Friday, July 29, 2011

Nurse Follies: The Race Card

Here at General Blather, we don't shy away from the controversial topics. No, we embrace them as the head cheerleader embraces the entire football team on Homecoming night. Not everyone likes what they read here. If you do, hooray. If not, hooray...and don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

Racism is alive and well in the good old U.S. of A. Now that I have established Obvious Day at Camp Stupid, I would just like to delve into the subject just a teensy bit further without starting a riot.

In the 30-some years I've been converting oxygen into carbon dioxide, I can honestly say that I haven't had a lot of direct dealings with issues of race. That is, until I started working as a nurse.

Yes, I encounter lots and lots of incidents of patients/family members pulling the race card, as in, "You only (fill in the blank) because I'm (pick a race, nationality, etc)."

I don't particularly care for these people because it undermines my nursing abilities. It's impossible to do anything right. I even encounter white patients who only want to be taken care of by white nurses. I hate these people even more. We once had a patient who was so outraged that her nurse was African, that she pitched the biggest fit that she wanted only white nurses to take care of her.

Now, sometimes we get that from ancient people. While unacceptable, you can sort of understand that archaic mindset. Different generation, different way of thinking that they never grew out of because they are old, ignorant, rednecks. Whatever, just die off and let humanity progress. Not this patient. She was young and should have known better. But instead, she was harping on me because she was a shameless bigot. Sadly, I changed the assignment. Not because I wanted to make the patient happy. She could have kissed the fattest part of my lily white ass for all I cared. No, I did it because the nurse deserved better. And, in an act of which I will wholly own up to being a complete asshole, I assigned her the dumbest fucking nurse on the planet.

Your nurse may have the IQ of a bologna sandwich, but, hey, at least she's white!

But I digress. I'm not here to discuss patients and family members. Otherwise, I'd be blogging about this subject until I retire, and really, it's not worth the effort. People are idiots, I recognize that, and I move on.

No, I'm just here to discuss the other end of the coin. Those employees who pull the race card.

I personally don't care what color you are. Black, white, red, yellow, titty pink with big, purple polka dots. Hell, add a horn growing out of your forehead for something interesting. I don't care. I hold all people to the higher standard. Understand that we are here to do a job, and I don't give two shits about whatever chip you have on your shoulder about something done to your ancestors long before I was a twinkle in my father's eye.

That being said...

I've encountered more than my fair share of employees that use this whole race card thing as a crutch. It's just another form of avoiding accountability, if you ask me. Frankly, it's getting to the point where I'm this close to going postal. It's almost a normal, everyday occurrence to come down on one employee for neglecting their patients, only to have them turn around and cry to the Bosshole that they are being picked on because they are black/red/paisley. No, you are getting reamed on a regular basis because you are a lazy twit and patients deserve better.

I was charging one night, and there was some sort of issue with staffing that was long, complicated, and confusing. It had one staff member floating to another floor while someone from a different floor floated to us. It happens, and there is usually a reason for it. As long as staffing is covered, and everyone gets their hours in, it's usually a non-issue. Right? Not according to the person who had to float. I explained to this staff member the reasons for doing what we did. She looked me in the eye and asked, "It's because I'm Asian, isn't it?"


I sighed and told her that her ethnicity had nothing to do with the larger picture. I reassured her that management screws us all equally regardless of reed, creed, or color.

And that's the truth!

1 comment:

Nuke said...

My Grandma and late Grandpa are/were big time racists. I discovered it about my Grandfather when I was in high school (tho the evidence was there earlier, I just didn't catch it) and while I still loved him I would give him the stink eye when he would go on a rant. We came to an unspoken agreement not to hassle each other over it and he kept it mostly in check.

Gramma tho never gave a hint of it until hospitals and nursing homes became a big part of her life. She is exactly the kind of patient you are talking about. She is in her end years and has serious Alzheimers. I don't know if that is what is making it so bad or not.

OK, now I am tearing up dammit.