Racism in health care is a substantial issue that impacts the lives of many individuals. Racist language, verbal and physical abuse are common from the bedside area of a hospital. Patients have been denied access to services, medications and dignity. Racism in healthcare affects every part of patient care in the first trip prior discharge.
The first step to fighting racism in healthcare is to address the problems that impact the everyday experience of patients. Racism in healthcare begins with a mindset change from the staff who are viewed as having an effect on how patients are treated. According to a report released by the National Association of Hispanic Health Professionals (NASHP), health care workers inadvertently perpetuate racism using words, gestures and behaviours that aim and hurt the racial and ethnic groups in their care. Nurses and other specialists should learn how to work with all people instead of focusing on a demographic.
It is likewise important for healthcare workers to be aware that they aren’t immune from these prejudices. According to a report published by the American Medical Association, 75 percent of physicians feel that they treat most patients with the same disrespect. Furthermore, according to the American Psychological Association, bias against patients of a specific race is equally as common as prejudice against another race. Research indicates that healthcare workers often don’t set higher standards of maintenance based on race or ethnicity. Healthcare providers are legally bound to maintain decent working conditions for all people, irrespective of their race or ethnicity.
Racism in healthcare has a far larger impact on patients than the actual treatment they receive. Many patients are exposed to humiliating or degrading treatment, that makes it impossible for them to keep any sense of control over their body or their life. Racism in health care also effects patients psychologically, preventing them from feeling valued or safe within the health care environment. Doctors and other professionals who witness this racism don’t offer a nurturing atmosphere for patients and also fail to make them feel as though they are part of a system which values their health and well-being above everyone else.
Healthcare workers are generally required to work in trying, potentially dangerous surroundings. Due to their environment, these individuals may experience higher degrees of stress, anxiety, and burnout. This can have adverse psychological effects on patients, making it hard for them to form bonds and connect with fellow employees, causing problems with how they react to stress-related illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
The effects of racism in health care are especially troubling because racism can go unnoticed or unexpressed by the individual’s family and other caregivers. Often times, people in healthcare will be the very first people to encounter individuals who are having different hardships. According to the Emory University School of Nursing, healthcare workers are forced to assist these people overcome the trauma brought about by their own disorders, but they might do this without learning about cultural norms and biases that result in poor treatment choices and insufficient care. By addressing and changing healthcare worker’s behaviours and attitudes toward individuals of all races, cultures, and how to stop racism essay backgrounds, healthcare workers can ensure that everybody gets the care that they need and deserve.