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  1. jeastridge

    Racism in Nursing: Is It Real?

    Hope is invented every day. - James Baldwin Racism Among Nurses is a Real Thing Nurses on the non-caucasian spectrum of melanin content in their skin can tell you—if you ask. In this Summer of upheaval, we hear the headlines every day: Black lives matter, economic and racial inequities in COVID-19 care, police brutality, health care workers marching for justice for all, discrimination against immigrants—the list of troubles is long and complex. In all this turmoil, we want to make sure that we listen carefully, as nurses, to the stories our co-workers tell about their own experiences, because facts inform, but stories inspire. Racial Discrimination: It is Real I am a white, middle-aged nurse. I feel uncomfortable writing an article about racism experienced by my non-caucasian colleagues, but I would like to start a respectful conversation on this forum. I would like to hear your personal stories of times when you feel you might have been discriminated against because of the color of your skin. I have been reading Ijeoma Oluo’s book, So You Want to Talk about Race? And, it’s hard stuff. No one enters the waters of a race discussion well. We all bring mounds of baggage to the table with us. We speak from our own limited perspective and we often lack the humility to truly listen to the people around us as they share their frustration and anger about how they are treated simply because of the color of their skin. We have a hard time allowing people who have suffered discrimination for years to tell their stories. We react sometimes by being defensive, by denying their emotional response, by walking away, even by closing down. Oluo introduces the discussion about racism by telling a story of someone walking down the street, being repeatedly hit on the arm by passersby. The victim can’t leave. They don’t have the option of walking another way and are forced to suffer the pain and discomfort each time. Finally, someone, gesticulating wildly, hits his/her arm one more time, and it is the last straw. The victim lashes out angrily. The person gesticulating reacts defensively, of course, since they meant no harm. But the harm was already done many times over and the response was a spilling out of pent up rage, anguish, and pain. Her story spoke to me, because it is hard for us to listen well, to hear uncomfortable stories, especially when they come coated in a long history of abuse, discrimination, suffering—generations of it, really. We may not be the immediate cause, but by golly, being white, we are certainly part of the system that created the injustice to start out with. White Privilege: It is Real As a white, American nurse, I have benefitted, all my life, from white privilege, even though I have been largely unaware of it. The easements along the way may be small things, but in the scheme of life, they count. “White people become more likely to move through the world with an expectation that their needs be readily met.”1 The system that perpetuates discriminatory behavior toward non-Caucasians, in general, and Blacks, specifically, has produced rotten fruit. The deaths of many innocents—Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd—have recently revealed anew the true danger of being Black in this country. Those dangers and disadvantages exist in the nursing community, as well. “Two studies examining racial/ethnic bias in RN promotions (Hagey 2001; Seago and Spetz 2005) found evidence of discriminatory practices that limited advancement opportunities for minority RNs."2 The systemic problems that lead to discriminatory practices in nursing are not going away overnight. Sadly, they are a product of lives lived in a system that perpetuates white wealth and advancement to the detriment of others. Changes will require a concerted effort on all our parts—especially in the white community—to be aware of inequities and do our best to put action behind our words of solidarity. Yes, we must pass laws, train and re-train, but we also must live awake and alert, watching for those unconscious biases that frame these differences from the beginning. We must find ways to learn more and to listen better. When our co-workers speak up, let’s believe them and not discount their stories of injustice. Let’s be careful of how we talk, the things we say casually, the hurtful putdowns that slide out unaware. Let’s pursue ways to help each other succeed because it is truly in our mutual success that we find the fulfillment we seek. We Can Reinvent Hope We can have the hope that James Baldwin assures us of in the quote at the top, but we must also let go of complacency, ignorance, and white privilege in nursing, while continuing the difficult conversations. Will You Tell Your Story? Maybe some of you can share your stories below. Let’s share and support one another respectfully as we try to come to a better place together in this anti-racism journey. References 1 - What Is White Privilege, Really? 2 - Racial/Ethnic Pay Disparities among Registered Nurses (RNs) in U.S. Hospitals: An Econometric Regression Decomposition
  2. simba and mufasa

    When You See Something, Say Something

    "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools." - Dr. Martin Luther King Racism in nursing is real. It starts in nursing school, occurs on the units among nurses, managers, administrators, doctors as well as patients; intermingled in this wide web. Some white people become defensive about this topic, they refute and dismiss such acts. I did not want to pursue this topic further but was encouraged by the previous article which asks if racism in nursing is real. Yes, it is real, and happens on many levels and sometimes not so transparent. As a black nurse, I have written some of my experiences and of course, everyone experiences racism differently. The death of George Floyd has exposed the fight that has been occurring since the black people landed in America. It is many decades later, and black people are fighting for civil rights and equality all over the world. Racism can occur during orientation, unfair hiring practices, unfair patient assignments, unfair treatment by doctors and fellow nurses, the list is endless. I just opened a little window in my world to give share about this elephant in the room, so that fellow nurses can recognize some facets of racism and call it out, say something. Introduction Hope is not lost on this forum. I am encouraged every day by the posts about racism from both sides. Racism in nursing is analyzed from a historical, professional, and personal perspective to examine the relevance of this timely issue in our society (Paradisi, 2012). Many nurse managers’ stated that they feel unprepared to handle or discuss workplace racial issues (Paradisi, 2012). As I have witnessed, complaints about racism are downplayed or dismissed; evident on this forum as well. Many black nurses are tired of having to explain covert racism to white managers and nursing instructors. Many nurse faculties avoid addressing the issue for fear of saying the wrong thing (Paradisi, 2012). To exacerbate the racial tensions, there is a short supply of black nurse managers and nursing instructors to mitigate some of the issues. If nurses do not talk about racism openly, it will continue to persist. We cannot advocate for ourselves as nurses if we are not willing to advocate for all nurses (Paradisi, 2012). Racism is an open secret in nursing, let's discuss and get educated. Personal Experiences In nursing school, I was the first black student in that school for 20 years. I could tell the faculty had no idea how to handle issues that arose with the addition of a black student. My nursing school was in a rural area with a predominantly white population. I just wandered to that community, of course, I am not even going to talk about the issues my family encountered when we rented a townhouse and my kids enrolled in school, it’s just another can of worms to open. As a nursing student, when it came to group projects, I was the last to secure a group; most patients in clinical areas and nursing homes refused me as a student. Students would go for outings on weekends or end of the semester and I was never invited. Years later, I was the first black educator at the same college, but was faced with some issues of white students undermining and thinking I was an angry black woman despite extensive experience at the bedside and teaching at other colleges as well. During my practicum at an inner-city college, the only one to accept me, one of the educators asked where I planned to teach. I told her about my former college because it was closer to home instead of commuting one hour away. She told me that she will never teach in such a place (she is white by the way). After teaching for a short time, I understood what she meant. There was no support when it came to the students’ complaints. Instead, I was sent to the Dean a couple of times because the student did not like my recommendations. I tried to introduce some changes in the curriculum, Labs and Simulation, but was shut down, only to learn that they implemented the same changes I had suggested after I left. I also applied for a full-time position, but instead, they hired someone who was in the process of getting her master's and not much experience at the bedside. I taught all nursing levels, Simulation, lab and was well vested in the college, but I was dumped like a bag of cow manure. I have a PhD in nursing and have taught nursing at different levels. In other words, I was more than qualified for the job, but did not get it. Of course, the college can hire anyone they want, but I was qualified! Some will say it’s not racism. The truth is, it is what it is. I was bypassed. The college was predominately white so I stood no chance. Fast forward, when I graduated, I was employed in a Long Term facility that was slightly diverse, because I was starting to wake up and realized that I needed to go to a place where I can survive and not play hide and seek. Some doctors would ask other nurses about my patients, not wanting to talk to me. After a year, I wanted to switch to the Med-Surge unit at the same hospital. I applied several times but got no answers. The unit was constantly short of RNs and were hiring traveling nurses, but still nothing. Finally, the manager of the unit heard about me and realized that my husband had treated one of her family members. The next thing I knew I was whisked to that unit within a short time. My orientation went well until it came time to be trained for the charge nurse, CN. The current CN gave excuses not to orient me, so when they became sick, I volunteered to be one. This was also a large surgical unit and the CN did not have an assignment. Suddenly, once they saw that I was as competent as they were and I self-taught most of the tasks, everyone started taking vacations. All of a sudden it was OK for me to be in charge. I then applied to ICU, but the manager in that unit told me that I was not experienced enough. Fast forward a month later, they hired a new grad. I went to an ICU of a regional hospital; this was a nightmare on its own. The unit was known for eating their young as well as extensive racism. The orientation was fragmented and unorganized. I was oriented by eight nurses. When I was about to be returned to Med-Surg, I was oriented by a Filipino nurse. My orientation was extended to eight more weeks but within two weeks, I was on my own and did well. The Filipino nurse guided me and allowed me to be me. She saw my potential and gave me an atmosphere conducive to learning. Most nurses discussed my treatment on this unit, but they all watched in silence and did not say, "boo". I never was given assignments on IABP, hypothermia’s or any challenging patients; but dying patients and an empty bed. I had an admission or a death every other night, which was exhausting. I decided to move to CVICU. Three nurses applied from the ICU at the same time, but I was held back for three months and the two nurses went straight away. Once in CVICU, I had to be oriented for IABP. The nurses were puzzled why I had not been given such an assignment in a unit with IABP every week. Racism and exclusion, yes? The other two nurses had a little dinner of pizza and cards as a go away gift, but simba marched quietly alone. In CVICU, I was received with open hands. It is a diverse unit and some of the nurses embraced change for better orientation and a better working environment. My orientation was smooth and the environment conducive for learning. As an educator and preceptor, I provide an environment conducive for learning for everyone. If I see unfair treatment, I go to the manager, and if she does not act, go to the union. Fortunately, my manager can handle racism issues and nip them in the bud. These are just a few examples. Of course, some will not see it as racism, but that is how it feels to me. FACT: Some, not everyone, think racism is in black people’s minds, it’s not real. Yes, it is real and alive. When You See Something, Say Something: A Fear of Talking about Racism Is it wrong to write about my story and personal experiences? As a society, it is incumbent upon all of us to forcefully repudiate all expressions of racial hatred and bigotry. We have a long way to go to assure the equality, civil rights, and civil liberties of all people. There’s no time to waste. According to ANA President Ernest J. Grant, in a June 1st statement, he urged US nurses to, "use our voices to call for change. To remain silent is to be complicit." (Thomas, 2020). Racism comes in many forms, from hiring, orientation on units, requests for vacations, nurse-to-nurse interaction, patients with nurses, doctors not interacting with nurses of color ... the list is endless and is so complex. I encourage my fellow nurses to say something when they see racism and call it out like some posts on this forum. I encourage managers and administrators to open their eyes and call the shots when they suspect that racism is taking place. The discussions about race on this forum are a window into our world. As nurses, we are as far left and far right. I am not attacking anyone but am shedding light on a topic so hidden but so right in our eyes. I encourage fellow black nurses to join organizations and other entities to influence change. As an educator, I will do my part to be a voice of reason that shall not be silenced and stay true to self. I am not an angry black woman when I try to complain or express myself. I am intelligent and hardworking ... a beautiful soul just trying to survive. Together we can! When you see something, say something! People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they have not communicated with each other - Dr Martin Luther King What are you doing as a nurse to make sure racism goes asystole?
  3. Racism in healthcare is real. It is so pervasive and sinister, it is expected. Many accept it as an unwelcomed guest, but the White privileged exploit it as a weapon at will. Have you ever walked into a patient's room and been told? " I don't want a Black nurse?" I have. Have you ever applied for a nursing position only to find out that someone with less experience and education was offered the position because the manager "liked" them? I have. Have you ever had a patient say? " You people think since Obama was in office you actually know everything." I have. Nurses and Racism Today, there are approximately 3.8 million nurses in the United States. However, only 9% of Registered Nurses and 6.6% of Nurse Practitioners are African American. Unfortunately, many Black nurses and nurse practitioners experience racism daily. The Nursing Times (2019) stated that two-thirds of nurses working in the National Health Service (NHS) witnesses discrimination and 50% experienced racism. The most prevalent incidents that nurses experienced were: racist language from patients to staff limited career opportunities lack of support by management Discriminatory Acts or Inequalities Large scale studies on discriminatory acts or inequalities against Black nurses in the United States are eerily sparse. Perhaps this reflects the problem itself. However, anecdotal evidence and surveys provide insight into racism in nursing. Black nurses routinely are told by White patients “I don’t want a Black nurse.” Such statements are painful and jolting to Black nurses though not surprising. According to a Johns Hopkins survey (2002), most patients prefer staff that look like them. Results from the Project Prejudice: When Credentials Are Not Enough survey showed that 59% of nurses and 59% of nurse practitioners experienced offensive remarks from patients. Twenty-six percent of the remarks were race-based. What is even more disturbing is the response by hospitals. Hospital leadership from charge nurses to administrators routinely remove Black nurses and reassign a White nurse rather than supporting the Black nurses. Hospitals seem to care more about the patient experience than confronting the White patient. Yes, this is healthcare’s “open secret.” One disturbing example of racism includes an African American nurse in Michigan who sued her hospital after her hospital administration accommodated a White patient who posted a note stating that no African American nurses should care for his newborn baby. This is one story but there are countless untold stories of Black nurses who experience racism. FACT: It’s time to look at racism as a primary driver in healthcare inequality and health disparities. Racism is the Fire but Implicit Bias is the Fuel Implicit bias, the unconscious attitude that contributes to discriminatory practices, must be addressed in nursing. First, implicit bias must be recognized. Organizations must ask the difficult questions: How does implicit bias manifest in my nursing organization? Does my organization reflect my population? Are there Black nurses in leadership? Are there Black charge nurses, clinical nurse specialists, clinical managers, clinical educators or directors of nursing? If not, why? Hospitals can take cues from major healthcare organizations on how to address racism. The First Step in Combating Racism is to Acknowledge it Exists Two major healthcare organizations, American Medical Association (AMA, 2020) and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP, 2020) have made public statements declaring racism as a public health concern. Both are in lockstep with the current political movement to course-correct healthcare inequality and social injustice in the US. The AANP recognized that George Floyd’s death represented many senseless deaths of Black people in the United States by law enforcement. But one man did not kill Mr. Floyd. Micro-aggressions did. Hate did. Privilege did. Systemic Racism did. It is time for change at the macrosystemic and microsystemic levels. The United States has a long history of inequality in healthcare. Addressing racism and practicing culture humility can act as part of a larger mitigation strategy. It is not enough to mandate culture competency in healthcare. Doctors and nurses must see patients as they wish to be seen not as they see them. Currently, We are Living with Two Pandemics: Racism and COVID-19 The COVID-19 pandemic shed a spotlight on health disparities in the US. African Americans are 14% of the United States population yet comprise 34% of COVID-19 cases. Healthcare must learn to examine chronic disease states in a holistic manner. Chronic disease coupled with race AND food deserts, lack of school lunch programs, lack of safe neighborhoods, and lack of access to quality healthcare must be considered when assessing disease states in African American patients. Are We All in This Together? Remember at the beginning of the pandemic the saying “We are all in this together.” We must adopt this same mantra with racism in healthcare as well. It is time to unmask racism. It is time to dismantle structures and systems that perpetuate inequalities. Today, we move about our environments with our masks on while living with COVID-19. As the pandemic lingers, many people report quarantine fatigue. They are tired of wearing a mask. Some see it as a burden. But, has anyone considered the burden that lay upon Black people in America for 400 years? It is time to unmask racism so all can live a healthier America. REFERENCES 3 Things Patients Want from Nurses (But Won't Tell Them) Prejudice and patient choice: an insidious confluence in medicine The Impact of Racist Patients Credentials Don’t Shield Doctors, Nurses from Bias
  4. TheCommuter

    Racial Refusals In Nursing

    For starters, 'racial refusal' is a term I constructed several years ago to denote the practice of patients and / or family members who refuse care from certain nurses, physicians, aides, techs and other healthcare workers solely because of the caregiver's racial-ethnic background. Racial refusals can be inflicted upon staff members of any race, creed, ethnicity or national origin. Also, patients belonging to any racial-ethnic background are capable of refusing particular staff members for reasons that are purely race-based. Most importantly, these refusals tend to throb like a virtual slap in the face whenever they do happen to a person. I currently live in a part of the country where racial refusals take place with regularity. In fact, the specialty hospital where I am employed is presently attempting to accommodate the racially biased preferences of a patient who has requested that no black members of staff provide any care for her. Anyhow, these types of requests are normally accommodated at my workplace because nursing management and hospital administration wants to ensure that the facility's Press Ganey patient satisfaction scores remain above a certain threshold. In exchange for favorable patient satisfaction scores and repeat stays, management will attempt to 'WOW!!' the patient by making staff assignments based on racial-ethnic background. On the other hand, the hospital where I work cannot always reasonably accommodate patients' race-based requests for staff members, especially on the night shift, due to the fact that every single one of the night shift nurses and techs in the entire building might be from the same racial-ethnic background on some evenings. My views on this issue might be controversial, but here they are. I feel that patients who are not actually paying for their care (read: charity care) have no business refusing caregivers due to race. I also feel that patients who receive help from the federal government to fund their care (read: Medicare or Medicaid) have no business refusing caregivers of a certain race. After all, people of all races and nationalities pay taxes that help fund these programs. Finally, I feel that patients who are receiving care at any hospital or other healthcare facility because they lack the education and expertise to provide their own medical treatment and nursing care have no business refusing caregivers due to racial reasons. One more thought before I depart for the evening. As a black female, I would prefer that these racially prejudiced patients have their requests accommodated, as contradictory as this may seem. Here is my reasoning. A patient who does not want me to serve as his nurse can make boldfaced claims regarding poor nursing care and fabricate allegations of abuse that could make my professional life tremendously miserable. These patients are generally set in their ways, resistant to change, frequently spiteful, and sometimes elderly. Their racial prejudice is their personal problem of which I want absolutely no part. I would prefer to live and let live. No matter what you do, always hold your head high in the face of a racial refusal. Even though the patient is essentially rejecting you based on your race, you are still worthy of respect, dignity and a basic right to exist in the society in which we live. It is unfortunate that some people have not changed with the times.
  5. I would love some feedback from fellow nurses. I sometimes take care of covid-19 positive patients on a separate pod set up to maintain safety. I utilize PPE and feel comfortable. I have recently had a negative blood drawn antibody test (but as we know the accuracy of these tests are being questioned). Now for my question: I have been going to PT for ongoing back problems that go as far back as two years. The good new, by back is great, now they are working on my knee. Today I was told since I'm dong very well they may want to end my case because of the fact that I take care of covid-19 patients and here in AZ, the numbers are climbing. Even though I am asymptotic, they want to talk to the owner of the clinic to see is she is comfortable with me coming. I get it but I feel like someone just came by and popped by balloon! Frustrated. I would like to continue therapy. I also scheduled an appointment with a vascular surgeon for a couple of bad varicose veins that I would like to have treated in the office. I had extensive treatment for this three years ago and would like to follow up with two that are now starting to become symptomatic. All the procedures are done in the office including phlebectomy. I get it, elective procedure. Can they refuse to see me since I am a nurse taking care of covid patients? I get it, don't want anyone to be uncomfortable around me but this is beginning to bother me. Thanks for listening to my rant.
  6. Every time he stood up he tottered and I fought the urge to reach out my hand, sure that my gesture would be an insult to his pride. Aidan was 23 years old, gay, African-American, and had 7 T cells. My standard speech about lifesaving drugs was met with a blank stare. "My life?" he mumbled, staring at the floor. "It isn't worth saving." He had seen his family last summer. It had been hot, but they didn't know about his HIV so he wore long-sleeved shirts and pants to cover the staph infections on his skin. He was sick, having diarrhea all day and thrush making it painful to swallow. He wanted to come home. They didn't know he was gay so he tried disclosing that first. It had not gone well. Aidan began to cry, pitiful sobs that shook his willow-thin frame. I handed him the box of tissues, and he told me about contemplating suicide, standing by the train tracks thinking he should jump. His father told him to go to hell, so he thought, why not. He already felt like he was there. I touched him on his bony shoulder and looked him in the eye. I told him he was a beautiful man, that he must care or he wouldn't be here today. I introduced him to a mental health provider and implored him to please, please come back and see us. But it was not to be. Like a passive suicide, he died of AIDS. But I don't think it was AIDS that killed him. Cassie was another patient, a bubbly transgender male-to-female who was seen in women's clinic because she was "proud of her womanhood, baby!". I complimented her on her nail polish and we talked about makeup and fashion. Her appearance was tasteful and she could almost "pass" for a biological woman. But when I asked about employment Cassie grew quiet and a cloud descended over her freckled face. She always told the truth about being transgendered on employment forms because she felt they had a right to know. It also opened the door for her to ask which bathroom they would like her to use. I gathered that she had grown discouraged - she never seemed to get an interview so she was living on the streets, trading sex for food and shelter. But Cassie was happy again. She was in a relationship with a wonderful man! And yet, they never had sex when they weren't high and what Cassie described sounded like rape. I asked "how do you feel about that?", and she said "I'm glad that anyone would want to be with me. I'm not a normal girl, you know." I tried to say "you're worth more" but she raised her eyebrows and gave me a piercing look that stopped me dead. "You find me a job so I don't need no sugar daddies", she said, "and then I'll believe you." It's a difficult thing to argue with. This transcultural experience of mine has taught me that discrimination and rejection of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people is not a philosophical or theological concept. It hurts real people like Aidan and Cassie. Too many stories like these. I wish our society accepted all people for who they are. (Names and some details changed to protect confidentiality)
  7. Nurse Beth

    Ageism in Nursing

    Barbara, a nurse of 27 years, left her job interview with the strong feeling that they were not going to “be in touch”. She was dismayed because it had taken several applications to land one interview. Her skills were solid and her work history exemplary until her hospital had recently laid off Barbara (an educator), a clinical nurse specialist, and the manager of Cath Lab in one fell swoop of “re-organizing”. The 3 were all over fifty years old and Barbara wondered if that was a coincidence. Ageism is prejudice or discrimination based on one’s age. While many Baby Boomers are retiring, the retirement age is rising and many people will need to remain in the workforce at an older age. Full Social Security benefits start at age 66 years and 2 months for those born in 1955. Ageism is Acceptable People can no more choose their age that they can choose their race or gender. The difference is that while race and gender do not change, everyone who lives long enough will age. Even so, while it’s not politically correct to be racist or sexist, it’s still OK to be ageist. Ageism is deeply permeated in our society and expressed everywhere- in magazines, on TV, in the workplace. It’s a part of our shared consciousness in the United States to value youth over age. Since it’s the norm, many are not even aware of how ageist our culture is...until they experience it. Many of us are guilty of remarks such as “She’s pretty sharp for her age” and “I’m having a senior moment” without realizing such comments perpetuate a commonly held negative view of seniors. Birthday parties after a certain age are a good example. Black balloons symbolize the perceived tragedy of growing older. Even those who pride themselves on being tolerant and inclusive may see the elderly as “others” who are burdensome and a drain on the economy. Cultural diversity and acceptance is now the norm- with the exception of ageism. Ageism and Gender Women, in particular, lose a great deal of perceived value once they exceed their childbearing years. Unlike women, aging men are given a pass and can still be considered attractive, especially if they are wealthy and powerful. Ageism and Occupation Judy, a nurse of 27 years, began to notice that she didn’t feel as valued on the unit as she once did. She recalled hearing the expression “feeling invisible” and realized she was beginning to understand it. At the same time, doctors the same age as her seemed to grow in authority and respect. A recent study shows that physicians are less likely to experience ageism than nurses. One explanation is that physicians are seen as experts, while nurses are not. Experts are allowed to age without discrimination. Ageism in the Workplace Signs of ageism in the workplace include: Not being included in conversation. Seniors are often assumed to be culturally clueless. Frequently being asked “When are you going to retire?” Being passed over for promotions. Promoting a young, relatively inexperienced nurse to charge nurse over a mature, seasoned nurse. Being pushed out of the workforce. Older nurses are more expensive and are pushed out in many cases. This despite the fact they are less likely than younger nurses to get their NP and leave after 2 years. Ageism and Hiring No one likes to be stereotyped, whether it’s men or women, millennials or seniors. Baby boomers are not all the same anymore than millenials are all the same. Common generalizations about older workers are that they are less healthy, will incur more medical costs, are less skilled, and do not learn as fast as their younger counterparts. The biggest workplace discrimination is in hiring. Some organizations have an unwritten policy against hiring anyone over 40. Computer algorithms are used to figure out an applicant’s age, even when graduation dates are omitted and work histories shortened. Even first names are a giveaway- everyone knows Linda, Kathy, Sue were born in the ’60s, while Tiffany, Jessica, and Amber are millennials. One strategy to eliminate older workers is to eliminate their position, only to rename the position or slightly change the responsibilities and open it back up...to a younger applicant. To combat ageism, applicants need to know how to showcase their value and combat age discrimination in the job interview. The Age Discrimination Act of 1967 protects employees 40 years old and older but age discrimination is a hidden discrimination that is difficult to impossible to prove. Ageism is a Choice Aging is a normal process of living and is experienced differently by everyone. Aging is not a choice, but ageism is. Diversity benefits us all. Diversity helps us celebrate what we have in common, respect our differences, and connect in surprising ways. It is very satisfying to work on a multi-generational team where everyone is respected. Many new nurses do value the knowledge, experience and wisdom older nurses have, and depend on them for guidance. Likewise, seasoned nurses are inspired by the passion and ideals of new grads. Refusing to perpetuate ageism benefits not only the current generation, but the next. Valuing each other makes us all better humans-humans who are all on the same journey of life. Best wishes, Nurse Beth Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
  8. rolland542

    Rejecting the Transplant

    I pulled into the parking lot and see the signs. NURSING JOB FAIR HERE TODAY! I know my future is held within these walls. I gather my resumes and letters of reference, so carefully bundled together for that professional look and head into the building. I stamp the snow from my boots and survey the area. Booths as far as the eyes can see. I begin wandering from table to table, speaking to recruiters from all over the United States. The Dakotas are well represented and offer good wages. We begin to discuss the weather, and I discover it is actually colder there than in my area. Move on! Next stop, New York! I see that the wages offered there are not much different than what I make now, and I know they get more lake effect snow than where I live, so I bustle past, leaving a resume package in my wake. I gather my reserve and keep trudging on, visiting the United States as I go without ever leaving Canada, from booth to booth. The resume stack is getting lower and the information brochures are getting heavy. Next stop, Texas. Oh, glorious Texas! The recruiter is actually the Director of Nursing, now that's a refreshing change. Someone who can actually answer my questions about the equipment, the facility, the management! We chat and get to know each other a little. I am feeling comfortable as is she. The Texan is amazed that I drove two hours in all this snow! We start to talk about money, and she offers a nice salary. I discover that Texas has no income tax, wow, I can be free from the "man". We talk of the small town and how quaint it is. She describes her community, the shops, the people with a twinkle in her eyes. She loves where she lives and you can see it. She assures me that a job offer will be coming. I head out of the convention center, back out to the snow. I shovel off my car and head back to the highway, thinking the whole time, what will it be like? Texas has a wonderful climate, that's a big advantage as my car slides around trying to gain traction on the slippery roads. I'd never had to shovel again! I am attracted to the Dakotas, but hey, they are actually further away from my hometown! Texas is beginning to look even more attractive. Before I realize it, I am home. I sit on my couch and begin to peruse the brochures. A decision is made, Texas it is. Now, which facility? Big or small? I am drawn by the way the DON spoke of her town. So I start to research it; What is the crime rate? What is the average age of the population? How long is the drive back to Canada if I want to come home to visit? And then the personal debate steps in; What if I get homesick? What if my co-workers give me a hard time about being Canadian? I know I want to do it, I want to make the move but... Over the following weeks, my mailbox is stuffed with offers of employment, but one stands out. I call and accept. I am moving to Texas! My friends are wondering if I have gone crazy and my family is supportive but worried. It's a big move, but I am ready. I head to the border crossing at Hill Island, NY and secure my TN Visa. It was a relatively painless process, so I begin to feel really good about my decision. I head home and start packing. Two weeks later, I load the trailer, say my tear-filled farewells, and hit the highway. Texas here I come! The weather gets warmer, the further I head south. I am really liking this! Days later, I pull into the driveway of my D.O.N.'s home. She has offered me her garage to living in until I can find an apartment. She has been so great through the whole process, I feel as though she is family. I unload my stuff and get settled in. The facility is nice. The other nurses greet me and four other Canadians, but you can sense something is not right. There is animosity in the air. I am not there long before the facility owners renege on the offered contract. Three of the five nurses leave and head back home. I start looking around the area at other facilities, I did not make the move so I could be run off by discrimination! I am scooped up by another facility and part company with the D.O.N. I am hurt and discouraged, but I push along. It seems like every two years, I am moving on to another facility, the draw, and attraction of better wages and the sign on bonus is too strong to resist. Years later, after a one failed marriage to a Texan girl, and a 2-year-old son. I make the move to Oklahoma, not by choice but by necessity. My ex-wife has moved here, and I want to be close to my son. Another job hunt, another offer, another facility. Two years pass, and I discover Oklahoma is not so bad after all. I meet and marry another Canadian and transplant her into the American way of life. But then that ugly beast rears it's head again, only this time it's the Great State of Oklahoma practicing discrimination! House Bill 1804 has been passed, I just discovered how it will affect me. The State of Oklahoma has passed a law that says I have to have my visa before I can renew my license, and my license will only be renewed for the time period of the visa. But hey, the Federal Government says I have to have a nurses license valid for the time period of the visa I am applying for, or they won't issue a visa! The body of Oklahoma is rejecting me like a body rejects a transplant. What do I do? I know that there is still a huge shortage of nurses here, why are they rejecting us? So I fight. I fight for my life. I fight for my wife's life, I fight for my son's life. My wife takes over, she is more adept at bringing about change. She contacts a friend and starts letter writing. The letters become the drugs to prevent the rejection. We fight the law. We educate the people. We question ourselves, should we just go "home"? But America is our home now and we don't want to leave, so we stay and fight. Hopefully, we can use the one "drug" that will prevent the "rejection" and our lives will be saved.
  9. TheCommuter

    Is Your Name Important?

    For starters, I will reveal that I am an African-American female with a very common anglicized first and last name. I am also friendly with a small handful of nurse managers, staff development personnel, and others who have at least some responsibility for hiring candidates. The tidbits that I have learned during my time in the nursing profession are nothing short of eye-opening. To quickly get to the point, a person's name can affect his or her career trajectory, either positively or negatively, due to a myriad of reasons. First of all, first names in the United States are largely generational and can shed some light on a person's approximate age range. Secondly, certain first and last names can reveal a candidate's racial-ethnic background. Lastly, some small-minded recruiters, human resources personnel, and hiring managers might skip the employment applications with names that are perceived as too difficult to pronounce. Names are generational. A person's name might give clues about her age. First names such as Sadie, Lucille, Norma, and Pauline were popular more than seventy years ago, and as a result, women with these names are more likely to be elderly. Linda, Deborah, Pamela, and Judith were common during the Baby Boomer generation, which is why many middle-aged women have these names. In fact, one of my previous places of employment had multiple workers named Pamela, and all of them were middle-aged. Jennifer was the number one name in America between 1970 and 1985 according to the Census Bureau, so many females from Generation X and Generation Y will have this wildly popular name. I was born in the early 1980s and many of the girls in my age range were called Amanda, Nicole, Melissa, Megan, and Alexis. A fair number of Millennial generation applicants will be named Emily, Kayla, Emma, Nevaeh (Heaven spelled backwards) and other names that are trendy today. Names might reveal one's racial-ethnic background. I'm an African-American female with a very common anglicized first and last name, so anyone who sees my name on a resume or application would not be able to determine my race unless they've seen me. However, names such as Tameka, DeShaun, and Tanisha are stereotypically 'black-sounding.' Names like Margarita, Miguel, and Armando are 'Latino-sounding.' Names such as Chang and Thuy sound Asian. Having an idea of the candidate's racial-ethnic background might help or hurt, depending on the circumstances. For example, resumes with white-sounding names have a 50% greater chance of receiving a callback when compared to those with African American names, according to a study performed for the National Bureau of Economic Research by the University of Chicago's Marianne Bertrand and Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sendhil Mullaina (Dickler, 2009). However, the recruiter or HR director who is purposely seeking a diverse group of candidates might call the applicants with ethnic-sounding names. A job application with a difficult-to-pronounce name might be skipped. If the name on your resume looks hard to pronounce and/or isn't gender-specific, it's quite plausible that a hiring manager might (consciously or not) reject it for that reason, alone (Pongo Blog, 2012). It does not stop there. Evidently, those with easy-to-pronounce names benefit from their name's pronounce-ability at work with more positive performance evaluations and higher status in the hierarchy (Paggi, n.d.). So, is your name that big of a deal to your overall success? Although the impact of names cannot be ignored, I believe that other factors, such as work ethic, interpersonal skills, ambition, educational attainment, willingness to learn, and personal drive, are major contributors to a person's career trajectory. Work-Cited / References Dickler, J. (August 27, 2009). Does the name on your résumé affect your job search? CNN. Retrieved October 27, 2012 Pongo Blog. (2012). Good Resume But No Interviews? It Could Be Your Name. Retrieved October 27, 2012
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