Ontario nurses are experiencing racism on the job to the point they are segregated into certain units within hospitals and onto certain shifts, wrote The Peterborough Examiner July 15, in a story about research by York University Professor Tania Das Gupta.
Visible minorities are especially vulnerable, Das Gupta, chair of York’s Department of Equity Studies, said.
Das Gupta revealed her findings in a book earlier this month after surveying nurses through the Ontario Nurses’ Association, drawing on 593 responses from nurses across the province, 18 in-depth interviews and arbitration cases. “We have as a society reached a point where it’s not acceptable anymore to use racial slurs or do name-calling,” Das Gupta told Sun Media yesterday. “Racism is not too blatant anymore...so the way in which it manifests itself is very systemic and subtle.
“At the end of the day, what you find is that it is nurses of colour who get disadvantaged.”
In her book, Real Nurses and Others: Racism in Nursing, Das Gupta details the survey found 41 per cent of nurses that responded said they had been made to feel uncomfortable because of their race, colour or ethnicity, including 82 per cent of black nurses, 80 per cent of Asian nurses, 50 per cent of South Asian nurses and 57 per cent of Central or South American nurses.
Das Gupta’s study also found 25 per cent of white nurses said they had been made to feel uncomfortable because of their ethnicity or religion.
The racism ranges from comments about accents and physical attributes to a failure to recognize a nurse’s skills and knowledge, she said. That racism can translate into who works where in a hospital, Das Gupta said, with more minorities being relegated to less desirable units and work hours.
Republished courtesy of YFile – York University’s daily e-bulletin.