1. Webster, Alyssa RN

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"The Cure for the Racist Patient?" (Viewpoint, November 2018) really hit home for me. Having worked in acute care settings my whole career, I have seen racism against staff far too often, and I am glad to see an article addressing the subject in AJN.


As medical professionals, we are held to a high standard and strive to treat everyone, regardless of race, with dignity and respect. However, patients treating caregivers in a less-than-respectful manner is too often tolerated. Recently, one of my patients "fired" my nursing assistant because of the color of her skin. Not only did this affect the care the patient received, since I now had to be both the patient's nurse and nursing assistant, it also affected my colleague. She came to me with tears of sadness and anger that she was rejected by this patient because of something she had no control over.


As stated in the article, patient satisfaction affects many aspects of how we provide care, and management is often all about finding a compromise. These compromises feel like losing situations for medical personnel. Forcing patients and staff to work with each other despite patients' feelings toward staff could make for a tumultuous shift. On the other hand, when we allow patients to dictate who cares for them based on race, it feels like we are condoning their behavior.


Alyssa Webster, RN


North Attleboro, MA