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Dealing with the Prejudiced (long post:sorry)...

Nurses   (5,949 Views | 40 Replies)

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Hmmm. My young rebellious self used to think I would take the assignment of the blatant racist and enjoy watching them squirm because I was all they were gonna get. My old mellowed out self is getting to the point where I don't care anymore. Too many scars from being young and rebellious. Too many patients who had no problem saying, "I don't accept n-ggers in my home" or, "I prefer not to have a colored nurse - nothing against YOU personally, ya know" kinda BS.

To answer another question, yes, it's mostly the elderly with these attitudes. I found from working both in the southern states and northern states that southerners have a much easier time callling you a n-gger to your face. The northerners will whisper or go around you to ask for another assignment. The good thing is most of these people will die soon. The bad thing is a lot of their children were raised the same way.

And so it goes.

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82 Posts; 2,469 Profile Views

This is really tough...as Vegas and Colleen pointed out, we aren't going to change these patients' intrinsic and bigoted beliefs, which in many cases were formed before we left the cradle. The most, perhaps, that we can hope for is a grudging concession that "Well, you aren't as bad as most of those..." I am a white woman and haven't experienced as much of this prejudice as some of my peers have; for that reason, I've felt the need to be protective of them when in authority positions-unfairly, perhaps, as indicated by some of your posts. And hidden prejudice is harder yet; I've had some of the most seemingly-kind and gracious patients shock the daylights out of me by voicing prejudicial epithets.

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BBFRN has 15 years experience as a BSN, PhD and specializes in Trauma,ER,CCU/OHU/Nsg Ed/Nsg Research.

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Originally posted by dianthe1013

Well, I'm glad you don't take my comments as an "affront" to your culture, because it's my culture, too. :D I don't watch The Sopranos, and I am not basing my comments on what I see as an "outsider."

 

The reason I used this example is because I have seen it. I have seen other things, as well, but I thought I'd present an example that was less likely to happen as often so as to highlight the absurdity of it.

 

I'm sorry if you assumed that I meant all little old Italian men are bastards who think women should be seen and not heard. That was not my intent. My intent was to show how closely related racial bias and cultural "tradition" can be. I chose an example within my own ethnic group so as not to be "smacked down"...and it happened anyway. ;) Goes to show, y'know?

 

Donna :kiss

Sorry, but I still think that there is a big difference between cultural tradition and racial bias.

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LilgirlRN is a ADN, RN and specializes in ED staff.

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I'm often called in to start an IV when no one else can get it, I often hear "Oh good they sent someone in who knows what she's doing". This is often from a person who has had either a male nurse or a black nurse or heaven forbid a black male nurse who happens to be gay. I always tell the patient that it's not because I am white that I can stick you, it's because I've been doing this for so long. It makes me mad too, not only the prejudism against my coworkers but to assume that I have a skill just because I happen to be caucasian. Get this a lot more with the elderly than I do young folks.

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49 Posts; 1,652 Profile Views

In my icu, we pretty much shield staff from any hateful behaviors by patients. "oh, you don't like sharon because her butt is too big? ok, we'll change the assignment so you don't have her." ok, i'm exaggerating, but too often when a patient or family dislikes a nurse, it's due to a childish, small minded reason: their color, their accent, their 80's hairdo, but very rarely has anything to do with actual skill or the care they provide. i work with a bunch of generally good people, and i figure they shouldn't have to be submitted to the bad vibes, so i would vote for just avoiding the situation in most situations. though when i am caring for a patient that makes an off hand comment about anouther nurse that i feel is based on some form of small mindedness, i usually just look at them like i have no idea what they are talking about (wow, jim is chinese? i hadn't noticed!) and only reply that they are a really great nurse and how much i like them personally. :D

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349 Posts; 7,059 Profile Views

Originally posted by yodakelly

ok, i'm exaggerating, but too often when a patient or family dislikes a nurse, it's due to a childish, small minded reason: their color, their accent, their 80's hairdo...

That's it! All you nurses with the 80s hairdos, you're outta here! :chuckle

On a serious note, I have yet to experience any blatant racism to my face or a patient refusing my care for any reason. The closest I've come is hearing in report, "I think he/she is a racist." But when I go in the room and introduce myself, I get no weird vibes, funny looks, or hostility. I'm sure I have unknowingly taken care of racists (working in La and all). But as long as they keep it to themselves, we won't have any problems.

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134 Posts; 3,245 Profile Views

I have to say that I have seen racism first hand and I am a white CNA. I had an 80something year old black male tell me that he only allowed black women to assist him. And he would flat out tell me to leave him the hell alone anytime I went in to touch him. Then again, I have a 79year old black man presently who only likes white women, go figure. Prejudice comes in all shapes and sizes. I think that as long as a patient is cooperative, don't change the nurse unless he/she wants a new assignment. But if the patient is being really rude and nasty, speak to the charge nurse and change the assignment until someone can let the patient know that either he/she accepts the nurses they are assigned or they may request to be transferred somewhere else. The last patient I mentioned is cooperative even though he reminds us everyday who he prefers. He never says rude or nasty comments he just states his preference and he gets whoever is there. We don't make a switch and he understands that, whether he really likes it or not. And he's never once complained about the care he has received. As far as cultures and racism, sometimes they can go hand and hand. But that is a judgement call and everyone will have different opinions. Theres no need to argue about it. I believe that a hospital is for treatment and not a hotel. If you want it your way, go to Burger King.

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835 Posts; 9,821 Profile Views

Originally posted by cna on her way

...If you want it your way, go to Burger King.

:D I like the way you think! :D

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603 Posts; 6,753 Profile Views

My best friend's mom has Alzheimers. This is someone I've known since I was 8 years old. She was one of the most liberal people I've ever met (two of her four children have interracial marriages and children). She was an active leader in her community and church and her home was open to everyone. I never heard a bad word about anyone (much less any racial epithets) in all the time I've known her -- and I spent as much time at her house as I did at my own.

HOWEVER...she is now in her 80s, doesn't know who most of the important people in her life are, and says some of the most awful racial things I have heard in years. I am STILL flabbergasted at hearing it for myself.

I guess what I am trying to say is that some people may have organic-related personality changes. Doesn't make it nicer if you have to deal with it, but might help you ignore it.

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49 Posts; 1,652 Profile Views

researchrabbit,

that reminds me of "gertrude" the mean old lady that rolled up and down the halls of the LTC where i worked as a cna, cursing like a sailor and swinging like one too. her family swore she never said a four letter word in her life, and was a sweet and kind person as long as they had known her.

OBD amazes the heck out of me. I just don't get it.

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158 Posts; 3,836 Profile Views

Originally posted by yodakelly

 

that reminds me of "gertrude" the mean old lady that rolled up and down the halls of the LTC where i worked as a cna, cursing like a sailor and swinging like one too. her family swore she never said a four letter word in her life, and was a sweet and kind person as long as they had known her.

Then I should be the most docile nursing home resident around when my time comes, right?

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44 Posts; 1,821 Profile Views

Originally posted by researchrabbit

My best friend's mom has Alzheimers. This is someone I've known since I was 8 years old. She was one of the most liberal people I've ever met (two of her four children have interracial marriages and children). She was an active leader in her community and church and her home was open to everyone. I never heard a bad word about anyone (much less any racial epithets) in all the time I've known her -- and I spent as much time at her house as I did at my own.

 

HOWEVER...she is now in her 80s, doesn't know who most of the important people in her life are, and says some of the most awful racial things I have heard in years. I am STILL flabbergasted at hearing it for myself.

 

I guess what I am trying to say is that some people may have organic-related personality changes. Doesn't make it nicer if you have to deal with it, but might help you ignore it.

when i get 80, i think i would be prejudiced too. only cute nurses are allowed to take care of me hehehe.......... :D

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