The pain and sadness of racism runs rampant and digs deeply in the psyche of those afflicted. Every slight and unfair treatment inflicted upon the sufferer opens wounds that are very difficult to heal.
Like any other contagious malady, no one goes untouched by the insidious nature of nature of racism. It is more dangerous than it appears.
How would one explain the actions of the nurse practioner who failed to inform the African-American charge nurse of new orders regarding her patient and instead went to the DON with the new orders. Is that nursing protocol? All nurses know the answer to that question. What conclusion would the African-American nurse, recurrent victim of racism come to? What would a victim of breast cancer think if she found a new lump? Ignore it, hope it will go away?
What is racism; how is it manifested? Racism is the practice of racial discrimination. Practice makes perfect. Ask yourself have you become perfect at practicing racism. Has it become so automatic that you don’t even notice when you do it. Does it affect your interactions with your co-workers, and other members of the health care team? Ask yourself, if you were a patient, would you want someone with your racial attitude caring for you?
Fellow nurses and other health care professionals, examine yourself to see if you could be passing this disease to others unknowingly, because the damage is being done.
Take the cure by putting yourself in your co-workers, patients shoes. We have the power to heal ourselves if we try.
Charlene L.M. Harris, LPN