April 5, 2018
Overcoming Your Bias in Nursing & Healthcare
We have bias when we see that patient that constantly requests for pain medication and we automatically label them, “drug-seeking”
We have bias when we see that patient that frequently comes through the doors of the hospital and we label them, “frequent fliers”
We have bias when we see that old lady that frequently uses her call light and we label her, “trouble some”
We have bias when we see that family that is afraid and are trying to advocate for their family and we label them, “difficult family”…the list could go on.
At some point in time, we have to stop and take a hold of ourselves and deeply examine if these labels are apt or that we have become so inured to the situation that we no longer take the time to look beyond the labels. Remember that once you give a person a label, you have impersonalized the person and no longer feel a connection except that to which your labels best fit.
Beyond the label is most times, a patient (someone) with a genuine need, who may not always necessarily be capable of expressing it. And sometimes it may be up to you, to dig a little deeper.
The next time you want to quickly give your patient a label, stop and think- is this really apt or is there something that I can do differently. And if you MUST label, find some thing positive- you just might be surprised at how a positive connotation changes your attitude or response to that person.