Cure for Racism
Even though slavery and separation of races ended many years ago, racism can still be found in nursing today. Racism is an immense fault that many health care professionals exhibit in the field. Working in the healthcare field revolves around patient centered care. A major part of patient centered care is accepting the patient's culture, race, background, and ethnicity. “As nurses, we meet and engage with people from all walks of life and cultures in our practice” (Holland, 2018, p.xii). It is important for healthcare professionals to respect and accept patient’s cultures and race. Effective care cannot be achieved if there is no respect for the patient’s culture, trust and a relationship with the patient cannot be built.
Racism reflects negatively on a hospital or care facility and makes a patient apprehensive to return. Shephard analyzes patient’s responses to racism in healthcare and “...participants who had experienced racism were more likely to be afraid of visiting typical health care services” (Shephard et al., 2018). Patients who experienced racism during their time in health care facilities become apprehensive about returning. Patients feel as though they are unworthy of healthcare and would prefer to go to a healthcare facility that has a multicultural community. A facility that contains a multicultural community provides the patient with the respect and acceptance they deserve. The diverse group of people working there appreciate the patient's culture and understand it. Shephard conveys in his results that Native American’s and other minority groups received poor treatment and were hesitant to return to normal healthcare facilities. A patient should not receive anything less than normal treatment because of their race. A healthcare professional’s job is to make a patient feel comfortable and safe in their vulnerable state. Their job is not to belittle the patient and make them feel less than for their difference in culture or race. A patient should have a positive reflection about their stay and should feel confident enough to return.
In order to produce effective and powerful nurses, schools and institutions should teach the importance of cultural and racial acceptance in the nursing field. A study was done in healthcare facilities and nurses are scoring a three out of five for cultural competence (Kim, D. & Kim, S., 2013). Thus, proving that there is much improvements to be made. Nurses need to know cultural competence and the key components; attitude, awareness, knowledge and skills. By expressing cultural competence, a patient will feel reassured and will better communicate their pain and symptoms with the healthcare professional. The patient needs to feel comfortable and respected around the nurse in order to communicate effectively. Both the nurse and patient need to trust each other, without trust the patient cannot be properly cared for. Racism in the health care can only be eliminated if cultural competence is taught.
Nurses and healthcare professionals are important “Because nurses have the opportunity to impact a vast segment of society, the impact can be positive and meaningful” (Montenerey, S. et al., 2013). It is up to the care taker whether they want to have a positive effect or negative effect on a patient’s stay. While a patient is healthcare facility, they are in their most vulnerable state. Just being there for the patient and listening to them helps them immensely and makes their day. Patient’s pay attention to the little things, it’s what means the most to them. Montenerey analyzes the importance cultural competence has in patient care and how important it is for nurses to be sensitive and understanding towards a patinet’s culture and values. Cultural competence plays a key part in caring for a patient. Just like talking, feeding, or covering the patient up to protect their dignity; these are all parts of patient care. Respecting a person’s ethnic background, race, and culture are also an important part of patient care. Everyone was raised different and has different backgrounds. However, this does not make them less deserving of standard patient care. Every patient is entitled to equality in care and treatment.
Part of being a nurse if putting the job and patient’s first. Whether the nurse believes in the patient’s beliefs too doesn’t matter. A nurse is there to provide care and treatment, not malice and racism.