Some patients won't see nurses of different race

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Reader, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    http://www.centurylink.net/news/rea...ass&action=1&lang=en&_LT=UNLC_HLNWU00L1_UNEWS

    DETROIT (AP) — It's been called one of medicine's "open secrets" — allowing patients to refuse treatment by a doctor or nurse of another race.

    In the latest example, a white man with a swastika tattoo insisted that black nurses not be allowed to touch his newborn. That led several black nurses to sue the Michigan hospital, claiming it bowed to his illegal demands, and a rapid settlement in one of their lawsuits.

    The Michigan cases are among several lawsuits filed in recent years that highlight this seldom-discussed issue, which quietly persists almost 60 years after the start of the civil rights movement.

    The American Medical Association's ethics code bars doctors from refusing to treat people based on race, gender and other criteria, but there are no specific policies for handling race-based requests from patients...........

    Much more at link......I was shocked, didn't know this happened in the 21st century!
     
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  3. cluciano63

    cluciano63 Well-Known Member

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    Plenty of racists out there, they are just better at hiding it for the most part, as it no longer "flies" in most areas. But some have such deep racism that it cannot help but surface eventually.
     
  4. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    I don't even know how to comment about this.. it's beyond me that anyone'd refuse treatment for a child over race. What can it possibly matter?

    Personally? I'll probably never go see another male gyno, after the last one suggested that I shouldn't "ouch" when he ouchily twisted some mascara-brush-like thinger for the pap smear - his reasoning was that since I have had children (and therefore lots of sex) I ought to be used to things being "up there".

    He was an Indian doctor, and I have been put off by couple of others that made me feel various degrees of uncomfortable.. but would I refuse treatment from one at a hospital? Would I not allow a male Indian doc to treat my kids?

    No. Because obviously there are rude/insensitive/sexist people in all races and walks of life and not every male Indian doc is going to be so.

    I might not want one near my vjj again, though.
     
  5. Herding Cats

    Herding Cats New Member

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    In school, we were taught that if a patient wants a different nurse, they get one. If it's race, then suck it up and just go to the nurse manager and get your assignment changed. They said it has happened, often, and not just because of race; religion and gender, too, are reasons a patient refuses an otherwise very competent nurse.

    And I can sort of understand it. Not racism - no, not that. But if a patient will refuse to take meds, do physical therapy, refuse to allow you to change their linen or clean them if needed, or to change a bandage...well, that's not very healing to the patient.

    It happened to a friend of mine. She's a black lady, and she had a very racist man refuse to allow her to touch him. She followed what we were taught, and traded patients with another nurse. Her position was no harm, no foul, because he'd refused to take meds that she touched...and he needed them very much. Was she offended? Yes, but not to the extent that she raised a fuss. She took another patient, and had a great two days with him...so she figured she got the better end of things.

    Should this happen? No, of course not. But when it threatens patient well being, accommodations are generally made. And this is especially true in mental health nursing - if a patient is paranoid about a certain gender/race/religion, it can get physically dangerous very fast.

    In the story in the OP, however, I don't think that there was any danger to the patient, and it was a terribly racist parent who wanted the change...an infant hasn't yet learned prejudice, you know?

    I feel badly for the nurses involved in this...it must be so hard, on many levels, for those this has happened to.

    Best-
    Herding Cats
     
  6. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    I could never be a nurse. I am just not tough enough for that job. I admire them all a great deal, and yes - must be hard dealing with people in general all day, let alone the racism, etc.
     
  7. teedie2

    teedie2 Well-Known Member

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    HC, the very racist patient you speak of ... Wonder if he checked out the kitchen when he went out to a restaurant .. just to be sure... Maybe he didn't care who touched his food (not likely, I think).

    This thread just amazes me. Especially in this day and age.
     
  8. MsFacetious

    MsFacetious What a Kerfuffle...

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    I learned a long time ago that outright fighting with people isn't going to change their views. So... I just get even. :seeya:

    I think I'd be tempted to put a "white" nurse with that patient... and then as the patient was checking out...
    let them "overhear" a discussion about the "white" nurse being 1/4 black (whether they were or not.) :giggle:

    I did that once... when I worked fast food.
    We had a guy refuse to let our awesome black manager touch his food or serve him.
    He got his food from the other manager and sat down... and when he was almost done eating...

    I turned to the manager who HAD made his food and said within earshot of the guy:
    "Good thing you can't tell by looking at you that your Dad's half black or we would have had a problem."

    It was hilarious. :floorlaugh:
     
  9. LaborDayRN

    LaborDayRN Well-Known Member

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    :what: Holy guacamole!! Totally unprofessional! I don't blame you for never going back! I have to say though....the mascara-brush-like thinger really did make me :floorlaugh:
     
  10. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    LOL yeah he was a real piece of work... and I have never before or since, come to think of it, had a mascara brush thinger used on me in a pap. Is that even an actual thing? What if it's NOT - omg. :waitasec:

    (sorry don't mean to derail the thread, will sh now)
     
  11. Sonya610

    Sonya610 Former Member

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    Saying that while his baby was in the hospital was just plain stupid. Bad things can and do happen in hospitals all the time and the "angels of death" are real, peeving off the hospital staff when you (or worse your newborn baby) are at their mercy is just plain ignorant.

    I would not have a problem with nurses in a hospital however I would not want a male nurse (unless he was flaming gay) doing anything of an "intimate" nature when there are plenty of female nurses around.

    Having said that when visiting private doctors offices I am the paying customer and I will decide which doctors to patronize based on whatever criteria *I* choose. I will also ask where the doctor is from before booking if I have concerns. I am even pickier when choosing a veterinary office as the whole staff needs to be taken into consideration.
     
  12. believe09

    believe09 Active Member

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    Something tells me if the dad in the story was faced with an overwhelming crisis regarding a loved one, he wouldnt really care what the color of the skin was of the person who could handle that crisis.

    This was his opportunity to be mean and ignorant and chest thump in an environment where he has/had little control. I suspect that this is the same for most folks in a hospital setting who behave like this.

    As for the nurses, it appears at first glance that the hospital violated its own policy regarding the issue so it seems fair game for their complaint. jmo.
     
  13. marycarney

    marycarney Inactive

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    As a nurse, I've seen this.....and worse. Bet we are not nurses to have our egos stroked, be appreciated or anything else. We are nurses to serve those in need. Period.

    And the comment above about 'angels of death' - totally uncalled for. Totally.
     
  14. Sonya610

    Sonya610 Former Member

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    Sorry if that reference offends you but it DOES happen and generally the offenders only get caught after several incidents. I don't see how concern over the possibility is all that unusual considering the number of concerns regarding other crimes that are frequently expressed on this site.

    It is enough to make me NOT want to peeve off hospital (or veterinary) staff.
     
  15. Simp

    Simp New Member

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    BBM Amen!!
     
  16. Donjeta

    Donjeta Adji Desir, missing from Florida

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    The attitude is loathsome but as a hospital worker, if someone has a serious negative prejudice against me for being who I am, I think I actually would prefer they say so and ask to be referred to someone else rather than agree to see me and proceed to make my life difficult with their attitude. I can't help anyone unless they trust me and talk to me so it would be wasting their time and mine.
     
  17. jjenny

    jjenny Well-Known Member

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    Regarding nurses filing lawsuits over this-where is discrimination on the part of the hospital? Hospital didn't fire them, didn't decrease their salry, etc. Does a nurse have a right to take care of any patient she wants, even if a patient doesn't want that nurse to take care of him/her (for whatever reason)? That would mean a patient has no right to choose their medical care provider for any reason whatsoever.
     
  18. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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    I am sure they sued for the hospital's tolerance of racism in the workplace. The hospital should not tolerate that under any conditions. If the refusal of care was because the nurses were not qualified that would be one thing. But the demand was racially motivated and no workplace should give in to that. Basis of lawsuit-imo- and justifiably so.
    "any reason whatsoever" does not describe this situation.
     
  19. jjenny

    jjenny Well-Known Member

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    So if I prefer a female nurse and ask a hospital to not provide me with a male nurse-I would then be gender discriminating? You saying a patient has no say whatsoever in who is taking care of him/her? Isn't hospital's job is to take care of patients? If it was other nurses making these demands, then it's one thing. But we are talking about a patient wanting a different nurse.
    How is that tolerance of racism in the workplace? A patient does not work there.
     
  20. txsvicki

    txsvicki Active Member

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    My husband is convinced that Asian nurses don't believe in giving pain meds, but doesn't refuse them to have him as patient. He just calls the head nurse if there are problems. His last run in was after hip repair and while in painful rehab the weekend extra call nurse told him all of his pain meds had been stopped and never came back to his room when he requested her to check with someone. But, our dentist is Black, my favorite doctor Hispanic, most favorite pediatrician Asian, and doctor now is Indian.
     
  21. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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    Rejecting a nurse based on race is the heart of the matter and should never be tolerated. An employee should be provided a place to work that is free from racial discrimination- by anyone; customers, patients,co-workers, superiors, administration, owners-anyone. While the hospital cannot control racism they can control how they react and respond. Either they support racism or they don't. If they support it- they will be sued and face the consequences.
    The rest of your logic is is irrelevant to the subject, imo.
     

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