Discrimination in the Medical Workplace

Patients expecting medical care bring their prejudice and ignorance into the hospital with them. But it’s not just doctors who experience this kind of discrimination.

While I was reading this article, I couldn’t help wanting to point out that it’s not just doctors who experience this kind of discrimination in the workplace. My cousin’s wife is currently a Lab Tech while she works her way through nursing school. Her family is Persian, and she has a Persian name although she was born in America. She is funny, smart and strong, but what she goes through on a regular basis could bring even the strongest person to despair.

She regularly experiences absolutely disgusting behavior by patients in the medical center where she works when she is sent around to draw blood or otherwise work with patients. She’s had racist epithets hurled at her. She’s been demeaned and insulted. She’s had people demand that another lab tech draw their blood, because they don’t trust “An Arab” to do it.

Because she is “just a lab tech”, she admits that she often gets subjected to more of this kind of behavior than the doctor’s do, because doctors at least have the title and all of the implied authority that goes along with it. She has seen people who just said blatantly racist things about her keep a lid on it when a Middle Eastern doctor comes to treat them. Everyone in the medical profession should be valued for their important contributions, regardless of their title. In a better world, not only would such ignorance and racism not exist, but patients wouldn’t treat a lab tech any differently than they treat a doctor. Unfortunately that does not reflect the current reality.

Until our reality is a closer match for a better one, training people in the medical profession to handle these kinds of situations is important.While training like the kind described in the article certainly help the doctors, and it is long past due in my opinion, I do hope that facilities who engage in this training will also include nurses, lab techs, orderlies and all other patient-facing positions.

Study Offers Young Doctors Strategies To Deal With Discrimination — Kaiser Health News

In July 2013, a man arrived in the emergency room of a California hospital seeking treatment for his child. But when the intern on call walked in to see him, the father looked at her name tag and demanded another physician. As a Palestinian, he didn’t want his child treated by a Jewish doctor. The…

via Study Offers Young Doctors Strategies To Deal With Discrimination — Kaiser Health News

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