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racist patients

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LPNtoRNin2016OH has 5 years experience as a LPN and specializes in Allergy/ENT, Occ Health, LTC/Skilled.

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I feel for you OP because as someone who is white, when I see this behavior by patients towards non-white co-workers, it pisses me off to no end so I cant fathom how it feels when its actually directed at you. My co student and I were in a room with a patient and their family during clinical, it was clear the husband of the patient did not like black people (the student I was with is black) by the remarks he made and facial expressions. I sincerely wanted to punch him in his racist face but obviously we kindly excused ourselves from the room instead. I don't understand it and I find it so, so ignorant and gross. But its something I am working on because I have to take care of ignorant people the same as I would anyone else. I hope you often do not have to deal with that but I am guessing that's unrealistic.

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JadedCPN has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU.

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I think hospitals in general, or at least the ones that I have worked at which have been large pediatric teaching hospitals, cater to patients and families beyond what should be acceptable. Yes we are a business and yes customer service is extremely important especially with the direction that health care is going towards, but that should not be used as an excuse for staff abuse to be acceptable. I can not think of a single legitimate reason that someone could not have a caregiver of a certain race. Who cares if it is their preference, we should not be catering to those types of requests.

I recently encountered a patient's father who was requesting only "Caucasian nurses with a healthy BMI." He got away with this for several shifts and it blew my mind!! Shame on the hospital for letting that happen, but thankfully the legal team stepped in (for other reasons) and put a stop to that very quickly.

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CaffeinePOQ4HPRN has 10 years experience as a BSN, LPN, RN.

352 Posts; 10,095 Profile Views

Hello everyone,

...the charge nurse notified me that this lady refuse foreigners and blacks to take care of her because of her religion believes...

First of all, congratulations on graduating/ earning your degree, obtaining your nursing licence, and successfully getting a job in your field. These are all huge accomplishments and you should be exceptionally proud of yourself.

Second of all....EXCUSE ME?! You mean to tell us that your charge nurse is placating a racist patient by yielding to their demands, and essentially condoning discrimination of her staff and racist ideologies in your workplace? If you feel comfortable, ask the charge nurse and/or your manager for a meeting to have a tactful discussion about this situation and ask for a clear rationale of the decision-making process that led to the reassignment... because saying patients were taken off your assignment because they are racist against your "race" or "ethnicity" is complete bollocks and a violation of your human rights. If there were no issues with your competence or bedside manner, then you have a right to perform your job as a Nurse! End of story.

Racist patients exist everywhere. I've experienced them, too They generally suck and it's great to see them go when they're discharged. Thing is... "racist patients" only get reassigned to other nurses if they pose a physical threat to the nurses they are targeting. Either that or they're asked to leave, if they become violent we call a Code White or they can be assessed and sent to a "special" unit if appropriate (a lot of "racist" patients are suffering from dementia and require psych care)... There are so many scenarios...

I would advise for you to also get in touch with your HR department and your union for advice. Personally... Although I think it is a blessing that this moronic patient was taken off your assignment roster (one less wackadoodle on your assignment roster is a good thing), discrimination or abuse of staff is not ok. I've been involved in a similar situation where we had a patient who was a Vietnam War Veteran, he had dementia and would flashbacks who could not be assigned to one of our nurses who happened to be Vietnamese because he would become violent towards her... that was a special case. If what you're saying is the whole truth, what you're experiencing is not an ethical situation at all.

I'm sorry this happened to you. Chin up :) Keep doing great work and don't let it get you down. Use this as a learning experience for how to handle difficult situations in the future. You'll be a stronger, better nurse for it.

Edited by CaffeinePOQ4HPRN
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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

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Kelikinz,

If the patient was not in "their right mind" how would the "patient" know to refer to the black nurse/caregiver in a derogatory manner.

Could it just be because he was male?

Alzheimer's takes away inhibitions and recent memory. Even if the person has become less racist with maturity, they can still remember the hateful words of their youth.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

11 Followers; 66 Articles; 13,948 Posts; 172,199 Profile Views

First of all, congratulations on graduating/ earning your degree, obtaining your nursing licence, and successfully getting a job in your field. These are all huge accomplishments and you should be exceptionally proud of yourself.

Second of all....EXCUSE ME?! You mean to tell us that your charge nurse is placating a racist patient by yielding to their demands, and essentially condoning discrimination of her staff and racist ideologies in your workplace? If you feel comfortable, ask the charge nurse and/or your manager for a meeting to have a tactful discussion about this situation and ask for a clear rationale of the decision-making process that led to the reassignment... because saying patients were taken off your assignment because they are racist against your "race" or "ethnicity" is complete bollocks and a violation of your human rights. If there were no issues with your competence or bedside manner, then you have a right to perform your job as a Nurse! End of story.

Racist patients exist everywhere. I've experienced them, too They generally suck and it's great to see them go when they're discharged. Thing is... "racist patients" only get reassigned to other nurses if they pose a physical threat to the nurses they are targeting. Either that or they're asked to leave, if they become violent we call a Code White or they can be assessed and sent to a "special" unit if appropriate (a lot of "racist" patients are suffering from dementia and require psych care)... There are so many scenarios...

I would advise for you to also get in touch with your HR department and your union for advice. Personally... Although I think it is a blessing that this moronic patient was taken off your assignment roster (one less wackadoodle on your assignment roster is a good thing), discrimination or abuse of staff is not ok. I've been involved in a similar situation where we had a patient who was a Vietnam War Veteran, he had dementia and would flashbacks who could not be assigned to one of our nurses who happened to be Vietnamese because he would become violent towards her... that was a special case. If what you're saying is the whole truth, what you're experiencing is not an ethical situation at all.

I'm sorry this happened to you. Chin up :) Keep doing great work and don't let it get you down. Use this as a learning experience for how to handle difficult situations in the future. You'll be a stronger, better nurse for it.

As a charge nurse, I can tell you that it is the policy of our ICU to attempt to accommodate patients' requests for caregivers of a certain race. The rationale is that if we don't switch assignments, we're setting our colleague up for unfounded complaints of wrongdoing as well as for a shift of verbal abuse. It's not as though we can refuse care to someone because of their ignorant, racist views once we've already done the surgery and they're dependent upon us. Yes, the practice is offensive. But as the white nurse forced to spend 12 hours with the black patient who wanted only black nurses, I can see that point. Twelve hours with someone who hates you because of your skin color is agony; I would not wish that upon my colleagues.

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smartnurse1982 has 7 years experience.

1,775 Posts; 24,380 Profile Views

I do not think someone who refuses immigrant nurses are racist most times.

Sometimes,accents make it hard to understand some healthcare professionals.

Many elderly are hard of hearing,so that is a request I would understand.

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llg has 43 years experience as a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

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Twelve hours with someone who hates you because of your skin color is agony; I would not wish that upon my colleagues.

In addition ... forcing the racist patient to receive care from someone they object to greatly increases the risk that the patient will find/fabricate a reason to file a law suit. That's another big danger to both the nurse and the hospital. That's one of the main reasons we try to protect our staff from such patients when we can.

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JadedCPN has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU.

1 Follower; 830 Posts; 7,916 Profile Views

While I understand the argument that those accomodations are made so as not to set up the coworker for an agonizing 12 hour shift and potential fabricated issues, I respectfully do not agree with it for most cases. As a charge nurse myself, we not only do not accomodate racial requests but instead we go out of our way to educate the families on why we don't make those accomodations as all of our staff members are qualified to perform the care. On the flip side as someone who has been the nurse for 12 hours with a patient who wanted a different race, I have no problems with that because I go out of my way to go toe-to-toe in a sense and show them that I am beyond competent. But that's just my personality.

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

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I do not think someone who refuses immigrant nurses are racist most times.

Sometimes,accents make it hard to understand some healthcare professionals.

Many elderly are hard of hearing,so that is a request I would understand.

It could be argued that we all have regional accents, even those of us born and raised in the US without any ties to foreign countries.

There's the standard Midwestern accent, the Texan drawl, the various New England dialects, the lowland Southern accent, the North Central accent, the Great Lakes dialect, the guttural Mid-Atlantic dialect, the Brooklyn accent, Pacific Northwest English, and so forth.

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1 Article; 2,076 Posts; 22,257 Profile Views

There's the standard Midwestern accent, the Texan drawl, the various New England dialects, the lowland Southern accent, the North Central accent, the Great Lakes dialect, the guttural Mid-Atlantic dialect, the Brooklyn accent, Pacific Northwest English, and so forth.

My county is so diverse with its own native dialects plus we cater to a large snowbird population or those retiring here from all over, that everyone thinks someone else talks funny.

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21 Posts; 346 Profile Views

If a patient chooses to place race over clinical competence, then they get what they deserve. If a patient rejects a nurse because of their race or ethnicity, I don't think that nurse should be subjected to that patient for a full 8 or 12 hour shift. We cannot undo a lifetime of racist and bigoted thinking in the short time that patient is in our care. Just make the best of it and move on. If you challenge the patient you risk a PR blowup that will have ramifications long after they have been discharged. Just let it go and move on. There are more appreciative patients who need our care.

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Here.I.Stand has 16 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro.

1 Follower; 4,961 Posts; 42,743 Profile Views

I wish you were right. Had a man in the ER let his kid die while waiting for a white doctor from the next county because no t***l head was gonna touch his boy. How far are you willing to go? If it was my baby and Dr. Burning Cross was the best care available I would accept it AND thank him. I don't get it.

Dad needs to be charged with negligent homicide.

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