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Racial Refusals In Nursing

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TheCommuter has 14 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

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How does an individual deal with a racial refusal and maintain self-dignity?

'Racial refusal' is a phrase that refers to the practice of patients and / or family members who refuse care from particular nurses, physicians, nursing assistants, techs and other types of healthcare workers due to the caregiver's racial-ethnic background. How does an individual deal with a racial refusal, and at the same time, maintain self-dignity in the face of a powerful race-based rejection? You are reading page 11 of Racial Refusals In Nursing. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

KCMnurse has 36 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in Educator.

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On 3/30/2014 at 7:09 PM, TheGooch said:

IMO a person can't be all that sick if their main concern is not liking the sex or skin color of the person that is treating them.

Haven't checked in to AN for a while but the resurrection of this 2014 post peaked my interest. As a black nurse, I have had my fair share of racial refusals. As a younger nurse I was often re-assigned to accomodate the patient's request, but as I got more confident in my skills I had (and have) no problem infomring my patient that unfortunatley patients do not get to select their caregivers at this facility. They are of course welcome to go elsewhere for their care. It's 2020 and we are still dealing with this same @#$%

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juniper222 has 2 years experience.

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They should adapt a policy that if a pt. refuses care for racial issues they should be discharged.  

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I agree with how disagreeable it is to witness some of these racially motivated patients, but also equally disturbed by women who want only female nurses, although I understand if you were traumatized by a male.  HOWEVER, as a white nurse, I am sometimes targeted by others in the nationality profiling, and quite frankly , if I know you already hate me... and some have made disturbing allegations which, if not directly witnessed by one or other nurses, could have ended my career... I would rather not be your nurse.  When I find out that you are willing to make up incidents that never happened, I quickly request a change in assignment.    That.... or if there are no other choices, put a camera on me at all times when I am in the room.

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33 minutes ago, eakirlin said:

I agree with how disagreeable it is to witness some of these racially motivated patients, but also equally disturbed by women who want only female nurses, although I understand if you were traumatized by a male.  HOWEVER, as a white nurse, I am sometimes targeted by others in the nationality profiling, and quite frankly , if I know you already hate me... and some have made disturbing allegations which, if not directly witnessed by one or other nurses, could have ended my career... I would rather not be your nurse.  When I find out that you are willing to make up incidents that never happened, I quickly request a change in assignment.    That.... or if there are no other choices, put a camera on me at all times when I am in the room.

I am not certain that refusing a male nurse because of prior trauma can be compared to refusing or abusing a nurse because of skin color.  When I read your remark it made me think of some of the most horrible, abusive, trouble making patients or families that I interacted with over my 40+ year career. There were some, not a lot, that I had to say "well bless their heart" and just do my job until I could walk away from the poison. I know for a fact that if I was black I would be much more practiced at blessing those who would curse me, while I did my job. 

Edited by toomuchbaloney

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I had at first thought to not put in the comment about requests for the gender of a nurse.  Often it is not as hard to accommodate, but on the other hand, I have seen my male counterparts sent home because of some useless allegation about misconduct... and of course it needs to be done, but all of us feel bad about it.  So... sometimes a female nurse accompanies a male.  

However, I kept the gender reference, because you can be blindsided, and the public under our care needs the best from us... sometimes caregivers cannot be switched out, and I still believe they are getting the best care possible, ... so it is a harsh reality to be blindsided for matters of individual perception that are not under your control and have nothing to do with the care extended or received.  I also say, well bless their heart, because they need the blessing.

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I’m a Black HHA, currently looking for a nursing program. I have been harassed by enough racist clients. By all means, feel free to get them a white nurse if it will make them happy. I don’t like being harassed at work. 

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