Hospital Bans Black Nurses From Caring for White Baby at Father's Request - page 17

Customer service run amok. I'm a Black nurse in a very white state. During my tour of Nursing Home Hell, one resident added a note to his chart saying "Caucasian caregivers only." Oddly enough, he didn't mind when he... Read More

  1. 2
    Quote from mclennan
    How each individual chooses to DEAL with their internal racism (or any "ism") is a different story.

    Interestingly, as a person of color, all too often I find the MOST offensively racist people to be the ones who beat on their chests and claim NOT to be. Often white liberal intellectuals, in their Herculean efforts to make sure everyone knows how "non-racist," "tolerant," and "accepting" they are, they sometimes only achieve 2 things: A) dictating what is and isn't offensive to people of color FOR them (a blatant abuse of their white privilege) and B) putting the focus of the discussion on THEMSELVES, which only serves to marginalize people of color FURTHER.

    Also, I often see guilty white liberal intellectuals dealing with their internal racism by "exoticizing" people of color, putting us on a pedestal to be treated as delicate museum pieces, for their reverence and pity. That is also racist, marginalize and de-humanizing. I experience some form of this and what I mentioned in the paragraph previous, pretty much every week. I am sure many non-white people know what I am talking about and can identify in some way.

    That being said: these days, intellectual, institutional, insidious racism like I just talked about is just as harmful as the Nazi hick with a swastika tattoo who doesn't want the black nurse caring for his baby. Maybe it's not obvious, because one has a knife in its pocket and their other doesn't, but read and think hard about what I wrote. Harm is harm.

    When that black nurse was on the clock, her job is to care for patients and make them and their families as comfortable as possible. It is not part of her job description to "educate" anyone in the spoils of bigotry or be a racial activist. Sorry. After that many years on the job as a black woman, she should be inured to this kind of behavior. It sucks, yes. It's stupid, sure. But it is such a pervasive fact of life in America that no single lawsuit is going to change jack. Lawsuits contribute to the problem by monetizing adversity and conflict rather than create an opportunity to discuss, dialogue and learn from each other. Why couldn't this nurse reach for a pen instead of a sword? Why litigation instead of discourse? People of color need to learn to fight for themselves at some point, instead of always being dependent on lawyers and organizations to do it for them. It only reinforces stereotypes and is self-defeating in ways we don't like to think about.

    I echo MedChica's post when I say, if the hospital overruled this dumb bigot's request and she'd cared for the baby anyway, the family would have found some other way to externalize their ignorance and hatred toward her. Believe me, she was better off steering clear of this family. They would have made her life FAR more hellish than it is now. The hospital was protecting her and itself. I understand this nurse being fed up; we all get fed up, and we all feel entitled to something to compensate for feeling that way, but by dragging lawyers in and crying 'racism,' she is fueling her own marginalization, perpetuating stereotypes, monetizing adversity, wasting energy on trying to fight a very old battle that is designed to have NO victors, and generally taking a destructive, dependent approach to this problem rather than a constructive, independent one.
    I agree with a lot of what you said, mclennon. Particularly about how some (a lot!) of white people go out of their way to show they're not racist. I'm white, and I agree it's annoying to say the least.

    I also agree in principle that this nurse pursuing a lawsuit will not be the sole difference maker, but it will be a start. And really, if she had "reached for a pen rather than a sword
    (in the form of a law suit) then her options would have been extremely limited.
    She'd have been heard, agreed with by some panel and smiled at, and then that would have been the end of it. Back to business as usual. At least if she cost them some serious money, they'll try to avoid losing that money again. Baby steps, right?

    Now let's be honest, they couldn't care less about how she felt over the matter. I'm sorry but it's true. I mean as for what you said up top that "The hospital was protecting her and itself," well you only got it half right. They were protecting themselves, period. Now, as a side effect it probably helped the nurse avoid some issues, but the nurses welfare is certainly not a priority for them to any extend over what the law makes it.
    wooh and anotherone like this.

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  2. 0
    Quote from LadyFree28
    Here's the actual court document:

    http://ftpcontent.worldnow.com/wnem/...3124455389.pdf

    Again, the hospital ultimately realized they could not do that...too little, too late...Forewarned is Forearmed, like I said in a post...you can't violate the 14th Amendment, and/or the Civil Rights act folks...that's the response if this "preference" comes up...no matter what the setting. "Preference" has its limits.
    Thanks for the link, LadyFree28.

    I'd like to add that it was not "Too little, too late," as even after the hospitals attorney informed them that it was illegal to reassign they still for the next month assigned strictly non Black nurses to the baby. It was "Nothing done at all except tell the father his request could no longer be granted, but then in practice grant it anyway!"

    I'm sorry, but if what was in that link was accurate I hope the hospital pays, and has it's name changed to "Tonya Battle Hospital" when this is all over. (ok the last was a little too far, but still...)
  3. 1
    Quote from wooh
    And if HE is threatening staff, HE doesn't need to be in the room.


    Everyone that's for accomodation seems to think it would be easy to just reassign.
    But when I make an assignment, I take into account the special needs of all the patients, and the special skills of all the nurses. It's one thing for a patient making an unreasonable request to get not as good care as they would if they quit making dumb requests. But when OTHER PATIENTS aren't getting the care they should get, that's when the real problem starts.
    The next night, the best nurse for the racist baby (baby isn't racist, but for nickname sake) is black. That baby suffers because of dad's stupid request. Well, it's the family's own fault. But the only nurse lily white enough for racist baby is also the best nurse to be caring for a couple of other babies on the unit. Those other babies have to take the second-best choice simply because of skin color now. Is that ok too?
    I didn't look at it from that point of view. Everywhere I have worked, it might be inconvenient to change assignments, but everyone has basically the same skill set, so it wasn't really a big deal. Personally, I would want the best nurse for me to take care of me.

    It is a crazy world we live in sometimes. I can't imagine people refusing a nurse for a reason that doesn't matter in the end.
    wooh likes this.
  4. 3
    Quote from flashpoint
    If someone doesn't want me to care for them, I would hope that my assignment would be changed. I don't think we should have to accommodate such requests, but I think they protect the nurse who the patient doesn't want. If I didn't want a certain nurse to care for me and something went wrong, the first thing I would say is, "I knew something would go wrong if she/he was my nurse." It is impossible to fairly decide which requests should be met and which should not. The hospital I work at staffs only two nurses at night. Often an RN and an LPN. We have one male RN who is from Senegal. If we have that RN on with an LPN and the patient doesn't want a black male caring for them, who starts the IV? Who does the RN assessment? Who gives the IV meds? Should the patient be told they are out of luck or should we call in an RN to care for them?
    pt should be told .... too bad , and s/he can refuse any treatment. hospital and staff should have no obligation to go find another nurse. ever been the nurse switched into these assignments? frankly, i also resent that.
  5. 1
    The hospital was very wrong and I know that it will settle out of court. Handsomely!
    PRICHARILLAisMISSED likes this.
  6. 2
    Quote from Kandake
    No wonder racists can thrive in a multicultural society, people will simply bend over backwards to accommodate their beliefs.
    I wish I could like this 1000x. The excuses are comical as well.
  7. 1
    Quote from PRICHARILLAisMISSED

    Thanks for the link, LadyFree28.

    I'd like to add that it was not "Too little, too late," as even after the hospitals attorney informed them that it was illegal to reassign they still for the next month assigned strictly non Black nurses to the baby. It was "Nothing done at all except tell the father his request could no longer be granted, but then in practice grant it anyway!"

    I'm sorry, but if what was in that link was accurate I hope the hospital pays, and has it's name changed to "Tonya Battle Hospital" when this is all over. (ok the last was a little too far, but still...)
    I was sarcastic with "too little too late"

    Yup, Battle Hospital will be a fitting name...

    If anything, this will, I hope, allow the "customer service" model to be changed permanently...the days of bending over sooooo far backwards to the point people fold over for nonsense and to the point that civil liberties are violated occurs too much and people choose to remain silent.

    While some people choose to be relative and not say something, she made a choice and advocated for what was right. She went through every channel possible BEFORE she filed the lawsuit. She wanted a valid change. She advocated for herself, as well as she is advocating for many who choose not to speak up and feel *****ed on and come here to rant-I don't know how many people say that their pts are demanding, family members throwing themselves in front of code carts, PLENTY of threads on here...etc, etc...this one's for you...the "customer is always right" model has made some monsters, and this one was three headed.

    I hope every possible hospital is learning from this, as well as countless nurses who do speak up, and not just fold over to accommodations and prevent ALL nurses the ability to provide care. The nurse-pt relationship is a right as well as a responsibility, and the focus is the best pt care; when it comes to life or death, you want someone to save you and get the best care, and that goes across race, belief, gender, etc. When I needed care, and had a traumatic crisis, I wasn't screaming out, "I want a black female like me!!!" That's not like me, but when you have a life in the balance, that **** really goes through the window, and for those who have the hang up, have a choice to leave...and that needs to be enforced day in day out.

    Everybody needs health care...we are not going out of business, despite this horrible economy. When one leaves, there are thousands waiting to get care. We'll be okay-no, BETTER, without the nonsense, I truly believe that.
    PRICHARILLAisMISSED likes this.
  8. 2
    Quote from flashpoint
    I didn't look at it from that point of view. Everywhere I have worked, it might be inconvenient to change assignments, but everyone has basically the same skill set, so it wasn't really a big deal. Personally, I would want the best nurse for me to take care of me.

    It is a crazy world we live in sometimes. I can't imagine people refusing a nurse for a reason that doesn't matter in the end.
    Hard to imagine as it may be patients refuse nurses even in these modern times all and sundry reasons.

    For instance even here in NYC it often takes the skills of a seasoned diplomat to get around various "requests":

    Women who do not wish to be cared for by a male nurse
    Women who do not wish to be cared for by an obviously "gay" male nurse
    Women who do not wish to be cared for by a black male nurse
    Women who do not wish to be cared for by any non-white nurse (AA, Philippine, etc...)

    Men who do not wish to to be cared for by a gay male nurse
    Men who do not wish to be cared for by a male nurse
    Men who do not wish to be cared for by a transgender nurse

    And so it goes.

    Can recount jaw dropping accounts from nurses one has known who left a shift nearly in tears (or headed for the nearest bar) after suffering what can only be described as a marathon session of passive-aggressive behaviour from their patient.

    Once it becomes clear their direct or indirect request for "another" nurse is turned down the fun starts. Transgender nurses repeatedly called "he" or "sir". LGBT nurses called "that" or by a gender they are not. Ignoring or otherwise refusing to acknowledge a minority nurse when he or she enters the room or makes a request/asks a question.

    NYC being a sue happy place administration and staff often find themselves walking on egg shells.
    kalevra and anotherone like this.
  9. 1
    Lets not forget that in our old history it was black slaves who delivered babies, provided breast milk for white babies and provided lots of nursing care for each other and for the "masters" family. I'm just saying. And the fact Is that yes AA"s are more sensitive about racial issues because if our past and because in 2013 racism Is obviously still alive and kicking. How can a group not be sensitive especially when it keeps popping up? I think sometimes it boils down to how a group responds especially after a negative past. Hmmm what if a white woman doctor was refused by a male pt because he felt women weren't really smart enough to be good doctors? I think that white women would have an issue with that especially if her the institution she practiced at allowed such a request there would be a law suit. Why? Because women have had a history of gender discrimination and are more sensitive about the issue then lets say a man who never had that in his past. Some things are just not ok and I don't care what the pts wishes are some things cannot be tolerated. I know there are cultural groups that like to perform certain rituals in the hospital setting. Sometimes the healthcare facility can accommodate and sometimes they have to tell them no. And yes if this were me I wouldn't want that patient but I think it's respectful to ask the nurse first what her decision was and the unit should not have told the father or posted in the chart no aa nurses for the patient.
    Kandake likes this.
  10. 2
    i have seen a few pts want only female nurses but prefer male drs as they are "smarter". it is astonishingly that our society has come so far despite so many backwards people. progress in other areas is hindered by these beliefs and preferences
    barbyann and PRICHARILLAisMISSED like this.


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