Nursing student alleges discrimination

  1. 9 http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/ar...ectid=10569218
    A Chinese nursing student is taking her tutors and university to the Human Rights Commission, accusing them of failing her in her final year of her bachelor of nursing course because of her accent.
    "To say my English is not good enough is just an excuse. I feel that what they have done is discriminatory, especially to the Chinese, because we are penalised not for our lack of knowledge or ability, but simply because of how we talk."

    Ms Tang, who holds a bachelor of english degree and is a former English lecturer at a university in China, said she was confident of her written English ability. Before enrolling at Unitec, Ms Tang said she was a bilingual teacher at Kingsland Institute and taught English to other immigrants.
    This is very sad as we really need more Chinese speaking nurses here. What is even sadder is that as an immigrant, I am all to familiar with the xenophobia here in NZ. English is my first language and I came here to work in an area of serious shortage, but have been thwarted at every turn. But the issues NZ has with "Asians" is unbelievable. References to "Asian drivers" are made on TV and in the media. Tearoom discussions here surrounding topics like the "Asian invasion" are not uncommon.

    While there are a great deal of immigrant nurses from India, South Africa, Fiji. Samoa, Tonga and the Phillipines, you see very little representation of our numbers in leadership or management positions. It is all very out there should anyone choose to look or listen. I hope this woman wins her case.
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  3. Visit  aklgap profile page

    About aklgap, BSN

    aklgap has '18' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'ICU, ED, Palliative Care, Education'. From 'Auckland, Auckland, NZ'; 48 Years Old; Joined Oct '00; Posts: 415; Likes: 510.

    109 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  leslie :-D profile page
    4
    well, by suing, others will be able to eval her skill in talking english.
    if she communicates intelligibly, she will likely win.
    if not, i hope she accepts it and continues in augmenting her abilities.

    i wish her well.

    leslie
    SilentfadesRPA, barbyann, lindarn, and 1 other like this.
  5. Visit  My_brain_hurts profile page
    2
    I will admit all cultures are different and what is seen as "friendly" in one culture may not be the same in other cultures (and therefore expressed differently). I work with many philipinos (spell???), some nurses from India, some from China, and we all get along and have a great time. I'm "american", white, caucasion, whatever the pc term is

    People who make blanket statement about people from other countries, other races/ethnic groups, or really blanket statements about ANYTHING really ought to stop and think hard before posting. This kind of discussion makes my skin crawl in a very very bad way Everybody is different, that's what makes life interesting!!!!
    lamazeteacher and RN1982 like this.
  6. Visit  VickyRN profile page
    5
    Moderator's note: Please keep this thread on target and avoid rude or racist remarks which threaten to derail the thread. The topic concerns a Chinese nursing student's allegations of discrimination in the country of New Zealand. All off topic posts will be removed. Thank you and carry on...
    LuLu2008, talaxandra, pagandeva2000, and 2 others like this.
  7. Visit  FireStarterRN profile page
    3
    I believe that healthcare workers in an English speaking nation need to be able to fluently and clearly speak English. This woman would better spend the next year improving her English skills, rather than pursuing a lawsuit.
    ToxicShock, Castymiss, and BradleyRN like this.
  8. Visit  algebra_demystified profile page
    4
    I think we need to have more nursing schools in the US. We have an unemployment problem, it would be much better to train our own people to become nurses than to import more people.
    ToxicShock, TuTonka, MLMRN1120, and 1 other like this.
  9. Visit  BradleyRN profile page
    6
    "Linda Tang, 42, who last week decided to drop out of her course at Unitec because she believed the tutors were making it impossible for her to pass."
    People have all sorts of excuses as to why they couldnt pass nursing school. Just the fact that this woman has a tutor shows that she obviously wasnt getting the material on her own. If you look at the statistics, Chinese people make up 12% of the class the first year, 17% the second year, and 19% in the third. This means that more people are failing from other nationalities than Chinese. The best excuse this woman has for failing is that she DROPPED OUT! She should sue herself. You cant whine your way into nursing. :spin:
    ToxicShock, ®Nurse, MLMRN1120, and 3 others like this.
  10. Visit  Junebugfairy profile page
    0
    at my ns, and i am sure others can chime in as well, but students who do not speak english as a native language must take a special test. i believe it is called toel.. something like that...

    i would imagine that other countries may have the same requirements, but i could be mistaken.

    if you drop out you will automatically fail, and it is no ones fault but your own.
  11. Visit  irkedoneSN profile page
    4
    Having nurses from different cultural backgrounds is essential in health care. Our clients are multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and have different views about their health and well-being and different views on how to achieve and maintain their optimum health. Here in New Orleans, we have a large vietnamese-american community and as of yet very few vietnamese healthcare workers. The subtleties of any culture can not be learned, and having nurses and other members of the health care team that understand the client can only promote positive outcomes.

    I agree that the nurse discussed by the OP should be able to be fluent in her adopted country's language, but it sounds like she is! Her accent does not effect her understanding of the language or her ability to communicate with the other team members. If she has made it to her last year of school, what is different about her now?
    ekm, talaxandra, Not_A_Hat_Person, and 1 other like this.
  12. Visit  yetanotheramanda profile page
    2
    Quote from BradleyRN
    "Linda Tang, 42, who last week decided to drop out of her course at Unitec because she believed the tutors were making it impossible for her to pass."
    People have all sorts of excuses as to why they couldnt pass nursing school. Just the fact that this woman has a tutor shows that she obviously wasnt getting the material on her own. If you look at the statistics, Chinese people make up 12% of the class the first year, 17% the second year, and 19% in the third. This means that more people are failing from other nationalities than Chinese. The best excuse this woman has for failing is that she DROPPED OUT! She should sue herself. You cant whine your way into nursing. :spin:

    I totally agree. Those statistics are pretty telling, IMO. The school does NOT seem to have a problem with Chinese people in general. It is possible that one (or even a few) TUTORS are being discriminatory towards this specifis student, but tutors are not in charge of who passes or fails (at least not at my school...perhaps her school is different?)
    She seems like an intelligent woman, so I bet it was a big shock for her to even need a tutor in the first place. Nursing school is DIFFERENT from other schools, we all know that. I bet she just can't believe that she is (potentially) just not "cut out" for nursing...and is looking for someone else to blame.
    Just my
    coffee4metech and BradleyRN like this.
  13. Visit  aklgap profile page
    2
    I wish people would read the article before they jump to conclusions. This woman scored a 6.5 on her IELTS (pretty good) and has a BA in English. Furthermore, instuctors here are called "tutors." I would guess that many Americans outside of my circle are just as racist as NZers when it comes to the Chinese.
    ekm and fortune-teller like this.
  14. Visit  nerdtonurse? profile page
    1
    I am bilingual, but I'd be ramping up my Spanish much, MUCH further than my 3 years of it in college -- I've written spanish language interfaces for computer programs, and have given computer training in Spanish, I may be able to read Cervantes's La Galatea and Don Quixote in the originial Spanish, but that doesn't mean I'd feel comfortable working as a nurse in Mexico City or Madrid. Fluency in a language doesn't automatically imply fluency in the specialized sub-language of nursing. Just because I can discuss "los bancos de datos" doesn't mean I know how to discuss "bladder training" in Spanish....
    vintagestudent likes this.
  15. Visit  yetanotheramanda profile page
    5
    Quote from chigap
    I wish people would read the article before they jump to conclusions. This woman scored a 6.5 on her IELTS (pretty good) and has a BA in English. Furthermore, instuctors here are called "tutors." I would guess that many Americans outside of my circle are just as racist as NZers when it comes to the Chinese.

    Having a difference of opinion does not make a person racist. I have seen no one write anything derogotory about Chinese people (apparently there were some comments but they were removed...as they should have been).

    I really hate to think that this woman was discriminated against because of her ethnicity. Without knowing the whole story (none of us do) it still sounds a little fishy to me. I mean, the school seems to have a decent % of Chinese students...so why are they only discriminating against her? Sure, she has a previous degree and she sounds intelligent, but that does not always translate into the critical thinking skills that are necessary to be successful in nursing school. I personally think she showed very poor judgement by dropping out. She would have made a better case for herself if she had finished the course and been failed by her TUTORS.

    If she was discriminated against... then I say: go get 'em girl. There is no excuse for such things in the CARING profession of nursing.
    Last edit by VickyRN on Apr 29, '09
    coffee4metech, MLMRN1120, Batman24, and 2 others like this.


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