Racist Patients - page 3

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   Ruby Vee
    Quote from cotjockey
    this is all very true...however...if a patient refuses any staff member for any reason, i think there should be an attempt to accomodate their wishes. if a patient tries to refuse a staff member and that staff member is assigned to them any way, who do you think is going to get blamed (by the patient) if something goes wrong? when i worked at the hospital, a patient wanted a different nurse because he felt his nurse was too fat. the nurse was assigned to him anyway and the patient and his family were both very upset. when the patient fell, both he and his family were convinced that a thin nurse would have been able to prevent the fall...not very realistic, but it still made things very uncomfortable for the nurse and management had to spend a lot of time doing damage control that they might have been able to avoid if someone had simply changed the assignment. of course if every nurse on the shift was overweight the patient wouldn't have had a choice, but...
    sigh -- we're so careful what words we used to describe folks of african descent, folks whose partners are the same gender, folks from asia, etc. but it still seems to be ok to disrespect those who are overweight.
  2. by   dnp2004
    Quote from Williss2
    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 manager obliged, but I think that its never ok, also I personally just wouldn't think about this when I'm in pain or in need. Its crazy. Also I have been noticing that certain patients make comments to try and relate to me or assume that I know certain things because I'm AA. A patient said to me today,"My lipgloss be poppin.." singing a song that he thought he was relating to me by singing. Or a patient said to me " Do you eat collards and fried chicken". Little comments like that. I correct them and brush it off. I have too many other problems in my day to worry about this. Also, I should say that I reside in Ga. Is it just me?
    Why is a care provider request based on race, any different than a request based on gender? Think about this, years ago when I was out of medical school, many male and even female patients did not want/trust female doctors. We had male orderlies that looked after the daily care of the male patients.
    In 2009 many female patients don't want/trust male doctors. Many facilities try to have male nurses perform intimate procedures on male patients whenever requested. We even have "female only" staffed clinics that hire only women. Once again for patient comfort.

    So is asking for "white only" staff in a respectful manner really that different than asking for "female/male only" staff if the patient is obviously only comfortable around Caucasians? How many of you would oblige the request? Do you think this is a racist request.

    How about if the request was for "male only" staff? I had patients tell me they did not want to be touched my a women doctor. Would you call these patients chauvinistic pigs as did most of my female coworkers at the time?

    Now if a female patient requests "female only" staff I am sure most, if not all of you would assign me over my male colleagues. It is about patient comfort/choice right? I don't think anyone on this forum would call her a misandrist would they?

    So why do racial requests bother everyone here so much?

    dnp2004
  3. by   flashpoint
    Quote from ruby vee
    sigh -- we're so careful what words we used to describe folks of african descent, folks whose partners are the same gender, folks from asia, etc. but it still seems to be ok to disrespect those who are overweight.
    i don't think it is ok to disrespect anyone...if my post came across as that way, i apologize...i didn't mean it in an offending way. i am about forty pounds overweight, so if i use the term "fat" i am referring to me too!

    but...i don't think that a nurse should have to take care of someone who for whatever reason states they don't want them in their room...i once had a patient tell me they wanted a taller nurse...we juggled assignments a bit and gave him what he wanted. more often than not, we are not going to change patient's racist, sexist, or whatever other opinions they have about people...and when they are in the hospital isn't a very good place to try to change them. i think that for protection of the nurse, if someone refuses them, let them refuse them. i didn't really want to take care of the guy who thought i was too short to be a good nurse anyway.

    i work in ltc now and we have one cna that isn't allowed to care for a certain resident...the cna has bad scarring to his face and seeing him reminds the resident of a car accident that she was in thirty or forty years ago...she somehow thinks the cna caused the accident. anyway...when he is working we just juggle assignments a bit so he doesn't do any direct care for her and has minimal contact in the dining room, halls, etc. it is for her comfort and for his protection...she is somehow convinced that he will harm her...can you imagine the frenzy if she fell or got a bruise or anything went wrong while her was caring for her?
  4. by   zofran
    "This is all very true...however...if a patient refuses any staff member for any reason, I think there should be an attempt to accomodate their wishes. "


    Really?....You really believe this???....I think they should only be allowed to refuse a staff member if they think that staff member is unsafe. Come on.....we are talking about people sick enough to be admitted to a hospital, people who for whatever reason showed up to OUR facility to recieve care. The LAST thing these patients should be worried about is the race/weight of the caregiver. These type of patients need to realize that the world does not revolve around THEM. Let them go AMA if they don't like it.

    Can you imagine going out to dinner, asking for a white/black/asian/skinny waitress, and expecting them to accomodate you??? And not spit in your food???? This type of stuff makes my blood boil.....Nurses are people too!

    (Although I admit....If a little old lady does not want a young man washing her privates, I understand.)
  5. by   flashpoint
    Quote from zofran
    "This is all very true...however...if a patient refuses any staff member for any reason, I think there should be an attempt to accomodate their wishes. "


    Really?....You really believe this???....I think they should only be allowed to refuse a staff member if they think that staff member is unsafe. Come on.....we are talking about people sick enough to be admitted to a hospital, people who for whatever reason showed up to OUR facility to recieve care. The LAST thing these patients should be worried about is the race/weight of the caregiver. These type of patients need to realize that the world does not revolve around THEM. Let them go AMA if they don't like it.

    Can you imagine going out to dinner, asking for a white/black/asian/skinny waitress, and expecting them to accomodate you??? And not spit in your food???? This type of stuff makes my blood boil.....Nurses are people too!

    (Although I admit....If a little old lady does not want a young man washing her privates, I understand.)
    Yep...I really do. For one thing, if a patient somehow took offense to a short, fat, red-head with brown roots peeking through and was enough of a jerk to verbalize that, why would I want to care for him? He insults me and I am supposed to go in his room and smile like he is the nicest man on earth? Guess again. Let one of the tall, slender, blondes take him. Also...if something goes wrong, how long will it take for the patient to say, "I knew it! I knew that the short fat chick isn't smart enough to be a nurse...that is why my IV infiltrated!" If the patient is uncomfortable (or a big enough jerk) to say they don't want me caring for them, how likely are they to be hostile, abusive, rude, etc every time I am in the room? I would love to help these people sign out AMA, but that wouldn't benefit anyone...and they would probably be back sooner or later, so why not just change the assignment and get them out of there as soon as we can?
  6. by   BabyLady
    I'm going to offer an alternative, but unpopular view.

    I think if a person is racist, and doesn't want someone of a particular race performing care on them...I think that wish of the patient should be respected.

    Notice...I haven't mentioned minorities...there are minorities that are racist as well that prefer to have people of their own race care for them.

    One of the jobs of healthcare professionals is to make the patient feel as comfortable as possible and reduce anxiety...if something like that increases anxiety and makes the patient feel uncomfortable...then it's detrimental to patient care.

    If you had a woman that was a devout Muslim that requested no men to care for her unless her husband was present or wouldn't allow it at all...you would think nothing of respecting that request, based on "religion".

    Some Muslim men, don't want women touching them.

    Whether it's cultural, religious, racist...shouldn't matter.

    I'm not picking on Muslims...it just happened to be an easy example.

    I personally, would not want to touch a patient that didn't want me to. If he's racist, sexist...I don't care. To insist on treating them just because "we have that right" is not really taking care of the patient's needs.
  7. by   rnlately
  8. by   rnlately
    ITA babylady. I'm not gonna cry because someone doesn't want me to care for them due to how I look. I'll just shake it off and move on. Like I said before "ain't no love lost".
  9. by   dnp2004
    Yes, the patient can go somewhere else if they are not happy at a facility. Likewise, I can discharge them if they want to be transferred elsewhere. I have done that many times in the past.
  10. by   Miss Kitty00
    I've never (knock on wood!) had a patient that was completely racist to me. However, I have had some questionable comments. Like even after introducing myself as the nurse, I get asked if I'm the aide or with housekeeping. Anyways, if a patient is requesting a white nurse on my unit, that patient may be out of luck. There are some nights where there are only black nurses working, or all black and one Indian nurse.
  11. by   flashpoint
    Quote from dnp2004
    Yes, the patient can go somewhere else if they are not happy at a facility. Likewise, I can discharge them if they want to be transferred elsewhere. I have done that many times in the past.
    But that isn't the case everywhere...here, the closest hospital is over 75 miles away. People shouldn't be jerks...they shouldn't be allowed to refuse certain staff members without very good reason, but to their minds, an overweight (Native American, male, female, Hispanic, short, ugly...) nurse might be just as offensive as a male nurse would be to a Muslim patient. Not fair, not right, but why put someone in a position where they are uncomfortable and where they are going to make the nurse miserable all shift. I don't understand why they feel the way they do, but for whatever reason, they do...I am not going to change their mind while they are recovering from their hip replacement, so let them have their views and assign them someone they are comfortable with. Forcing them to accept a nurse that they don't want isn't going change their opinion. You can't cure stupid.
  12. by   truern
    Quote from FireStarterRN
    I thought white people in Georgia also ate collards and fried chicken? That's how it was when I lived there years ago.
    Happens to be two of my favorite foods. Well, well, well.
  13. by   BabyLady
    Quote from Miss Kitty00
    I've never (knock on wood!) had a patient that was completely racist to me. However, I have had some questionable comments. Like even after introducing myself as the nurse, I get asked if I'm the aide or with housekeeping. Anyways, if a patient is requesting a white nurse on my unit, that patient may be out of luck. There are some nights where there are only black nurses working, or all black and one Indian nurse.
    I have no doubt that this has happened to you...and I am sure that even though we aren't supposed to take things personally, it is probably hurtful...you have completed school, you have worked hard, and if someone of a majority race walked in, even if they were housekeeping...sometimes the patient ASSUMES that it's a nurse, but if they are a minority, they assume they are housekeeping, tech, etc.

    I am sure it's one of those things that I would have to be a minority to understand how that truly feels...and I would agree that it would be very, very difficult not to take it personal.

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