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Topics About 'Racism'.

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  1. 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
  2. “Am I going to die?” I could hear the naked fear in Jim’s voice as he whispered his deepest concern while I sat beside him. Still in his prime at 56, pancreatic cancer had quickly robbed him of his strength, stripping off muscle-mass and leaving his body ravaged by a disease that gained too great a foothold before being detected. Barely able to sit on the side of his hospital bed, using oxygen to help him breathe, he struggled with pain that kept him from resting well. All the while, he didn’t want to burden his anxious wife and children who took turns staying beside him and tending to his increasing needs. As a former Hospice Nurse and Faith Community Nurse (FCN), I have encountered many situations like Jim’s. They are so hard—so hard for everyone involved, and nurses are often the ones that walk beside terminal patients when their needs are most acute. Although some physicians and other members of the care team are involved at intervals, nurses tend to be the ones most present, working to provide symptom relief on a day-to-day basis. How can we be agents of hope in these tough situations? How can we have hope enough to share when we are struggling too? Our patients need us to help them have hope now more than ever. Whether they are terminal, like Jim, or trying to get through difficult treatments, or going through a surgical or medical recovery, these times add even more anxiety to an already hard time. COVID-19, racial tension, political upheaval—through it all the important work of nursing goes on. People are still in treatment, seeking help, needing nurses to be there for them in their time of need. Here are some ideas to keep in mind Renew our own sources of hope I have a friend that has a table lamp that is solar-powered. If it doesn’t get enough sunlight, it does a poor job of illuminating the darkness. Maybe we can see a connection with ourselves in that example—staying connected to our power source, our source of energy and renewal is essential if we are to keep doing our jobs well through this difficult time. If we are spiritual people, then finding scriptures, devotionals, podcasts that help us stay grounded and hope-filled. Some nurses find peace in listening to music or in meditating. Many of you are now probably laughing, thinking that this feels out of touch with your life because besides work you have kids, a family, meals, laundry, and financial concerns. Who has time to meditate? We all hear the clarion call of our busyness but we cannot afford to let our tank of hope run dry. If we do, we risk burn-out and illness from within. So putting in those earbuds on the way home, waking up 10 minutes early to take a moment of quiet—everyone has to find their own path to renewal. What do you do to stay hopeful? Maybe you can share your ideas with others. Talk it out or work it out Working through COVID-19 stress and continuing to function with excellence is beyond challenging—it verges on impossible. The stress can accumulate and fill up our insides in ways that are troubling: loss of good sleep, over or under-eating, substance abuse, and the list goes on. To avoid internalizing, we must find ways to talk it out. This can take a variety of forms including journaling, joining a support group, talking with a spiritual director. Getting the stress out can also mean going for a power walk or a run or a yoga class. All of these ideas can help. What do you do? Know your anchors All of us are going to have different coping mechanisms. As nurses and as humans, we work to be aware of the people around us that help us to be hopeful and those that take away from our stockpile of hope. Toxic people can strip away the work we do with a few words of criticism or anger. Protecting ourselves from them during this time is important. When we are feeling low on hope, we have to lean into those relationships that feed our souls and insulate ourselves from those folks that do the opposite. Of course, it is not always possible to stay away from a toxic boss or in-law, but recognizing their effect on us and being conscious of the need for self-protection is a starting point. How have you been coping during these times of crisis? How do you maintain boundaries? During the dual crises of COVID-19 and our national struggle for racial equality, we can find ourselves seriously depleted in mind, body and spirit. Being attentive to our own needs can help us navigate these troubled waters, and help us be able to respond to patients like Jim by being fully present.
  3. SafetyNurse1968

    Do Black Nurses Have a Different Experience?

    I reached out to Mary, an old college acquaintance, to ask if she would talk to me about her experiences as a black nurse. I was concerned that asking her to talk about her history might be triggering or an imposition and I wanted to honor her willingness to share with me, so I asked if I could make a donation in her honor. She asked that I make a donation to the Alzheimer's Association in honor of her mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s. I didn’t realize that June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. The more people know about Alzheimer's, the more action is inspired. In addition, I made a donation to The Bail Project™ National Revolving Bail Fund – “a critical tool to prevent incarceration and combat racial and economic disparities in the bail system.” Black RNs According to Minority Nurse, 9.9% of RNs are black or African American (non-Hispanic); 8.3% are Asian; 4.8% are Hispanic or Latino; 1.3% categorize themselves as two or more races; 0.4% are American Indian or Alaskan Native. There are 279,600 black RNs and 162,800 LPNs. Black or African American (non-Hispanic) nurses were more prevalent among the nurse population in the South Atlantic (9.5%), West South Central (8.8%), and East South Central (7.7%) areas than anywhere else. 14.6% of black or African-American nurses have related master’s or doctoral degrees, compared to 13.4% of white nurses.1 The profession of nursing shares a long and prestigious history of African-American nurses. Despite centuries of oppression and prejudice, Harriet Tubman, Mary Eliza Mahoney and Lillian Holland Harvey overcame adversity and fought to improve not only the lives of those around them, but the profession of nursing as a whole.2 Talking with Mary Safety Nurse (SN): “What experiences have you had in your career as a nurse in which the color of your skin played a role?” Mary: “Historically as a nurse working on the med surg unit, having older, white patients who assumed that if I was walking in the door with a white person, they would assume I was not the nurse, or that I was something less.” She went on to say, “It made me feel shocked and a little angered. I was quick to correct that. It didn’t make me sad, just shock and anger.” Growing Up with Different Races Mary grew up in a small town in the Southwestern U.S. She started out at an all-black school, but then from the third through eighth grade she went to an all-white, private school. Then she ended up graduating from a mixed-race high school. Mary: “I’ve been in every type of situation.” SN: “Where were you most comfortable?” When Mary shared, “I felt safer from being bullied in the all-white school.” I was surprised. I would have thought the opposite would have been true, but she went on to explain, “As a black person with other black people I felt more comfortable at the all-black school, but being the black girl in a black neighborhood, my dad had a better job, he made more money, I was catholic, I had longer hair, guys liked to hang around with me, I was bullied by those of the same color. They were jealous.” I understood better. She did say that she dated a white boy for a while. “I couldn’t go to his home because his mom was racist. I was hurt by it. It left me wondering why?” Mary attended a technical school to obtain an ADN and was an RN for five years before getting her BSN. She then went on to get an MSN in nursing leadership and management, and then she went on to obtain a post master’s nurse practitioner license. Now she’s in school for her doctorate. I joked that she and I have that much in common. We both love school! SN “Why did you shift from the hospital to academia?” Mary: “My thoughts when I worked in the hospital were to move up the chain of command, but no matter what I tried, charge nurse, CNE – it didn’t happen. I was on every committee, everyone thought I was the charge nurse, but I wasn’t.” SN: “Do you think race played a role?” Mary: “I don’t think it was race. I think it might be because I’m very honest. Sometimes that can be perceived as ‘the angry black woman’ I’ve always gotten in trouble for being honest.” “Its’ hard for black people to know if someone doesn’t' like us because of personality or race? When we don’t get a job, either you weren’t qualified, or the person didn’t like you, but we have to add on the extra one of race.” I was relieved when Mary told me she had never had any negative experiences with the police. She has two children, a teenaged daughter, and a son in his twenties and she said to her knowledge, neither of them has ever had a negative interaction with the police either. SN: “What about at your university? Have you experienced racism there?” Mary: “Going to some outside meetings, being on general education committees, it’s just a different atmosphere – being the only black person in those faculty meetings. Usually what you say isn’t as important as what your white counterparts say.” SN: “How about in the nursing program?” Mary: “Within our department – I feel very comfortable. Our dean is black, and our associate dean is black. Race is not an issue in our department. There was some shock when a black woman became the Dean. I don’t recall anyone being excited and I thought there should have been more excitement around that.” SN: “What about students? Do you feel there are any racial issues for your students?” Mary: “The old dean, I heard she treated the black students differently, but I don’t know the specifics. Now, it isn’t a problem. There may be some hidden problems. Being the most diverse division in our university, I’m comfortable and pleased with what we have.” SN: “How have things been for you since George Floyd was murdered; since the protests began? Are you okay?” Mary: “I can count on one hand how many people who have been sensitive on social media, who have reached out to me. I’m hurt by the person that I hang with the most hasn’t reached out to check on me. Initially what pops in my head is just to have her tell me, ‘I’m here, I’m listening, I understand.’” SN: “How have you felt since the protests started?” Mary: “It’s something that needs to be done. I’m happy with some of the changes that people are trying to make. There is still just so much more that needs to be done. There’s a lot more dialogue that needs to happen with certain people.” SN: “What do you think would make a difference at your school?” Mary: “I think it would be neat to have a diversity round table about the issues to talk about what’s going on, something like where different races get to talk about their perspectives respectfully. As a nursing instructor, I sent an email to my students that with what is going on, to be safe and remember you are in school for a profession that cares and takes care of all people. Remain professional” SN: “Anything else you can think of?” Mary: “What baffles me the most – I have a white friend who claims to be a Christian, she says she goes to church three times a week. She says she’s not racist, but she doesn’t want her daughter dating a black person. That’s hypocrisy, it contradicts what she’s saying. Admit what you are. The flat-out hatred and discrimination – I don’t understand it. How do you live like that?” Racism in Nursing? I had difficulty finding peer-reviewed research about racism in nursing. I know it exists, so I’ll keep looking and write up an article specifically on this topic. Until then ... I’d like to hear from you ... Have you experienced racism as a nurse? If so, did it come from patients, coworkers or management? Thank you in advance for being willing to share.
  4. We have all seen on the news the terrible scene that played out in the streets in Minnesota when George Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old black male, was arrested by the Minnesota Police for attempted forgery at a convenience store. The action was caught on video as George Floyd, handcuffed and pinned to the ground face down by an officer who pressed with his full weight with his knee on Mr. Floyd's neck for more than 8 minutes. We watched and heard George Floyd crying out that he couldn't breathe. We heard him calling for "Mama". We watched as his body went limp with the officer still holding him down. This will be a scene I shall never forget. The following are quotes from the Minnesota Nurses Association's response to this heinous crime. Nurses jump into action when they hear someone say "I can't breathe", instead of standing there watching them die. Their goal is to save lives, not kill people As a nurse, or as a compassionate human, how has this horrific event affected you? We have seen protests (some peaceful and some that have erupted into riots), vandalism, looting, and more. What is going on in your community? What actions can nurses take? Let us stand together and let our voices be heard. Post your comments below.
  5. Read in its entirety: Aunt Jemima brand to change name, remove image that Quaker says is 'based on a racial sterotype' Other companies will follow suit: Uncle Ben's rice to change brand as part of parent company's stance against racism.
  6. 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.
  7. National Nurses United's Statement on Protests and Systemic Racism Stop Blaming Underlying Health Conditions and Comorbidities Following a weekend of nationwide protests, National Nurses United (NNU) today said the nation is long overdue in confronting the systemic racism that is at the heart of much of the current crisis and long overdue in dedicating itself to fundamental reforms. “There’s a common link between the latest wave of police and white supremacist killings of African Americans and the disproportionate racial impact of the pandemic and the economic crisis,” said NNU Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, RN. “Nurses understand that when you have pain and suffering, whether it is one patient or a community that is hurting, the first priority must be healing and recovery, driven by compassion and humanity ,” Castillo said . “ We’re seeing far too much of the opposite reaction .”... https://www.pressreleasepoint.com/national-nurses-uniteds-statement-protests-and-systemic-racism-stop-blaming-underlying-health
  8. Supervisors at Abington Memorial Hospital in Philadelphia have explained that they sought only to avoid a confrontation when they told African American employees to stay out of a patient's room after a man ordered that no blacks assist in the delivery of his child. Philadelphia Inquirer, Oct. 3, 2003 NAACP wants hospital supervisors punished Local leaders call for Abington hospital to discipline those who told minority staffers to stay out of a patient's room. Local NAACP leaders yesterday called on Abington Memorial Hospital to discipline supervisors who told minority employees to stay out of a patient's room after a man demanded that only white staffers assist in the delivery of his baby. ( By Oliver Prichard, Inquirer Staff Writer, 10/04/2003 03:01 AM EDT) (links removed as they no longer exist)
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