IS RACIAL DISCRIMINATION A PROBLEM IN THE NURSING PROFESSION?
For a long time, people of color have been mistreated and overlooked. They have been cast as being successful in only the entertainment and sports industry. People of color have been overlooked for bigger and better positions for decades, because their superiors believe that they are not good enough for the positions of manager, doctor, partner and the liked for decades now. For people of color, it is more than just about breaking the glass ceiling, they need to cross the cultural barrier as well, and that includes racial discrimination at the workplace.
RACIAL DISCRIMINATION IN NURSING PROFESSION
Unfortunately, racial discrimination does not start at the corporate level. It begins at the admissions office in college. It is a widely known fact that people of color have a lower acceptance rate to Ivy league schools and college in general. Not because they are lacking in skills or smarts. But because admissions administrators and boards favor white students over non-white applicants. This is a problem that the Obama administration tried to curb through the that the Trump administration has recently made a move to eradicate and reduce the little advantage Obama had secured for ethnic students to access high-quality education.
As a result, fewer ethnic students make it into pre-med and med class to graduate as doctors and nurses. Every graduate is an achievement to be celebrated in the ethnic communities. This means that, by reversing the Obama administration laws that made the admissions process in schools an even playing field, the new laws will keep the process at an unequal and unfair advantage for white students. Making the workforce for the nurses at a higher percentage for more white nurses as compared to non-white nurses.
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This has negative effects that can be seen in patients who prefer t have white doctors attend to them instead of a non-white. In the same case, they would also prefer white nurses because of a misconception that the non-whites are not as qualified. Many a time the patients may deny it, but It comes down to the color of their skin. In another scenario, nurses of an ethnic background may feel isolated and lonely being the only one on their team or shift being a person of color. It can be difficult to relate with people of a different background who do not share the same experiences, heritage or history as you.
More than that, being the only different one it is easier to be singled out for harder tasks, or unwanted shifts that to be thrown your way. Collaborating with others can be difficult in an unfriendly environment. The workplace then becomes a place full of tension and stress, rather than a fulfilling atmosphere for vocational work to take place. This ultimately results in a high turnover for people of color, who are often put in uncomfortable situations both at work and in a society that pushes them to relinquish their jobs for peace of mind and seek better opportunities.
Racial discrimination in nursing is a factor. The perception is that only people of color can or should work as nurses because it is a job secondary to a doctor. A caregiver is expected to be black or Hispanic. When the roles are reversed, some patients are surprised or taken aback even. This shows that the level of discrimination does not only exist in the industry but it has also become a social norm. Sometimes, patients make derogatory requests like “I don’t want colored nurses in my room”. The hospitals are then forced to abide to please the patients and protect personnel from potentially a volatile patient.
This goes two ways, one the patient fails to receive sufficient care in the event a ‘colored nurse’ is the only one available, and the second is the nurse walks around with a heavy heart from racial discrimination and prejudice in the workplace. Serving up a negative impact for all parties involved.
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