When they ask me to get the nurse, I walk away and return by saying, you needed to see the nurse. :chuckle

    Stumbling blocks come into our path for a reason. With every stumbling block, stop and learn from it. How can you make it better. In what way can you reassure those you believe to be prejudiced against you that you are a nice person to befriend and work with? Those are times given to us to educate those who are ignorant to their approach or the vibes they are giving off.

    Dare to face every challenge in your life with a positive attitude and assertive manner so you don't get walked on, but yet you are able to confront any issue with grace.

    (((((hugs))))) Hang in there! You just be you. And be sure you aren't giving off any negative vibes in your approach to your coworkers that give the appearance of you not wanting to be professionally friendly with them.

    As you get older, you'll see things more clearly and shuck them off of you much better.
    Last edit by live4today on Jul 5, '05 : Reason: anal about spelling & sentence structure.
    TaylorDeeLPN, Lisarnccm, ybq2008, and 2 others like this.
  10. 0
    Racism is real. Many people experience the lash of racism in their lives. I do not think I have seen quite as much racism in nursing but I do see sexism and age discrimnation. I personally do not care what color a nurse is, I do care if that nurse is professional in her/his practice. With all of the problems facing humanity, this one is one of the most petty and usually founded on unproductive and faulty reasoning. I prefer to pray for the people I know who are racist and hope He opens their eyes and hearts.
  11. 0
    Quote from KCIN
    thanks for that positive outlook.i guess i was still angry because of what happened to me last week, and i have not figured out how to deal with it.i just read somewhere here in this forum a comment by texasccrn that attitude is the difference between adventure and ordeal. i will laugh and move on this way.

    I didn't see that original post, but I like it. Thanks for posting it again.

    Keep your chin up. I figure that ignorance, like people, comes in all shapes, colors, and sizes, and I try to move on. I'm sure that my experiences are probably fewer than what I suspect yours may be, but that's how I try to handle it.

    I lived in Saudi for three years and had to deal with it often due to being white and a Westerner, looking much younger than my age, and being a woman. So I have been there.
  12. 2
    Racism, or in my case homophobia, can be very frustrating because sometimes you have the feeling, but there's no "proof".

    As was stated above, I don't allow anyone to rent space in my head, and I choose my battles. Some are worth fight, some are not.

    Absolutely if you suspect racism, and have good reason/evidence, call them on it. Don't let anyone get away with it.

    Good luck to you.
    pseudomonas and Lisarnccm like this.


Top