Nurses play an important role in delivering healthcare to patients. It is the nurse who tends to a patient first before seeing a doctor. It is the nurse who answers many of the questions for you and your loved ones. It is the nurse who assists a doctor in surgery or non-invasive procedures. Simply put, we need nurses to have a functioning healthcare system. Nurses must also be able to work in an environment free from discrimination, as they will not be able to do their jobs as best they can if they are constantly confronted with workplace discrimination.
Types of Discrimination Nurses Continue to Face
Discrimination is widespread throughout society, but nurses tend to experience particular discrimination that may not be as prevalent in other professions. Many nurses have reported the following types of discrimination in the workplace:
- Race – Even though we have come a long way, racial discrimination is still a big problem. Many nurses do not receive pay raises or promotions due to their race. Many nurses are not receiving equal pay because of their race.
- Gender – Many people are accustomed to seeing female nurses more so than male nurses. Both female and male nurses may experience discrimination based on their gender, but because there are more female nurses than male nurses, some male nurses experience discrimination for simply being a male nurse, taking the position that only females should be nurses.
- Sexual Orientation – While sexual orientation should never be an issue in the workplace, many nurses suffer from discrimination and harassment for having certain lifestyle choices that have absolutely nothing to do with their jobs as nurses.
- Demeaning Behavior – In addition to being discriminated against for race, gender, and sexual discrimination, nurses may generally be seen as submissive assistants who have no other purpose aside from following a doctor’s orders or instructions. This prevents or at least minimizes a nurse’s ability to have a leadership role in the workplace.
There are countless ways in which nurses may suffer from workplace discrimination. Acts of discrimination against nurses may be both isolated and systematic, meaning that discrimination can be widespread. Systemic discrimination against nurses has made it difficult for the profession to evolve. As such, there is a lot of work that still needs to be done to change the culture of nursing and to promote a healthy and safe workplace environment.
How an Attorney Can Help
Workplace discrimination can make it very difficult for you to do the job you love. If you believe you have been discriminated against in any way while on the job, you should consider having an experienced attorney at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP review your situation and provide you with the guidance you need to make an informed decision moving forward.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900