Racism in the workplace - page 16

Not to be a downer or anything but I have noticed some harsh things said about patients and sometimes even co workers in my unit when they think no one else can hear them. Has anyone else dealt with... Read More

  1. by   Kiren
    [quote=tinkerbell218] as a Black Nurse I often wonder if it's racially motivated or what..that it is often assumed I am a CNA instead of the RN?? I have been a CNA but I have worked hard to get my RN and have no problem correcting any aged person when the assumption is made.

    Well I for one have a problem knowing who is who in many hospitals in my area. I have been in several hospitals where there is no real distinction in the uniforms that nurses and cna's wear. Years ago nurses wore white and colored uniforms were worn by cna's and support staff. Now many facilities don't distinguish between rn's, lpn's, cna's etc.. I know badges are worn but many times one cannot read the title unless you are extremely close (I have seen badges covered or worn backwards as well). I have also seen many staff members not introducing themselves to pts. as " Jane your cna this morning" or "Mary your RN tonight".
    However, I do understand our point where if a pt. does not know who you are you are many times assumed to be a CNA. Unfortunately in many parts of the country there are so few RN's of color that one is often suprised when coming in contact with a nurse of color. I never assume anything. I just ask who the person is (whatever color they are) if he/she dosen't introduce him/her self.
  2. by   texas_lvn
  3. by   tinkerbell218
    I personally like the term Black, because I don't hear of other ethnic backgrounds in the USA being described in those terms for example I hear Japanese not J-American, Mexican/ Latino not M/L American, Canadians not C-american... Race issues are always touchy subjects because no one wants to own up to sometimes being or making inappropriate comments... myself included. for Ex... I found myself irritated when my nail tech was talking in her native language ( that I don't know) to a co worker...But then I had to check myself because I did solicit her services, she didn't just grab me off the street.It's sometimes the smallest things that are done and said that can be just as offensive as using racial slangs. Just my thoughts......
    Is the QC in the house??? If you don't know what it means, you're probably not from the greatest city in NC!!!
  4. by   mssfelder
    Surprisingly, the majority of the racism I have experienced is at the hands of female white co-workers. Go figure! I am a black nurse who has worked in a variety of settings including corrections. Believe it or not I recieved more respect from CO's and many inmates than I did my white counterparts. I later learned I posed a "threat" because they had the place on lock until I arrived... It was very difficult for me and I was accused of being too offender friendly etc. even though I was consistently firm and fair with all inmates.
    Later, after being refused shifts ( I was an agency nurse) I learned from an official at the prison who was an associate as well, that several of the nurses were fired for theft, sleeping with both inmates and officers and trafficking. By the way the official is white. Apparently, just more than my color posed a threat...imagine that.
    In regards to being obese and being discriminated against,I have experienced that also. Before a 170 lb weight loss I weighed over 320 lbs. When I was at the prison I was at 130. I was talked about when I was 'fat' and talked about as a thin woman by women who were bigger than me and interestingly by men who said I was "a sack of bones."
    In all cases I experienced a range of emotions. Still I press on and attempt to leave a mark of excellence that can't be erased.
    To anyone who responds to any mention of a person of any race outside of the correct term is subtly racist .ie, saying yes to the question of is that a ***** (er) or responding to the terms "spic", "wop," "dago", "wetback," paddy-rice eater, red-neck, coon, *****-lover, poor white trash, and on and on... I have heard it all.
    The best response is no response or one so KIND it hits their heart...:wink2:
    PS. Ever wonder why their is no black, asian, indian, or hispanic nurse icon to post in threads? Hmm...
  5. by   JJJJJJ6
  6. by   mssfelder
    Lady Flower, No disrespect intended but why are you here in AMERICA if the thought of being assumed to be BLACK because of your skin color is so uncomfortable? I believe the term African-American comes from the descendany of many generations of Blacks whose roots can be traced back to AFRICA! I personally call and consider myself black. I don't have a qualm about it one way or the other. I know WHO I AM and WHOSE I AM!
    Imagine (if you will) if God segregated HEAVEN based on skin color. Or worse only allow certain nationalities! Ooooh! Terrible thing! I am familiar with other forms of racism and predujice but I have to say that this is a first.
    For me personally as a Christian (and I am not selling you on religion...these are my views as are your stated ones) it would be like me professing the faith but denying my white, asian, or non-black brother and sisters in Christ/Yeshua.
  7. by   mssfelder
    JJJJJJ6- Excellent Point! I strive even harder to provide good, quality care just because I am black. It's like I have to go a step above for personal reasons and because I KNOW my work is being scrutinized. I know because I have heard the whispers...
  8. by   gizmo12
    I have had and seen other patients ask to talk to a nurse who is black, even when they are not the nurse for that patient. I do feel offended because I do my best to take care of everyone to the best of my ability. I also see nurses who are black come in and check on patients that are not theirs, when the patient is black. I guess just to make sure that "the white nurse is actually taking care of them." Racism goes both ways, and I am tired of the double standard.
  9. by   mssfelder
    :wakeneo: :spin: :uhoh21: Gizmo, you are right it is a double standard or can be. Problem is blacks have been experiencing it in many forms for many years for many reasons. Unwelcome aboard...know what I mean?
  10. by   RNCRNA2BE
    All of the people who are responding to a post like this are the ones who keep racism so alive and well. i think that most people are some where in the middle so to speak when it comes to racism with a few who will go to extremes, meaning that yes, people have prejudices, it is part of how we protect ourselves. That being said, yes a lot of black people have been innacurately portrayed in the media, therefore there may be some false notions of black people in America. But, it makes me wonder what kind of person feels the need to argue their points on racism to the point that there is a 21 page thread about it. The subject has been debated ad nauseum, and It gets no where. I think that most normal people, regardless of stereotypes will take the time to get to know someone if they get the chance. Personally, I think that most black people need to stop using slavery as a crutch, and get out there and take more advantage of what America has to offer. I know that the civil rights movement wasn't that long ago, and some wounds are still pretty fresh, but getting down on yourselves and wallowing in self-pity is not working. As far as healthcare goes, I think that the majority of patients and families want someone who is competent. End of Story. As far as going above and beyond b/c one is black??? Everyone should feel as if they should have to go above and beyond. Why do people feel like they should only work above their potential to prove something to someone else. What about proving to oneself that you have enough pride within, so that every job that you do in life exceeds the last one because you have learned something from the last experience to take to the next???
    Last edit by RNCRNA2BE on Sep 8, '06
  11. by   mssfelder
    To RNCRNA... mighty funny you felt the need to respond in length! Until you walk a mile in my mocassins you do well to stay off my path. I do good work as I am sure ALL conscientous nurses strive to do but racism is alive and unfortunately well. Responding in threads is better than donning hoods, giving poor care, work place violence, leaving the profession or ignoring the REAL ISSUE. Cmon...be 4 real.
  12. by   brax881
    As a white nurse, I have had several black patients make racial remarks towards myself and other white staff members. It is unfortunate that it happens. I feel sorry for these people. I wonder how many truly wonder people they have passed by solely based on the color of their skin. Racism hurts no matter what color you are.

    Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.
    Mother Teresa

    I'm sure the same is true for cruel words.
  13. by   madwife2002
    Please keep it calm and remain respectful of others. Thank you