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Racism in health care is a substantial problem that impacts the lives of several patients. Racist language, physical and verbal abuse are common in the bedside area of a hospital. Patients are denied access to services, medications and dignity. Racism in healthcare affects every aspect of patient care in the initial trip until discharge.

The very first step to combating racism in healthcare is to tackle the problems which affect the regular experience of individuals. Racism in healthcare begins with a mindset change in the staff that 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 target and harm the racial and ethnic groups in their care. Nurses and other specialists must learn how to work with all people rather than focusing on a market.

It is likewise crucial for healthcare workers to be aware that they are not immune from these types of prejudices. According to a report released by the American Medical Association, 75 percent of doctors feel that they treat all patients with the identical disrespect. Furthermore, according to the American Psychological Association, bias against patients using a specific race is as common as bias against any other race. Research indicates that healthcare workers often don’t set higher standards of maintenance according to race or ethnicity. Healthcare providers are legally bound to maintain adequate working conditions for all individuals, irrespective of their race or ethnicity.

Racism in healthcare has a far bigger effect on patients compared to the actual treatment they receive. Many patients are exposed to humiliating or degrading treatment, making it impossible for them to retain any sense of control over their own body or their lifetime. Racism in healthcare also affects patients emotionally, preventing them from feeling valued or safe within the medical environment. Physicians and other professionals who witness this racism don’t provide a nurturing atmosphere for patients and also don’t make them feel as though they are a part of a system that values their health and well-being above all else.

Healthcare workers are typically required to function in trying, potentially harmful surroundings. Because of their surroundings, these individuals may experience greater rates of stress, anxiety, and burnout. This can have negative psychological effects on patients, making it hard for individuals to form bonds and connect with fellow employees, causing problems with how they respond to stress-related illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

The impacts of racism in healthcare are especially upsetting because racism can go undetected or unexpressed by the patient’s family and other health professionals. Often times, people in healthcare are the very first people to encounter patients who are experiencing different hardships. As stated by the Emory University School of Nursing, healthcare employees are compelled to help these individuals overcome the trauma caused by their own illnesses, but they may do so without understanding about cultural norms and biases that result in poor treatment choices and inadequate care. By addressing and changing healthcare worker’s behaviors and attitudes toward patients of all races, cultures, and backgrounds, healthcare workers can make sure that everybody gets the care that they need and deserve.

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