Racism in healthcare is a significant problem that impacts the lives of several patients. Racist language, verbal and physical abuse are common from the bedside room of a hospital. Patients have been denied access to services, medications and dignity. Racism in healthcare affects every aspect of patient care from the first trip until release.
The first step to combating racism in healthcare is to tackle the problems which impact the regular experience of patients. Racism in healthcare begins with a mindset shift from the team who are seen as having an impact 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 behaviors that aim and hurt the racial and ethnic groups in their care. Nurses and other professionals must learn how to work with all people rather than focusing on a market.
It’s likewise important for health care workers to be aware that they are not immune from these prejudices. According to a report published by the American Medical Association, 75 percent of doctors believe that they treat most patients with the same disrespect. Furthermore, as stated by the American Psychological Association, bias against patients of a certain race is as common as bias against another race. Research has shown that healthcare workers often don’t establish higher standards of care according to race or ethnicity. Healthcare providers are legally obligated to maintain adequate working conditions for all people, irrespective of their race or ethnicity.
Racism in healthcare has a far bigger effect on patients compared to the true treatment they get. Many patients are subjected to humiliating or degrading treatment, that makes it impossible for them to keep any sense of control over their body or their lifetime. Racism in healthcare also effects patients psychologically, preventing them from feeling valued or safe within the health care environment. Physicians and other professionals that see this racism fail to provide a relaxing atmosphere for patients and fail to make them feel like they are part of a system that respects their wellness and well-being above everyone else.
Healthcare workers are generally required to function in stressful, potentially dangerous surroundings. Due to their environment, these individuals may experience higher rates of anxiety, anxiety, and burnout. This can have adverse psychological effects on patients, what is racism making it difficult for individuals to form bonds and connect with fellow employees, causing difficulties with how they respond to stress-related illnesses like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
The impacts of racism in health care are especially troubling because racism can go unnoticed or unexpressed by the patient’s family and other caregivers. Often times, individuals in healthcare are the very first people to encounter individuals who are experiencing different hardships. As stated by the Emory University School of Nursing, healthcare employees are forced to help these people overcome the trauma caused by their illnesses, but they may do so without learning about cultural norms and biases that result in poor treatment decisions and insufficient care. By addressing and changing healthcare employee’s behaviours and attitudes toward individuals of all races, cultures, and backgrounds, health care workers can ensure that everyone gets the attention that they need and deserve.