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This was an eye-opening read. Thank you for posting and spreading awareness. Several topics stood out to me, most notably racism showing up in policies. Some of the best intentions can have harmful consequences. Requiring entry-level nurses to have a bachelor’s degree sounds innovative. However, this places minorities at a disadvantage. Many entry-level nurses have associate degrees and later acquire their bachelor’s. With the rise in Magnet-status hospitals, many ADNs are being excluded from inpatient care and other career-building opportunities. On the surface, these hospitals have well-educated staff, but at the expense of cultural inclusivity.
These policies often have a domino effect on other work-related policies, such as professional appearance and what is considered acceptable. Many hospitals require you to cover visible tattoos at work. In Eurocentric cultures, tattoos are a means of expression and individualization but don’t often carry spiritual or religious significance. However, a Moko or facial tattoo carries significant cultural and spiritual meaning in the Polynesian and Pacific Islander communities and represents coming of age and ancestral history. These policies aren’t limited to staff but affect the care we provide for our patients. My department recently allowed visible tattoos and specific body piercings to be worn at work. This opened a dialogue about skin and hair care products and how our hospital has a limited variety of patient toiletries. This led to our department stocking shampoo and conditioner catered to curly hair and providing new education on using them. Without the personal stories of my coworkers, we would have remained ignorant of our shortcomings and continued to underserve our patients. Inclusivity affects us all and we must me mindful of those being excluded.