Problem of Discrimination in Nursing

Discrimination and bias are problems faced by people in many professions. At the same time, although bias and prejudice are prohibited by law, in medicine and nursing, it has exceptions, since in most cases patients have the right to ask about replacing their doctor or nurse. Consequently, the problem of discrimination can be exacerbated by such regulations, especially if hospital policies place patients above employees.

Some reasons that can be manipulated by patients persist and sustain discrimination against nurses in healthcare. Patients have the right to ask for another specialist if they feel uncomfortable and have motives to refuse. For example, a woman can ask a female doctor for religious or personal reasons and a hospital should satisfy her request. However, such an opportunity can manifest itself as discrimination if the patient refuses the nurse due to prejudice, for example, against gays. Tello (2017) notes that according to research, doctors, and nurses of black, Indian, and Jewish heritage were discriminated against the most often in recent years.

In addition, patients may discriminate against nurses without even refusing their services, by being rude, ignoring recommendations, or asking for advice from colleagues on the “appropriate” for the gender or origin. This problem is exacerbated if the hospital management meets the needs of clients, even if they are openly discriminatory. At the same time, although this attitude of the administration manifests itself as indirect discrimination prohibited by the Equality Act 2010, nurses are forced to reconcile with it, since it is in most cases difficult to prove (“Discrimination,” 2020). Thus, the privilege of patients to choose their doctors and nurses in many cases creates conditions of discrimination against medical personnel.


Discrimination. (2020). Web.

Tello, M. (2017). Racism and discrimination in health care: Providers and patients. Harvard Health Publishing. Web.