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Only African American Nurse on Staff

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by nette1022 nette1022 (Member) Member

2,806 Profile Views; 80 Posts

I need advice from you guys. I am working as a charge nurse/supervisor in a LTC facility. The dilemma is that I am the only African American Nurse on staff. I have had several staff members volunteer to me that they are not prejudiced because a black family moved into their neighborhood when they were teenagers or that they went to school with a black person, and they turned out to be really nice people. When I make a comment about something that happens there is one particular staff member (my peer) that will say "You know that happened because your black" and laugh. They have made this comment around a room full of people at times, and it is embarrassing. The other issue is that they are taking things that I say and reporting to my other peers that I was angry when I wasn't, and include comments that I may have made but attach it to the fact that I was supposedly angry to change the message. I recently was confronted about being angry about something that was passed on to me, when in reality I was speaking to one of the only nurses that I could talk to and the conversation was about, how I could present help to someone with the knowledge that I have to help them understand a skill that they are unfamiliar with. I am a very friendly outgoing person, but I have been keeping to myself to avoid the drama, yet I still get put into the drama. I need this job to pay bills, and I am looking for another job. I need ideas and some options, I don't want to make my family suffer financially: yet this environment is making me nervous. I don't say anything negative about anyone, and I don't add to the gossip; especially since I know my comments will be distorted. I recently just finished school and I need money to pay for expenses related to that. Any advice guys?

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TheCommuter has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

1 Follower; 228 Articles; 27,607 Posts; 317,929 Profile Views

Any advice guys?
Find a new job ASAP. In the meantime, continue to be as friendly as possible while playing the game of workplace politics as skillfully as possible.

Unfortunately, the negative 'angry black female' stereotype sometimes follows us into the workplace. We are often perceived as aggressive, threatening, militant, or possessing a major attitude problem when that is often not the case. I wish you well.

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80 Posts; 2,806 Profile Views

I know, I have been making sure that I leave on time, trying to avoid management conversations about what's going on. My family doesn't want me to go back because I am so stressed. I am worried that they may get together and blame something on me and I will not be able to defend myself because they come together against me. I am afraid every day that I go in because I don't know what else is going to happen. If I had a dollar for every time I heard that I am not prejudiced because_______.(fill in the blank it's a variety for sure). I was frustrated one day after a bad day and trying to complete my paperwork my supervisor called me an a**hole, so I apologized to her, because I wasn't trying to be offensive.

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325 Posts; 5,852 Profile Views

Wow that's horrible I'm so sorry your being treated that way.

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80 Posts; 2,806 Profile Views

I just finished EC RN program I need to pay for the CPNE and I have two children in college. Their father is deceased. I would love to laugh and talk to people but I have to isolate myself because I don't want to offend anyone. I think maybe God is taking me through this for a reason, I definitely will be more sympathetic to how I and others treat my peers in the future. I feel sad. My children told me to quit and tell unemployment what's going on, the sad thing is I don't want to hurt a particular nurse. I honestly don't think she knows she is being offensive and embarrassing me, as for some of my other coworkers I know they don't care.

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940 Posts; 16,469 Profile Views

Tell the offensive nurse that she's offending you. Just be calm about it.

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roser13 has 17 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC.

6,504 Posts; 51,066 Profile Views

OP, are you in a really, really ​tiny town?

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LadyFree28 has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma.

8,427 Posts; 75,640 Profile Views

I just finished EC RN program I need to pay for the CPNE and I have two children in college. Their father is deceased. I would love to laugh and talk to people but I have to isolate myself because I don't want to offend anyone. I think maybe God is taking me through this for a reason, I definitely will be more sympathetic to how I and others treat my peers in the future. I feel sad. My children told me to quit and tell unemployment what's going on, the sad thing is I don't want to hurt a particular nurse. I honestly don't think she knows she is being offensive and embarrassing me, as for some of my other coworkers I know they don't care.

It's not about hurting another nurse, it's about advocating for yourself.

Do you have malpractice insurance?

Find out what you rights are; find another job and take that exit interview and make a complaint; or, if this facility is a part of a girl oration, go to corp or go over your supervisor's head and get to know the higher ups and tell your concerns.

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Emergent has 25 years experience.

7 Followers; 2 Articles; 2,834 Posts; 65,678 Profile Views

I hope you are keeping a written log of these incidents. It sounds like there is a cultural problem where you work that is unfriendly and hostile to you because of your race. Perhaps it's only ignorance, but these continual comments to you by your White co-workers are beyond awkward, they undermine your leadership role, and isolate you.

I'm not sure how to confront these things. People will deny they are prejudiced when, in fact, they are. There seems to be a whispering campaign going on that you are a stereotypical, overbearing black woman, as Commuter pointed out.

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80 Posts; 2,806 Profile Views

I am not rude, I treat everyone with respect. I was raised to treat others as I would want to be treated. I don't want to run, but I know that I cannot stay. I worry that they will turn the heat up if I turn in a notice and try to work it out or should I just leave and explain why I am leaving. I am trying to teach my children not to run away from their problems, but this is beyond stupid and petty. I need to focus on other things (like school). I know we all experience some stress as nurses, but to have additional stress placed on you beyond the scope of your job is plain stupid.

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2k15NurseExtern4u is a BSN, RN and specializes in L&D.

369 Posts; 7,840 Profile Views

I really hate this for you. I totally understand how you feel. Snide comments from peers that are obvious jibes at my race are one of my biggest pet peeves. Unfortunately, not everyone was raised as well as you were and they dont know how to be intelligent and enlightened. They only know how to behave uncouth. These people need to be addressed and once you do that they need to be avoided. Tell the offensive party how you feel, then dont associate with her unless you absolutely have to. She's clearly a small person with a small mind and doesn't deserve the hrace of your company. None of them do, honestly. I hope things work out for you..

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Lev has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency - CEN.

2 Followers; 9 Articles; 2,802 Posts; 55,920 Profile Views

Op I am really sorry this is happening to you. I am horrified that this behavior still exists. I too would try to find a new job and put up with it while being very careful until the new job presents itself. I would be very careful about confronting anyone while still employed at that facility. I'm sure you are a very lovely person and you definitely dont deserve this.

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