Racist Patients - page 6

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   singas0ng
    I think meeting racist patients is an unavoidable aspect of life. Its something I encounter in an everyday situation, like just walking into a deli and having people pretend they know how to speak Chinese. (I'm not Chinese.)

    As a nursing student in Boston, I have encountered few nurses themselves are not great about treating everyone with equal respect. I have seen some nurses not attempt to get translators for patients who do not speak English and they spent less time with the patient themselves. I understand that language barrier is always hard but having been on the other side before where I was treated differently because of the way I look, I tend to empathize with those patients. It's also evident in how some nurses treated me as a student nurse. Often times, I'm ignored or not directly spoken to, whereas my fellow student nurses (who are white) are treated differently. I think if it had happened once, it would have been easy to dismiss it as a singular event that was unrelated to what I looked like, but it's something I picked up on continuously over my nursing clinical experience. This was also noted by some of the other Asian nursing student. Or, I remember one nursing instructor who always switched my name with another Asian nursing student all the way until the end of the semester. (We look nothing alike, different height, different haircut) While I don't believe that these nurses are racists who "hate" Asians or people who look different from them, it seemed as if they didn't know how to approach different people.

    But there is a definite flip-side to this story. I am very conscious about providing culturally competent care and I always try to treat everyone with the same respect they deserve as human beings and it's something that I appreciate and am glad I can bring to a clinical setting.
  2. by   PostOpPrincess
    Lovely to be around such ignorance isn't it? Think of it this way--you have a college education and they don't. Don't expect much and you won't be disappointed nor bothered.
  3. by   My_brain_hurts
    For all of those people who request "white" nurses or feel that "white" people are some how better, I'd love to know their definition of "white". If somebody were to ask me what race/ethnicity I am, I'd say white because both my parents are white, and my grandparents, so my family looks pretty much "white/caucasion/european", what have you. But go a few more generations back you find a native american relative here and there in my family, and those are the ones we know about. I wouldn't be surprised if, because of racism, there were other "non-white" relatives that people just didn't include in the family tree or didn't let it be known they were not "white".

    I have had pts, usually hispanic pts, ask me if I am hispanic or who are very shocked that I don't speak spanish (wish I did!) because they think I am hispanic. I'm not pastey white per se, but I'm pretty darn pale (oh for a healthy complexion without sun damage!!!). My sister has had people say things like "you're not all white, are you?" (from multi-ethnic friends who are like "you just don't look 'white' to me" ). We both have brown eyes, but that's not uncommon. Anyways, it's just funny to us, and kind of fun because we think it's neat that somewhere back down the tree we have some native american ancestry and wonder if bits and pieces of it show through in us and that's what people see sometimes.

    So for anyone I've taken care of who may have thought to them selves, "Oh good, I have a white nurse" ---SURPRISE!!!! Perhaps I would not fit you narrow definition of "white", and it just shows how silly that thinking is. This is american anyway, the Melting Pot of culture and race. We're not dogs with some pedigree history, we're mostly all mutts --little of this, little of that. My future children will be asian/american as my husband is asian. I realize that they may have to deal with racism and prejudices (spell?) that I have not had to deal with growing up, or as an adult. I guess we'll cross that bridge when/if we come to it. Humans can be very stupid creatures.
  4. by   Roy Fokker
    Quote from morte
    hmm could you explain your take on it then? it certainly was pretty clear to me when she said it implied that her mother was a prostitute or other things she listed
    I'm not one of the folks initially listed in on the conversation but as a serious (if amateur) military historian:

    The concept of "war bride" carries a different meaning for different peoples.
    For example:

    * To most of the US the term "war bride" usually refers to the spouse of a service-member during the course of the war. Said service-member and spouse usually met overseas - be it England, France, Belgium, Holland or Germany (in European theater) OR the Phillipines, Australia, New Zealand and Japan (in Pacific theater). The term gained popularity during and post WWI and WWII, given the influx of 'immigrants' with their American spouses from those conflicts.

    * In the East (especially the Eastern/Russo-German Front) a "war bride" was a loose term used to describe a mistress [e.g.: the Soviets used the acronym 'PPZh' or 'Field Campaign Wife'].


    - Roy
  5. by   tjccde
    I'm in home care. I had a pt call President Obama the n word.
  6. by   ShayRN
    Quote from tjccde
    I'm in home care. I had a pt call President Obama the n word.
    GAWD! That really makes me sick, just sick.
  7. by   morte
    Quote from Roy Fokker
    I'm not one of the folks initially listed in on the conversation but as a serious (if amateur) military historian:

    The concept of "war bride" carries a different meaning for different peoples.
    For example:

    * To most of the US the term "war bride" usually refers to the spouse of a service-member during the course of the war. Said service-member and spouse usually met overseas - be it England, France, Belgium, Holland or Germany (in European theater) OR the Phillipines, Australia, New Zealand and Japan (in Pacific theater). The term gained popularity during and post WWI and WWII, given the influx of 'immigrants' with their American spouses from those conflicts.

    * In the East (especially the Eastern/Russo-German Front) a "war bride" was a loose term used to describe a mistress [e.g.: the Soviets used the acronym 'PPZh' or 'Field Campaign Wife'].


    - Roy
    sooo, my take is basically correct? so, the person that i quoted hasnt been back to explain their take on the post....why he/she thought that was not the term being qualified as discriminatory.....actually the more i thought about it, the post in which it was considered disc. was somewhat insulting in itself......UNLESS it is a regional thing applied to asian woman were that poster is from. Which i wouldnt know......
  8. by   showbizrn

    one patient replied when i asked if i could help him,"no, i want the white nurse to give me my medicine." i said, "fine. i'll be glad to help you but since you don't want my help, i'll just sit here and put my feet up until the other nurse comes from her break." :d he replied, "no, that's okay. you can give me my medicine."

    hmmmmmmm...:spin:

    the thought of this african american nurse
    sitting and putting
    her feet up
    and getting paid for it
    rocked his boat.

    when patients make racist comments to me, i politely refer and defer them to another staff member when they ask for assistance. (p.s... i work in psych and this technique works miraculously)

    of course, apologies are always accepted.

    Last edit by showbizrn on Jun 2, '09 : Reason: spelling errors
  9. by   ElvishDNP
    Quote from morte
    sooo, my take is basically correct? so, the person that i quoted hasnt been back to explain their take on the post....why he/she thought that was not the term being qualified as discriminatory.....actually the more i thought about it, the post in which it was considered disc. was somewhat insulting in itself......UNLESS it is a regional thing applied to asian woman were that poster is from. Which i wouldnt know......
    My initial thought when I read that quote was that 'war bride' was not the racist term being used either. If the wife was Asian, specifically Japanese, the slur used was likely either 'Jap' or 'Nip' (wartime descriptors of the Japanese - and by extension for many - Asians). I hate even typing those words, as they don't reflect my sentiments at all.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jap
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nip
  10. by   morte
    Quote from Elvish
    My initial thought when I read that quote was that 'war bride' was not the racist term being used either. If the wife was Asian, specifically Japanese, the slur used was likely either 'Jap' or 'Nip' (wartime descriptors of the Japanese - and by extension for many - Asians). I hate even typing those words, as they don't reflect my sentiments at all.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jap
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nip
    ahh, but we can only go by what she wrote.....
  11. by   hypocaffeinemia
    Last fall I was doing a clinical rotation in an ER in East Texas a bit outside Houston.

    Had a sweet old lady come in, stroke-like symptoms. Then she and her husband start talking about how if she doesn't die soon, the world's going to end soon anyways now that the Lord has allowed a black man to be elected President.

    Sigh.
  12. by   ElvishDNP
    I encounter a kind of racism that isn't as stigmatized. I'm half Japanese, and some older people still use the racial slur used during World War II.
    This is what I was going by....and yes - it would be nice to have some clarification.

    My grandfather, before he died last year, still referred to people of Asian decent in the manner referred to in my previous post.
  13. by   Aneroo
    Quote from cotjockey
    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?
    This reminds me of a patient we had while in LTC. White females were allowed to care for her. We had one AA male who would temp as a nurse and we'd have to go in with him for meds. She had been raped by an AA male when she was young, and she would have flashbacks (didn't help that she had dementia). She was a spunky ol' thing, and almost broke my wrist one night b/c I had my hair in a ponytail and just say short hair and assumed it was a male waking her up. However, I think her situation was different- she had a known traumatic experience that would cause her to become violent and a threat to others or herself. I can understand going with those wishes, but just for the sake of someone being a bigot or ignorant- no.

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