Don't Curse the Nurse!

Sharing support with stories & humor

What Would You Do ?

on March 3, 2013

A seasoned Michigan neonatal ICU nurse was reassigned when the father, seeing her care for his infant, bared his swastika adorned forearm then insisted to her supervisor that no African American nurse care for his child. A crude sign noting his wishes hung at the baby’s feet and was honored for almost a month before legal action by the nurse gained momentum. Al Sharpton was one person of interest noted to speak on her behalf. Per news reports, she settled for an undisclosed sum of money.

I cringe every time I see reminders of how alive and well racism is in our culture and hope that this nurse has some compassion for the innocent child that will be raised by such an ignorant parent.

I have to cringe for another reason too. There is little mention of where her reassignment was, whether she lost work hours, was there supportive counseling for her regarding the situation, and whether it was even viable to consider encouraging the physican to discharge the baby to home. ( Side note to any non-medical person perusing this site – neonatal ICU usually means the infant is premature and has some kind of significant issue preventing them from going home with the new parents after birth.)

Yes, this hospital handled the whole thing poorly. I think they had their collective heads somewhere between the rectum and the sigmoid area.  Nurses still have to fight for respect on so many levels and they should have immediately reached out to her.

Then there is this thought:

The seasoned nurse… that undisclosed sum ? Al Sharpton? I don’t think nurses should be martyrs and we shouldn’t be denied the right to work based on nationality, religon, or gender, but… it seems like she only successfully slapped the hospital’s hand; like most hospital’s, put them under more financial stress, and unless news reports have deliberately chosen not to cover any follow-up ( which might be the case), has not taken this opportunity to create a supportive forum in the nursing community.

Maybe she’s busy with that undisclosed sum of money or like some, having reached the twenty-five year mark, are examining just how much more they have to give the profession.

I can’t side with the nurse or the hospital. I think everyone lost. How ’bout you ?

*If you’d like to read the articles before commenting, you can Google ” Michigan nurse discrimation battle “


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