Diversity and Cultural Awareness Rant

  1. First off, I passed peds/OB. I LOVED peds! I'm headed to my last clinical rotation, psychiatric nursing, on Monday. YEAH!

    So, can anyone recommend hospital systems that are recognized for their diverse workforce and cultural awareness? I attend a diploma program in Pittsburgh and my classmates, GENERALLY SPEAKING, are incredibly narrow-minded. One of my classmates, widely known as a homophobe, racist, and sexist, recently threatened me because I am gay and, as a result, I had to have a meeting with him and the course coordinator. What bothers me more is that none of my classmates who heard our exchange came to my defense. The hospital where I completed my pediatrics rotation has a lot of Amish patients and we were advised to think twice before entering an elevator with several of them because we may be overwhelmed by their collective body odor. The same thing was said about Muslim patients. Did I mention that these sentiments were expressed by my instructor?!?!?! And she has a master's degree!

    This, of course, is a perfect segue to my next thought: why do so many nurses with master's degrees know nothing about anything outside of nursing? Where are the nurses, advanced degree or not, who have more altruistic aspirations? Johns Hopkins? WHERE?

    Well, thank you for listening to my rant! These experiences make me feel like a complete outsider in my nursing program and, as a result, I want nothing to do with the majority of my classmates.
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    About BPPITT

    Joined: May '05; Posts: 47; Likes: 2


  3. by   Anagray
    I am so sorry for your experience and everything that you are feeling. I never had to face what you are going through, but as an outsider I can relate to how it feels to be treated "differently".
    I'm thinking that you are just in such a place where people ignorant. I work in a Catholic hospital in mid-state NY and even though many say we do not have enough diversity, I think that we are doing OK - I work with people of all kinds, I went to school with people of all kinds and in my hospital we have 2 transgendered nurses that I
    know of, a gay couple working on the same unit doing the same thing, on my unit alone we have 2 gay nurses, and noone so far has had any problems.

    I am actually surprised that the
    student that behaved inapropriately was not expelled and the dean did not give a huge speech about discrimination, because this is what would happen in my school. I think if in my class this incident occured, the studen who was making trouble would be disdained actually and noone would talk to HIM.

    I feel so bad for you but I don't really know how to help, because this seems so surreal! it is 21 century after all.

    Good luck !! I hope things get better for you.
  4. by   cargalrn
    I work in a Pittsburgh suburban hospital. We have alot of male and foreign nurses and everyone for the most part is very friendly, co mpetent and professional. Please contact me if you would like more information. Youwould probably get a sign on bonus and we do really need you!
  5. by   BPPITT
    Anagray, he said that he could "punch a hole through my chest and hope that I die" and then continued by telling me that the "emphasis was on [me] dying." The spoke with two of my instructors and the course coordinator insisted on the three of us discussing what happened. I could have easily had him thrown out from school. However, he is a loose cannon who carries a gun in his car. Need I say more?
  6. by   GardenDove
    I felt like an outsider in my nursing program, that easy to have happen for many people. As far as the gay thing, I think as long as you are a decent person, people will enjoy working with you. I work with some conservative Christians who really don't mind the nice gay people at all, even if they privately think it's morally wrong. Most people will respond positively to a nice person. We have German Baptists in my area and I've heard a few comments about the headcoverings that the women wear.

    As far as being narrow-minded, most people are closed off to one group or another. I have some pretty left-winged relatives who think anyone who voted for George Bush is a half-witted moron who likes to kill Muslim babies as a pasttime. Intolerance is a common human characteristic. They shunned me for over a year when they found out I voted for Ralph Nader instead of John Kerry!
  7. by   kessadawn
    [font="century gothic"]i work in a peds hospital not far from you in ohio. we have a large amish pt population, and many non- english speaking families from many walks of life, the occasional muslim family, and always a little of this or that. i also have several gay co-workers, and i have never seen, heard, or heard of anyone treating or talking about any of our co-workers or clients the way your classmate treated you. our nurses are a professional lot, and very open to learning about other cultures and religions , especially when it comes to family-centered care. we would love to have you come work for us!
  8. by   bopps
    I am with you. Please don't feel as if all nurses are closeminded. I wear a head covering and constantly get teased about it at work, but never in a mean way. For the most part I feel respected and loved by my co-workers of 2 years. Because I look different than most people, and have since child-hood I never judge anyone regardless of their outward appearence or beliefs. I also get along great with my two coworkers who are gay(doctor and nurse), and I rarely hear any one making crude comments regarding them. I am sorry you have had to deal with close-minded and rude people in your nursing pursuit. Please don't get discouraged. Their are still nice people in the world . Come work with me in Indiana! I would love having you for a co-worker
  9. by   Morgan314
    Bopps, I want to hear more about your head covering if you don't mind sharing. Thank you.
  10. by   -Midget-
    Yes, I'm rather intrigued by this head covering too! Please share...
  11. by   Anagray
    BPPITT, That is terrible! You are definitely a strong person to handle such pressure. I honestly don't know if I could do it. I think I probably would just pick up and move somewhere.
    When you get your diploma this would be even more of a victory.


  12. by   Diahni
    Well, thank you for listening to my rant! These experiences make me feel like a complete outsider in my nursing program and, as a result, I want nothing to do with the majority of my classmates.[/quote]

    Rant on, my dear. You are so right! I can't blame you for feeling like this. I'm looking in to Excelsior (in fact, will start a new thread to ask about experiences.) Forget solidarity. I had a fellow student, who is black, tell me that I was the only white student who spoke to her. I myself felt like a stranger in a strange land. To be sure, once you get out, you can find a niche where this doesn't apply. I wish you well and I can commiserate! My solution was to bail, before being forcibly bailed out, and move on. It ain't easy.
  13. by   tvccrn
    I have had mixed experiences here where I am.

    The cultural issue isn't a problem as our facility adjoins another one that has over a thousand doctors and a lot of them are from foreign countries. WE also have a large Amish/Memmonite population in the area as well as a large Laotion population.

    As a Wiccan in a catholic hospital I have no problems whatsoever. Everyone is very accepting and most have asked very intelligent questions about it. They go so far as to tell everyone they have a resident witch in the department.

    However, the fact that I am bisexual won't ever come up because of the comments I have heard around the breakroom about bi- and gay people. It seems like the open-mindeness only goes so far around here.