MemberFebruary 8, 2021 at 2:29 am
I struggle…because I see it! I advocate as hard as I can! And honestly I fear the day I have to be hospitalized for issues that require pain management.
This issue is stemmed of course from the historical myth that “Black people feel less pain”.
This being a myth definitely does not make it less evident in practice! I have cared for patients with the same diagnosis; One who has 2-4 PRN meds, including several narcotics, and is seemingly managed by scheduled muscle relaxants. But their neighbor, who happens to look like me, is in much more pain with only a scheduled Tylenol q 8, and a provider’s main concern being prohibiting gut motility. Same diagnosis, not even close to the same meds considered. Trust and believe that patient got pain relief before I left my shift, but why did I have to go through so much for an obvious need?
WHY IS THIS STILL HAPPENING?
HOW CAN WE BE BETTER?
HOW CAN NURSES CONTINUE TO ADVOCATE?
MemberFebruary 8, 2021 at 10:45 am
I have noticed it working in labor and delivery. At a previous unit I worked at latina/hispanic women were often thought to “handle” labor contractions a lot better than women of other ethnicities. While i do think there are cultural influences that affect the way women experience childbirth, it is important that we never make assumptions on what they can or cannot handle and that we offer the same level of support to all our patients. Not mention, there can be a language barrier that keeps a patient from communicating there needs effectively.
MemberFebruary 10, 2021 at 4:54 pm
I have witnessed this too often. Unfortunately, BIPOC women’s complaints of pain (or other concerns) are often dismissed or minimalized. In order to advocate, I first establish a rapport and trust with the person, as quickly as possible. This helps me to get a complete assessment as possible. Then the difficult conversations come with the provider, resident, primary nurse, or whoever is not providing optimal care to the patient. If that conversation does not produce the desired result, then I move right up the chain of command. We need to address this at all levels so that we can change these misperceptions more broadly, but at the bedside is the most immediate and vital time to draw the line and say “no” we will do better for this patient. It is also important to remember that this is likely not their first encounter with this type of treatment in the healthcare setting. Look at all the clinical clues, and don’t assume that “I’m fine” means that they are fine. Establishing trust is fundamental in being a successful advocate.
MemberFebruary 9, 2021 at 2:12 pm
Ugh. I’ve seen this so much in my primary care practice. My BIPOC patients are often sent home from the ER being told whatever their complaint is will pass and to rest and take some advil. Only to have to return a day or two later and then have serious infection, illness, or injury present that was blown off a few days ago.
I’m not sure of the solution, other than to keep talking about it. Keep bringing it up in conversation amongst peers. And to encourage my patients to ask questions, and advocate for themselves, because its likely they may need to fight to get the healthcare treatment others receive automatically
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