Are you afraid to approach minority staff members? WHY? - page 2

It's been said that racism and discrimination runs both ways. White nurses complain that minorities gather together and exclude them from conversations. Minorities say that they are passed over for... Read More

  1. by   cactus wren
    Here in Az. i work in a small hospital that has mainly White nurses, the Cnas are either Hispanic or Native American...We had a couple of NA nurses, but they left to go to work at IHS.
    While in NM (also a rural hospital) White was the exception...Most staff were NA or Hispanic....Went to nursing school in Gallup, NM....30 students...5 White,4 Hispanic,1 from Pakistan, and the rest came from 4 different tribes, Was very Inforative, I learned lots about the difference between different tribes.....many don`t like each other......
    But, I have trouble with "Indian time" Over the years I have had many friends and coworkers who are NA, and I`ve decided that they just don`t comprehend"White mans time".Pretty soon may mean anywhere from 2 minutes to 2 weeks.....drives me kinda nuts.....( Side note....husband was NA, and he was always late....even to his own funeral...truth...butthat`s another story).
    Other than that quirk, I have never had any problem with any coworkers....but maybe that`s just me...I`ve always judged people by their actions, not their skin color or religion, or any other of that type of difference......
  2. by   whipping girl in 07
    Yay!!! This thread is on general, where it belongs!!!!
  3. by   P_RN
    Our VP for Nursing is African American. (Female)
    The VP for Childrens Hospital is Hispanic.(Female)
    The Risk Manager/Nurse Attorney is Asian.(Female)
    Weekend Director is African American. (Male)
    Assistant Nurse Manager is Hispanic.

    I'm crazy about all of them. So as far as I'm concerned
    no problems at all.
  4. by   shannonRN
    awesome are one brave lady!

    i do not treat people differently based on sex, religion, race, me a human-being is a human-being and deserves to be treated like one. just the other day there was a family sleeping on the floor of one of our waiting areas. had the pillows and blankets laid out on the floor (you get the picture). well, was walking out with some coworkers, some black and some white. i asked if we should have security talk to them. the one replied no, leave them alone they are black (she was too). i said would you report them if they were white (i am white) and she said yes?! ***** if it is inappropriate for some then why isn't it inappropriate for all?
    Originally posted by cactus wren I`ve always judged people by their actions, not their skin color or religion, or any other of that type of difference......
    and i think that is how it should be!
  5. by   Chellyse66
    Ok here goes:
    1. Professionally speaking (no pun intended)
    It bothers me when any group of individuals begins speaking in a different rhetoric in front of patients families and co-workers which is excluding in nature and intentionally (ex. Filipino, Haitian,african american slang,creole) I think you should be aware of people around you and how it makes them feel.

    2. It bothers me when excuses are made for anyones behavior when discrimination is the undertone
    (ie. She was brought up in the South, or White people owe the black people, He or she is gay/ lesbian)
    You need to be responsible regardless!!!

    3. I bothers me when management does not want to address an an issue because it "might become racial", or an african american claims "they are doing it because I am black" (I am not saying that there are no cases when this is a truth I am expressing I have seen this issue exploited too)
    4. Professionals that claim I do not understand something because of the language culture barrier but are using it as an excuse to get out of a particular work related scenario, I have seen this happen too frequently.
    5. It bothers me when someone of my race approaches me and uses derogatory slurs under there breath about someone else, and I call them out for it.
    It is like they assume I am going to automatically agree because I am of the same race.
    I hope I am expressing myself correctly, it is difficult to write about these things easier for me to express verbally.
    6. I do not like disparity of treatment for any reason, racially, sexually, mentally ill, poor, rich.....And people do this!!

    Just my honest ramblings
  6. by   TheLionessRN
    I am from a very small town. I had not worked with a lot of people of color in my life. When I started nursing, I finally got to work with a few black ladies. A clerk, a CNA and an RN. I made friend with the secretary when I got to day shift. I would ask her anything, because I was curious about her upbringing. She and I have almost nothing in common,...she is older than I am, and she grew up in this town from birth, etc, but what connected us the most was the fact that we are both Christians, and in that, we are sisters. Because she came to know my heart, I felt comfortable asking her about things I was genuinely curious about with regards to the experience of growing up black in the south during segregation. We had great talks when there was time to talk.

    I think that connecting with humans on any level possible is the best way to live life. Having grown up in two different cultures, I think I was priveleged to see two different patterns of thought. (moved to TN from MI when I was 11) Racism on any level, coming from any direction is distressing to me. I don't personally understand it, and have tried to rais my children to be color blind.

    What I am saying in a round about way is, I am curious about black people. I don't seek out or avoid anyone....heaven knows I barely leave the house when I don't work. Whenever I have the opportunity to be with a black person, I go out of my way to get to know that person, because that is how one learns. So, is this wrong? Is it "condecending"? I would honestly like to know.

    More later, my eyes are drooping. Thanks for the opportunity to vent in here, LV.
  7. by   jnette
    Professionalism comes in all colors.
    Ignorance comes in all colors.
    Love comes in all colors.
    Hate comes in all colors.

    That said, I have never had any problems with coworkers of any race. I find that people (of any intelligence) will treat you according to how they are treated by you. Those that don't fit in the above category I don't worry about.

    I WILL say, however, that I have been looked upon with "curiosity" ?...(for lack of a better word)... by some fellow whites when mingling with blacks or taking their side on some issues. But, that, too, goes both ways. I have found that much is geographical...where you are in the country...and how much personal exposure you have had to races different from your own.

    My thought has always been "how can you get to know someone or about their race/culture if you don't mingle, ask honest questions, even be honest enough to share your previous misconceptions instilled by hearsay of your own race?"
    My dad had a neat little wooden plaque in the foyer when I was growing up:
    " If white is good and black is bad..then all my friends are striped and plaid."
    Last edit by jnette on Oct 15, '02
  8. by   stressedlpn
    I get to win all the way around, my family is affectionaly called the rainbow bunch, daughter is filipino, son is black, mom was Indian, dad is irish, sometimes we get stares where we go, most of the time we dont, we live in mostly an all white community( sorry yall it is to early in the morning for me to try to spell all the politicaly correct terms)
    As for at work I do not see in differance between the races, we all mingle down in the trenches so to speak, sometimes the pts get a little cruel but we just slug it off, I had one pt who asked ,e what are you any way your not all white, but you dont look hispanic either ,(she was white) I just laughed at her and told her I was of exotic stock, most of our docs in this area are from India, or hispanic, they are the most popular docs,
    now as for racisim in hte community, I may have to relocate when the kids get older, I have had numerous people not of white skin tell me I was raising the kids to be too white, the white folks ask me how I plan on raising them, my answer is simply they will be strong christian adults with the values I pass on to them, I do try to educate the kids on their histories, I have several filipino friends that are teaching lori, and several black friends that are around chris.
    at work we are all treated like crap no matter the color of our skin, we are treated equally sh@#%y
    Great thread Vegas,
  9. by   researchrabbit
    My working groups have always been racially mixed. In small groups there are always some problems on both sides but rarely ever enough to poison the working relationship (more whiny than anything and tends to go away over time if everyone ignores it); I've noticed a lot more tension between day shift and night shift (regardless of race, religion, and sexual orientation) than between ethnic groups.

    When I moved to Kansas for five years, I worked at the University. Being the person I am (I think I was a puppy in a former life), I always talk to people I see every day whether I know them or not (a friend once described this as "face friends") Oklahoma, where strangers of whatever origin will spontaneously discuss macaroni brands with you in the grocery store, this was not weird. In Kansas, it was not the norm.

    White people & Asian Americans at my institution generally walked down the halls quickly and without looking at me or anyone else. African Americans were more likely to look at me and smile, and respond if I said something. Hispanic folks smiled if I smiled first, but it took awhile for them to warm up and talk to me.

    Now, when I worked there I was in the halls and on the floors every day. I got so tired of being invisible that when I saw someone I'd seen before I'd wave so hugely that they couldn't miss can't imagine the startled looks I got at first. It took a while for some people to warm up to me (it took one older Asian American male MD two years to finally break into a little smile and wave back).

    Sometimes it's prejudice when people don't interact. But more often I think it's shyness, or "we've never done it that way". Sometimes it's fear of rejection by the other group. Or cultural differences that each group may perceive as rejection or conceit from the other group. one gets out of interacting with me!
  10. by   itsme
    I work in a very small facility, and we have 2 foreign staff members. I find them interesting, and very qualified to do there work. They teach me phrases in there language, and I teach them what some of our so called slang means! We have a wonderful relationship, and treat each other as equals. Not everyone there does though. I just like to think that you can learn something from anyone if you give them a chance and are sincere.
  11. by   live4today
    stressedlpn.....I, like you, am from 'EXOTIC STOCK'...
    A little of this......a little of that......who knows....I'm just HERE...that's about all I know. :chuckle

    Although I have encountered racial indifference from others of all races (including my own), I have never once in my life mistreated anyone because of their ethnic, cultural, racial, or religious background. So, when I die, it will be known by all who really knew me that I embraced every man, woman, and child that ever crossed paths in my life....regardless of whether they liked me or not. Ya'll have a nice day, and be good to one another. Life is short.....we are all just one breath away from meeting Old Man Winter (Death). :kiss
  12. by   teeituptom
    Howdy yall
    from deep in the heart of texas

    Hi LV, intersting topic you brought up. It has some interesting and some bland responses. Do you think you are ready for mine. I dont know, hhmmmmmmmm

    First lets start with your question of congregating. Either Im blind or I dont notice, or I dont pay attention. My wifey says I have a limited attention span. Can you believe that. I have worked for a long time and in a variety of institutions. I havent particularly noticed any congregating. Maybe Ive been just too busy to pay attention. Maybe the only people who notice congregating are those who are a little prejudiced or obviously arent working hard enough.
    As far as minorities being in the higher positions. Most of the house supervisors I know are either asiatic or black or irish. What is it about those irish, I dont know.. So I cant say I have seen all that much in the way of disparity. The only people Ive seen move up into the higher jobs are the ones who want to. I have a friend, one of my golfing buddies whos gone up into administration and is doing quite well for himself as an individual, he just happens to be Hispanic.
    Now I have got to admit I do see golfers tend to congregate together in nursing. But nongolfing nurses despise hearing us talk about golfing, so that seems normal. Or matbe Im just attuned to that issue.. But to Konnie, you have got to understand what goes on in a golfers head. If dont want to then, just leave us golfers alone, were harmless, unless we are waving a 4 iron,

    Oh and LV I will never put on a Flaming suit. One I dont flame. Im not the type to flame, and never will be the type to flame. Besides I dont even own a single solitary suit. I am also not the suit type, not by a long shot. My wife wants me to buy a suit But Im more interested in a new set of golf clubs. Does that surprise you. I do have sweat suits, and exercise suits and golf suits, and am occasiomal blue jean, even some plaid shirts and a cowboy hat. I guess thats a cowboy suit. Im just a simple old country boy who wants to be like Jack Nicklaus, or Arnie, But probably more like Craig Stadler in nature.
    Does this help a little

    doo wah ditty
  13. by   teeituptom
    Howdy yall
    from deep in the heart of texas

    Oh by the way LV, I looked in the dictionary and it doesnt have doo wah ditty in it. And I looked in the thesauras and it didnt hae teeitup in it. So I prompyly threw them both away.

    doo wah ditty