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Could employers judge people by their names?

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by MsbossyRN MsbossyRN (New Member) New Member

MsbossyRN works as a Registered Nurse, full time mom :).

4,356 Visitors; 126 Posts

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I really should be in bed right now. But after talking to other new grads in my area that are also jobless I just wanted to get some opinions. Do you feel that people's names may prevent them from getting them a job as a nurse? I know we've all heard, silly names before and I'm just wondering would say, "Ms Poppy Sunflower" be offered a job? Or would a recruiter look at the name and be like, "heck no, trash bin"!:jester:

I'm just curious and this is not a slam to anyone who has a name that is different. Shoot my name is completly, better yet, extremly hard to prononue.:lol2: But even though my name may be hard to pronouce its not silly or childish sounding. I'm wondering would Bambie buttercup :lol2: find it easy to find employment.

I know this seems like a weird topic (blame it on sleep deprevation). But after talking to some friends about issues that they believe might be preventing them from getting jobs. I just started thinking about how names can effect landing a job as a nurse. My friend was saying her obviously ethnic name might be keeping her from employment because it might be preceived as ghetto. I usually roll my eyes whenever anyone starts swinging the golden race card(you know that card that has the innate ability to seem to be the cause of whatever the user wishes it to be. No matter even if the said offender is of the same race). :rolleyes:

But it got me thinking do we really view people by their names. I used silly examples here but is say Jennifer Rose seen as more dependble or gentle towards patients? Would Poppy sunflower be viewed for a job as maybe childish and unreliable. Would Cu'nae Alize' be percieved as ghetto and unprofessional?

Sorry for the long post. But I am curious to what others have experienced relating to this topic or stories they may have heard. I guess I should have not read the silly children's names post tonight either. :)

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2,378 Visitors; 30 Posts

I think that they can and maybe even do consciously or unconsciously. People have perceived stereotypes about certain races and until they know something to the contrary, may put you in that stereotype.

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rnlately has 6 years experience and works as a RN.

7,742 Visitors; 439 Posts

I think there have been studies done on this exact thing. A lot can be assumed about a person's name such as their nationalilty or cultural group. For example, my name is Spanish and all through high school people assumed that I was either Puertoriquena or Dominicana when all along I was and am just a down home, black southerner...lol. I feel that my name has neither hindered nor enhanced my chances of getting a job. Now on the other hand Blue Rose or Ty'zianna J'nay may experience some difficulty all because people tend to prejudge before they get to know someone. Sometimes employers can't get past the name on the resume (trust me, I've seen this happen) and will not even give it a second glance; let alone look at their qualifications. But hey, this is just my $0.02, as I am sleep deprived also...lol.

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3,175 Visitors; 64 Posts

I have seen this done before and my protests were shot down. It is even done within groups based on who may be of a certain class or financial ability within that group.

Oh, and the person was eventually hired because they were the best fit for the job.

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RN_2012 has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a RN.

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I definetly believe ones name can have a bearing on how far they get in life professionally. I took that into consideration when naming my children.

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MsbossyRN works as a Registered Nurse, full time mom :).

4,356 Visitors; 126 Posts

I think there have been studies done on this exact thing. A lot can be assumed about a person's name such as their nationalilty or cultural group. For example, my name is Spanish and all through high school people assumed that I was either Puertoriquena or Dominicana when all along I was and am just a down home, black southerner...lol. I feel that my name has neither hindered nor enhanced my chances of getting a job. Now on the other hand Blue Rose or Ty'zianna J'nay may experience some difficulty all because people tend to prejudge before they get to know someone. Sometimes employers can't get past the name on the resume (trust me, I've seen this happen) and will not even give it a second glance; let alone look at their qualifications. But hey, this is just my $0.02, as I am sleep deprived also...lol.

LMAO:D That is so close to my real name that it is scary. No really it is :) Anyway I don't think my name has ever stopped me from getting a job. But then again maybe it has, how would I know? lol Saying that you are a black southerner I wonder did you also grow up with the advise that if you have children you should try to give them the most "white" sounding name that you could in order to help them in life :rolleyes:. My grandmother would say that all the time. My first born's name is of Hawaiian descent after visiting there and making future plans to live there.. I think it is very pretty her father thinks it was very pretty. My grandmother, "That poor child will never find a job.":lol2: :smackingf

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I never thought of it that way, except with this one incident that I came across with a classmate of mine. She's an american and was married to a chinese-american guy, and took his last name. She was still married to him when she was applying for a job in an institution while pursuing her career. I heard her ask one of our classmates who is also an american, "you think I should use my middle name for the application instead of my husband's?" I asked her why 'cause I had no clue at all and was curious, and she mentioned that she might not get the interview/job because of the foreign last name. Honestly, I have no idea what she put in her application but she did get the job. Although, I don't think that the last name she used was a big factor for her to get the job because she's really smart and a nurse material.

Other people when they see me on the list thinks I'm spanish 'cause of my last name. They said it themselves face to face to me lol. Then when they see me in person, it comes down to 3 guesses: Spanish, Asian, Filipino. It's kinda weird and funny, but sometimes it gets annoying cause does it really matter? Esp when I'm being approached in public and talked to in another language I don't understand because of mistaken identity/race.

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MsbossyRN works as a Registered Nurse, full time mom :).

4,356 Visitors; 126 Posts

So far the responses have been that it not only is possible, but that it does and can happen. I just think it's unfair because people can't pick their names. My daughter has at least 2 girls in her daycare with some variation of the name Princess/La'princess. My daughter comes home fuming (she is at that princess stage, where she lives, breaths, and sleeps princess) that I did not name her princess. :)

I just wonder if that practice will come to a stop cause when all these children (really check out the crazy kids name list on this board) with "unique" names grow up maybe it will be less of a shock to see something like Apple Smith on a resume. Thanks for discussing this with me everyone. I am really curious about this topic. Off to sleep for now I'll check back in the morning.

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catshowlady works as a servant to the felines....

6,324 Visitors; 393 Posts

It does happen, sometimes for the weirdest reasons. On my unit, about 3 months before I was hired, a nurse died suddenly and tragically. There was a nurse in the first group of potential hires that shared her name, and emotion surrounding the death was so strong that the staff was unable to consider hiring the nurse with the shared name. It was not a problem for the next group of hires or thereafter, after some time had passed and emotions were not running so strongly.

:paw:

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EricJRN has 13 years experience and works as a Nurse Educator.

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Discrimination does happen based on names, but I think that email addresses (and other controllable factors) are almost as much an issue as names are. I'm not sure how blondehottieRN@... expects to be taken seriously, but that type of thing is more common than I would have expected.

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8,364 Visitors; 839 Posts

.. I just think it's unfair because people can't pick their names....

Names can be changed. They're changed all the time.

Now, it's unfair that someone would have to change their name; But if my first name was Christmas and my last name was Carol (I've seen it; it's true), I would have been down at the courthouse the day I turned 18.

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nursel56 has 25+ years experience and works as a Home health, private duty.

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I live in such a large, multi-ethnic city that thankfully I haven't seen so much actual discrimination among employers as "now how the heck do I pronounce that?!? Years ago I worked with a Korean nurse when there were not so many at my hospital who asked to be called "Kim" (her last name!) as easier to pronounce but now there are so many nurses with that last name there would be way too many "Kims" to keep track of. :) Many times hard to pronounce but very beautiful names are changed to an American-ized sounding name. Usually I prefer their original name, though.

Hopefully a name like "Poppy Sunflower" will just be blamed on Hippie-era parents, lol. Most recruiters I think could overlook something like that. If you show up to your interview in a tie-dye shirt and "earth" sandals all bets are off, though.;)

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