Addressing Bias in Nursing Education
Bias in the nursing profession is considered inevitable owing to the increasing diversity, globalization, as well as expanding technologies According to Choi and Boyle (2014). Bias has been described by Hall et al. (2015) as the attitude that spans favourable or unfavorable dispositions towards particular individuals. While some biases may be conscious (explicit), other are unconscious (implicit). The impact of bias in healthcare setting is detrimental given that it undermines the entire healthcare sector. Given that my specialty track is nursing education, this essay seeks to explore biases among nursing educators and their impacts on the healthcare sector.
The impact of Biases in Nursing Education
Choi and Boyle (2014) posit that nursing educators play a pertinent role in teaching and preparing future nurses to provide evidence-based care with the aim of taking care of the needs of the changing population. In this view, nursing educators typically teach in various graduate programs at both Master’s and doctoral levels. Taking this into account, bias in nursing education would entail discriminating some of the student nurses on the basis of their age, gender, sex, religion, and race among other metrics. In most cases, Hall et al. (2015) explain that common stereotypes play a huge role in implicit biases among nurse educators. For instance, a nurse educator may perceive African-American students to be less cooperative in class. As a result, the nurse practitioner may end up allocating fewer marks in exams to these students. On the other hand, a nursing educator may perceive white students to be cooperative, thus rewarding them more marks. Through such form of biases, the healthcare sector is affected considerably as it may result to unqualified students entering into practice.
Personal Biases and Attitudes
Growing up, I was exposed to people from different ethnic backgrounds, races, as well as lifestyles. Notwithstanding the fact that there are myriads of stereotypes on different people, over the years, I have come to understand that these stamps do not ideally portray the nature of individuals. In my profession as a nurse, I seek to diligently serve all people without any form of discrimination. Nonetheless, there are instances where the quality of my services has been lowered due to bias. Precisely, am typically implicitly biased towards people who are obese. This is due to the fact that I have subscribed to the idea that obesity is avoidable through healthy nutrition as well as adequate physical exercises. As such, I have found myself unconsciously giving priorities to people who are not obese in comparison to those who are obese.
Strategies to reduce this Bias
In attempt to reduce the above bias, I will consider conducting more research on obesity as well as challenges that obese people go through. Through learning the challenges the obese people go through, I will put myself in their shoes, which will probably help in overcoming this bias. Additionally, I will consult from my peers on how I can reduce my bias towards obese people. Lastly, I will consider conducting a systematic investigation in order to determine the root cause of my bias. Through this, I will be in a position of coming up with a solution that can enable me to accommodate obese people.
Conclusively, it can be deduced from the above that bias in healthcare typically presents a substantial challenge to patients, nurses, as well as student nurses. As a nurse educator, am biased towards obese as I consider that to be their choice. However, I can reduce this bias through learning more about obesity, consulting my peers, as well as examining my root cause of bias. Through such, I will be able to treat all people equally irrespective of their differences.
Choi, J., & Boyle, D. K. (2014). Differences in nursing practice environment among US acute care unit types: A descriptive study. International journal of nursing studies, 51(11), 1441-1449.
Hall, W. J., Chapman, M. V., Lee, K. M., Merino, Y. M., Thomas, T. W., Payne, B. K., … & Coyne-Beasley, T. (2015). Implicit racial/ethnic bias among health care professionals and its influence on health care outcomes: a systematic review. American journal of public health, 105(12), e60-e76.