Implicit biases include associations outside of conscious awareness that leads to a person’s negative assessment based on irrelevant characteristics such as race, gender or age. Health care providers display the same level of implicit bias as the general population. The interaction between the patient’s multiple characteristics and the healthcare professional demonstrates the complexity of the phenomenon of implicit bias and its impact on the interaction between the doctor and the patient. Nurses need to recognize that they may have innate prejudice and may have certain emotions about a particular population, the presence of a person or community, or behaviors that need to be discussed and decided to provide the best treatment.
In the healthcare industry, careful consideration must be given to the impact bias can have on the healthcare professional’s work. To provide impartial care, healthcare workers should be wary of any negative assessment they give concerning group membership or a particular characteristic (Hoof et al., 2018). Nurses need to recognize that they may have innate biases and certain emotions on a specific population or behaviors that need to be discussed and decided to provide the best treatment.
To improve health care delivery despite bias, nurses should pay attention to everything from language differences to job status can lead people to believe that the patient has particular attributes or values. Talking to other nurses about implicit bias towards patients because of their characteristics removes taboos helps to cope with judgments, which leads to better work results (FitzGerald & Hurts, 2017). However, some strategies can help reduce cultural dissonance.
Thus, nursing advocacy can help nurses deal with a bias to meet all patient needs. Moreover, nurses should openly acknowledge their preference to work through its origins and impact on patients. Education, which raises awareness of other nations’ cultural differences and values, is also essential for health care providers. Thereby, by using the proposed strategies, nurses will be able to deal with bias, which will further affect good patient care.
FitzGerald, C. & Hurst, S. (2017). Implicit bias in healthcare professionals: a systematic review. BMC Medical Ethics, 18(1), 1-18.
Van Hoof, W., O’Sullivan, K., O’ Keeffe, M. Verschueren, S., O’Sullivan, P. & Dankaerts, W. (2018). The efficacy of interventions for low back pain in nurses: A systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 77, 222-231. Web.