Racist Patients - page 11

Our floor is culturally diverse. We have employees from all walks of life. We recently had a patient on the floor that said that he only wanted white nurses to take care if him. I'm not sure if our... Read More

  1. by   momology
    I was told in a class that men are over represented in the management level of nursing. Most of the men in my nursing school had plans to go directly to management as fast as possible, just not that interested in hands on. As for white females that represents their experience as nurses. There is certainly no advantage to getting in to nursing school or being hired especially if one is monolingual. 87% of nurses are not caucasian because one out of four nurses are educated in India or the Philippines unless those countries are alowing caucasians to go to school there,which I doubt.
    LelaRN should can the attitude about the "no insurance having" patients. That is including more and more people and not her role as a nurse to examine their financial state, unless facilitating care by finding affordable solutions. Try being kicked to the curb by the insurance companies for a disability and then have to take attitude and lack of care from nurses of any race.
  2. by   southeRNyankeee
    Quote from momology
    87% of nurses are not caucasian because one out of four nurses are educated in India or the Philippines unless those countries are alowing caucasians to go to school there,which I doubt.
    Do you have a source for this? All the info I've found shows much lower #s, like this one (PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Out of an estimated 2.7 million U.S. registered nurse workforce in March 2000, 3.7% were internationally educated nurses from other countries) and this one.

    Oh, and I found this thread right here on allnurses.com that addresses this issue.
  3. by   tellteri
    Quote from 2BSure
    I would have loved to say try a different agency.
    I'm glad we live in this period of time where diversity is applauded. However, many of the patients we serve did not live in such a time. That is unfortunate for them, but I hope we have progressed to the point where we can understand (NOT condone) their feelings.

    I have been to several Diversity Sensitivity trainings where they emphasize that we must learn to live and work with people of different races, cultures, ethnicities, sexual orientations, etc. That also means that we need to try to understand (NOT agree with) differences of opinions, perceptions, philosophies, etc.

    Older people did not have the benefit of living in a global world as we do. Their worlds were very small...usually their own little communities which were comprised of people of the same race, religions, etc. It's hard for us to imagine living in such a "small" world, but that is how it was. "Outsiders" could be people from different geographical regions (I can't tell you how many times I've been called a "yankee" because I grew up in New Jersey and now live in the South...or "you Northerners"), "outsiders" could be people from different ethnic backgrounds (I've also been called the "EYE-talian" girl, even though I was born in the USofA). Older people did not grow up with TV, computers, easy travel, diverse movies, etc. They only knew their small world and their own small world was "good". Anyone or anything "different" was not comfortable for them and still isn't.

    I've been "trained" to be aware of other cultures, races and ethnicities and I agree with that training. But it needs to go both ways. Caregivers who are taking care of people who are different from THEIR race, ethnicity, etc. need to be senstive to the patients' cultural differences. If that patient only speaks English and is hard of hearing, doesn't it make sense that they would have a hard time understanding someone with an accent? If an elderly white person has never had any contact with people of another race or ethnic background, wouldn't it be understandable that they would be VERY uncomfortable being showered by someone who is totally different from them? Or an African-American man who is suddenly being undressed by a white woman to be given a shower, wouldn't he be uncomfortable? People are comfortable with what they know....even us....we have lived in an era of diversity acceptance and we have a hard time dealing with people who DON'T accept our differences... WE ARE JUST LIKE THEM....we can't tolerate their narrow-mindedness...they can't accept the diversity. Let's try to look for a common ground....talk to the person about things they are common to all people...Don't laugh...but FOOD is a great equalizer--ask them what they had for lunch/dinner; tell them what you had...make something up...break the ice...Other "common" topics ares talking about holidays, children, grandchildren, parents, etc. You guys are all smart....improvise...or just let them know you understand that they might be uncomfortable but that you are there to help everyone--inlcuding them---it doesn't always work, but you'll be surprised at how many times these unsophisticated people can learn to see that regardless of what color you are or what accent you have, you are there to help. Your greatest weapons against intolerance is YOUR SMILE and the touch of your hand on theirs and your ability to understand THEIR cultural differences...even if that difference was living their life in a time when they weren't taught to understand YOU. You'll be the better person for it.
  4. by   jlizz69
    I too had to laugh when I saw AA. When I first started going to AA, I was afraid I would accidently say when I walked in the patients' room, "Good morning! My name is *** and I am an alcoholic" instead of "I will be your nurse today". There would probably be some patients who would not appreciate that! I work in Alabama and we do have both racist white and black patients at times and depending on who the staff is that day we can't honor their request. It is hard on the nurse or tech whether they are black or white. I am white and hate taking care of racist white people. I pray for them and myself as I take care of them that day. Fortunately it does not happen often. It is funny to me also that when I walk in the room with a male nurse, patients often think he is the doctor simply because he is male. People are funny. I try not to let little things like that bother me.
  5. by   2many?s
    I also have had this experience as a "white" nurse. Often I am a minority in my work setting and I am sometimes treated with hostility by my African American patients. They appear so happy and relieved when a nurse of their own race arrives. After 30 years of nursing, I try not to take it personally. People are naturally more comfortable around people who look like themselves. If I dressed Goth, people who were dressed Goth would naturally gravitate toward me. People are just afraid of the unfamiliar. We need to be the best we can be and slowly we will educate the world, meanwhile please realize that all of us, caucasian, hispanic, asian, african american etc, experience prejudice everyday, in different ways. I am treated with disrespect daily by medical students who because they have MD behind their name, think I am stupid... when often the reverse is true.
  6. by   LelaRN
    Quote from dbscandy
    Ha ha...I love it...it would be great if stupidity were painful!!! It's only painful now when someone smacks ya' for that dumb*** remark!

    The only thing dumb and equivalent to stupidity is RACISM, so take your sarcasm and smack yourself....
  7. by   LelaRN
    Quote from busymamaof3
    I just wanted to say that I don't think that the rising # of minority floor nurses is because whites tend to go higher up the ranks. The number of minority nurses is on the the rise, however there are more white nurses in managerial positions because there are more white nurses (about 87% of RNs are caucasian). According to minoritynurse.com:

    • 11% of black nurses have master's or doctoral degrees, compared to 10.4% of Caucasian nurses and 8.4% of Hispanic nurses.
    A higher number of minorities is still going to be less than the majority.

    Men are also a minority in the nursing profession, but are rising in numbers. Would it be fair to say that women tend to move up in the ranks while men work the floor?
    My response is only based on what I'm seeing where I live, and the the places I've worked as a Travel nurse : NYC, Baltimore,DC, Atlanta, places that are generally diverse. In the last 5 years I've noticed more and more minorities. At John's Hopkins for example I did an 8 week assignment and there was a large # of Phillipians there whom I found out that the hospital was short staffed and contracted them to the U.S. from there country. At my own job more white nurses are managers, clinicians, and charge nurses. A lot of my white co-workers are in school for their MSN to become NP's. So no offense to anyone here, but like I said if some racist "trash" (cause that's what the racist one's usually are) wants his/her "White Nurse" let them have it- For Now....
  8. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from janetrnc
    the last patient who requested a specific type or color of nurse was told "unless you brought your own nurse, the chances ot that happening are slim to none. i have a limited staff and i will not call someone in on their day off to accomodate your preferences unless you are willing to pay them for their overtime out of your pocket." that usually changes their minds and that statement has the full backing of administration.
    that seems like a pretty effective, yet professional way to handle it!
  9. by   Pierrette
    "I let his whiny little racist butt sit out there in triage area for 2 hours...I wish there was a way to educate people, but stupid is stupid."

    "Some old bag of a patient..."

    "Because people are stupid."

    "Countering some racist ******* idiocy was the easy one, that day."

    "...these racist bastards... to take care of a racist, no insurance having jerk !!!"

    "...it would be great if stupidity were painful..."

    "if some racist "trash" (cause that's what the racist one's usually are)"


    My beloved father was black (he married my mother after my biological father died). Back in those days, a white-black marriage was heavily frowned upon. So, being a little blue-eyed, blond-haired girl, I heard many racist comments about my father. However, he taught me that calling them names because they call you (or your family) names, does not make you better, or give you an excuse for name-calling.

    Most of the comments in this section have been enlightening and educational. I just so wish that we would stop with all the name-calling.

    Imagine if all the above quotes were printed in the newspaper tomorrow:

    [FONT=Microsoft Sans Serif]Nurses Think Patients are Trash, ****wits, Bastards
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Jun 4, '09 : Reason: Profanity changed to asterisks
  10. by   2BSure
    Quote from jlizz69
    I too had to laugh when I saw AA. When I first started going to AA, I was afraid I would accidently say when I walked in the patients' room, "Good morning! My name is *** and I am an alcoholic" instead of "I will be your nurse today". There would probably be some patients who would not appreciate that! I work in Alabama and we do have both racist white and black patients at times and depending on who the staff is that day we can't honor their request. It is hard on the nurse or tech whether they are black or white. I am white and hate taking care of racist white people. I pray for them and myself as I take care of them that day. Fortunately it does not happen often. It is funny to me also that when I walk in the room with a male nurse, patients often think he is the doctor simply because he is male. People are funny. I try not to let little things like that bother me.
    So funny I nearly did that once. I will tell you that when you work in an ED half of the still drinking alcoholics will recognize you because they attended a meeting once or twice (or you did a 12 step on them). There is nothing worse sometimes when the ONLY person a drunk want to talk to in the ED is you and they want to hug you and everything.

    Now back to our original topic.......
  11. by   nanacarol
    The world is not a "happy" place, we come incontact with people who are uncomfortable with those who are different from themselves, or others who have been culturized to believe that color is a determinant of quality. We also live with those who have grown up to ascribe to an elitist perspective that says those who may have less materials than we are less than, okay, that said, When I come in contact with patients, leaders, co-workers and the general public who feel a need to apologize for what they perceive to be a challenge for me (my color, or station in life), I do my best NOT to bring their short sightedness to the forefront, believing that to do so gives them and their deficit more power than it deserves, I focus on the fact that I have SOMETHING they need, I am the Keeper of the proverbial key so I have nothing to apologize for or to be intimidated by. I give the very best customer service I would give anyon in my care, answer their questions, direct them where they need to be. I acknowledge that I am ambassador of my profession and my race, but most importantly, I decide how I see myself, I choose to give no place to the negatives that others throw in my way that are designed to delay my trip to personal consciousness. The title Racist lives only because we continually acknowledge it and give it voice and power. Stop acknowledging it it dies. Nanacarol
    P.S. No I am not a goody two shoe, merely someone who demands to make choices for myself.
  12. by   johnsboo
    We now live in a global world, all races, creeds, sexualities, etc. There is no more room for insensitivies to one another. It is up to each of us to stop judging anyone based on anything other than how we are personally treated by an individual. And even then, as nurses, we are to still act professionally and provide care, advocacy, and nurturing to every patient and family member and friend of those patients. We cannot and should not hand them off to another nurse, we need to learn to handle the situation with grace, a smile and some understanding. No more task oriented nursing, we need to think outside the box, and come up with detailed solutions to how we are going to address the situation at hand and come up with a way to carry out our duties, in a caring and professional manner. This whole thread is a moot point and really needs to be dropped.
  13. by   Mijourney
    I think the issue of racism needs to be vented as long as we are getting benefit from it. Yes, we are to respond appropriately to acts of discrimination and bigotry in our practice but we should also let others know our experiences in these instances. There are many of us nurses as well as other health care providers who are uncomfortable discussing the issue of racism because we feel it has nothing to do with us or we may ourselves have issues with superiority, discrimination, and bigotry.

    One solution (this may have already been mentioned in the thread) to solving whether someone is a nurse or not is for nurses to work in full uniform-cap and all. IMO, the male nurses usually don't have a problem with discrimination unless they say they are a nurse to a female patient. My experience has always been that male nurses are usually stereotyped as physicians.

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