Nursing (African American or Latino/a Scholar Awareness)



Black hair elicits curiosity as it highlights the difference between people in various parts of the world. Blacks and Latino, who have black hair, are regarded as aborigines in most U.S. cities. Most of them are migrants and receive little attention in terms of development and allocation of government funds. Just like the U.S.S.R., blacks in the U.S. have experienced untold suffering. Despite the fact that Americans pride themselves in being a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society, it has a brutal history of racism. This is evidenced by the fact that between 1790 and 1901 immigration was restricted to only whites. The law excluded blacks, American Indians, and Asians from becoming American citizens (West 266). Certain whites view Aboriginal people are sub-humans who gave up their land to the white settlers. For instance, it was not until 1967 that Australian Aborigines were considered as people in the Australian Census (Horvitz and Catherwood 1). The aborigines were regarded as animals that could not make use good use of their fertile land.

Interviewing My Role Model Nurse

I interviewed an African American Latino nurse who acts as my role model. During the interview, she opened up her mind and revealed several challenges faced by African American scholars pursuing a career in nursing in the U.S. The nurse claimed that Aborigines are negatively affected by the rationalization and of the appalling and enduring inequalities of health. Just like the education sector, health facilities have long asserted a public stand of benevolence so that they can avoid any form of scrutiny on their refusals to take care of Aboriginals properly. According to the nurse, the most difficult thing for her is seeing people from her culture experience struggles in receiving treatment services at an appropriate time with the right healthcare due to lack of education, language barrier, and finances. It is heart-wrenching to see people suffering from illnesses and diseases that are preventable. As a registered nurse, she claimed that she experienced several problems. The problems are detailed in the sections below.

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Problems Faced By Nurses Based On the Interview Conducted

Racial Discrimination

It is the duty of employers to ensure that all employees are treated fairly. Sadly, this is not usually the case as employees continue experiencing discrimination (Australian Human Rights Commission 1). According to the nurse, discrimination is still prevalent in today’s society and nursing is not an exception. In fact,between 2014 and 2015, there were 453 cases of sex discrimination, 561 complaints of racial discrimination, and 740 cases of disability discrimination reported to the Australian Human Rights Commission (Lampert para 1). These statistics are alarming as they show the prevalence of prejudice in nursing. In nursing, discrimination against a nurse of a different racial identity may occur in several ways. It may occur in the form of patients who refuse treatments from a nurse belonging to a racial minority group if the group is not their preferred race type. This form of racial discrimination leaves nurses distraught as they want to help and also do their jobs. The nurse claimed that discrimination may also occur in the form of nurses of minority groups being overlooked for promotion based on their race. This form of racial discrimination inhibits the career progression of the nurses. Racial discrimination may also occur in the form of doctors and co-workers ganging up on a nurse they feel does not agree on the use of racially motivated put-downs (Williams and Mohammed 47). Whites are mainly perceived as being more hostile, aggressive or difficult towards the Latino and African racial and ethnicity features. This leads to hostility among workers with different racial backgrounds. There are instances where African American and Latino nurses have been victims of unfair treatments such as one-sided prejudice and unequal work distribution. This practice also extends to the colleagues of the nurse. It makes them feel that their job security is threatened. In addition, the practice leads to mistrust and isolation of healthcare teams.

Communication Barriers

Just like how nurses have different backgrounds, so do people of color like Latinos and African Americans. Some nurses from these ethnicities have an inadequate grasp of the language spoken including the use of slang and colloquial language. This may pose a barrier to the ability of the nurses to socialize and express themselves. Communication barriers may be used for more scrutiny by patients and nurses’ colleagues. It may subsequently lead to the belittling of the nurses, which would reduce their ability to perform their professional roles efficiently(Lassetter and Callister 104).  In the U.S., the proficiency to speak English is associated with high job satisfaction. Nurses from the minority groups do not have language competency, which leads to their marginalization and discrimination.

Devaluing and Professional Development

The nursing sector is also known for the devaluing of minority groups. Many Latinos and African Americans have reported feeling devalued or disliked in the work environment. It has been reported that some patients and caregivers have low levels of trust in these nurses’ capabilities. There are several instances where doctors, patients, supervisors, and colleagues belittle and undermine the skills, knowledge and hard work of a nurse from minority groups in the U.S. and other regions across the globe. This makes a significant proportion of nurses from the minority groups become frustrated and dejected since they are not recognized. This practice makes nurses feel they are being treated as children, which may make them quit the profession. Certain nurses from minority groups have to prove their competency for the knowledge and skills to be recognized.

Personal and Professional Differences

Lack of understanding and accommodation of personal and professional differences in culture are some of the main sources of conflict in the nursing profession.  These differences include an intra- and interpersonal communications, protocols and the nursing expectations as well as the beliefs and values of patient care. They lead to dissension among the nursing staff especially if the nurses from the minority groups are deep-rooted in their cultural values.

Overcoming Challenges and How to Become a Successful Registered Nurse

To attract more minority students from the Hispanic and black community, nursing schools should come up with initiatives that will increase diversity in their programs. They may achieve this through the addition of cultural competency into the set curriculum, efforts to hire minority members, the creation of mentor programs, implement pieces of training that are communally based, higher retention and recruitment staff and starting some campus resources, and learning centers for the minority communities. To overcome the challenges they should be used as stepping stones. If there is demoralization in the workplace, a nurse should set her pathways and goals as learned in nursing school to do the job right. The personal and professional challenges of nurses can be overcome by the nurses being divergent in their attitudes. The nurses should also try to adapt and integrate to the norms of the hospitals.

It is also important for nurses to take part in professional meetings and conferences to improve their knowledge. The knowledge and experience of these nurses would enable them have the ability to temporarily fill in for senior management positions. The nurse I interviewed was given an opportunity not long after she qualified. The position was to relieve a higher position ranking officer despite her lacking experience in the area. In case of financial problems, it is important for nurses to look for vocational training and education programs that are available for refugees and migrants. These include colleges, universities and TAFE colleges that are funded by the government agency to support and train job seekers.

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The government should also strive to improve the conditions of minority groups through setting policies to criminalize discrimination against the minority groups.  The policy should be diverse and universally complex to address the political, economic, cultural and historical environments of the nursing environments the nurses from minority groups operate in. Individual nurses should also play an active role in eliminating discrimination in nursing. The nurses should desist from discriminating against their colleagues and rebuke anyone who engages in the practice. This will help in eliminating discrimination one nurse at a time. Additionally, the nursing field should use sports to enhance social inclusion, counter negative stereotypes in addition to promoting, respecting and maintaining values, heritage, and culture of the minority groups to prevent discrimination at the workplace.

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  1. Australian Human Rights Commission. Workplace discrimination, harassment and bullying. Australian Human Rights Commission, November 2014. Web. Retrieved on May 31, 2018.
  2. Horvitz, Leslie Alan, and Christopher Catherwood. Encyclopedia of war crimes and genocide. Infobase Publishing, 2014. Print.
  3. Lampert, Lynda. Discrimination in Nursing.Ausmed, October 27, 2016. Web. on May 31, 2018.
  4. Lassetter, Jane H., and Lynn C. Callister. “The impact of migration on the health of voluntary migrants in western societies: a review of the literature.” Journal of Transcultural Nursing 20.1 (2009): 93-104. Print.
  5. West, Thomas G. The Political Theory of the American Founding. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017. Print.
  6. Williams, David R., and Selina A. Mohammed. “Discrimination and racial disparities in health: evidence and needed research.” Journal of behavioral medicine 32.1 (2009): 20-47. Print.
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