The NMC has recently released updated advice on how you can help to tackle racism within the nursing profession.
The advice has been published to support Healthcare Professionals to become an ally and to help them feel comfortable calling out racism when they see it.
Racism is unacceptable and it has no place in health and care. However, unfortunately, it does exist and the impact it can have on your colleagues can be devastating. Did you know, that as a registered professional, you have a responsibility under the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) code of conduct to challenge discriminatory behaviour. As a result, you will be helping to create an environment whereby people are treated with dignity and respect.
Here are several ways in which you can play your part in eradicating racism within the healthcare profession…
Challenge racism when you see it
Ultimately, it requires sustained proactive action by the overarching organisations to effectively challenge racism once and for all. However, there are ways in which you can help. Firstly, you should look at yourself and be willing to change any behaviours and unfounded beliefs that could damage your colleagues and people in your care.
Secondly, if you are witness to any racial or discriminatory behaviour, speak up and report it to a manager or person in charge. In line with the NMC Code, you should feel able to immediately engage with the individual who is displaying discriminatory behaviours. Keep your language and tone clear, calm, and objective.
Moreover, if you are a victim of this type of abuse, please report it in the same way. You may find it difficult to do so, but it means you will get the justice you deserve, and you could be preventing it from happening to others in the future. There is always someone else going through what you’re going through – don’t suffer on your own.
Be sure to check in on your black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues. Something as small as asking someone how they are or how their day is going, can really go a long way and make someone’s day. It’s amazing what knowing that there is someone around that genuinely cares for you can do.
Everyone should have the right to feel psychologically and physically safe to be themselves at work. This includes feeling empowered to share their views, opinions, and experiences freely, without fear of judgment. True workplace inclusion is evident when people feel a sense of belonging and feel valued for who they are and what they do.
You can support your ethnic minority peers to feel this way, by encouraging them to be themselves and empowering them to share their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.
Lead the way
When it comes to racial discrimination within the workplace, there is no time for people to sit back and wait for others to call it out. When you see it, say it. Be brave and stand up for your minority colleagues. Call out your friends when they’re using racist language or show discriminatory behaviour. Go one step further by researching and doing your best to understand what your black, Asian and minority counterparts endure daily. Lead the way and be the light that shows others where they’re going wrong and how they can change their language and behaviour to help create a safe and inclusive environment for all.
“To say that a person feels listened to means a lot more than just their ideas get heard. It’s a sign of respect. It makes people feel valued.”
Another way in which you can help to eradicate racism within the healthcare industry is by simply listening to the voices of your black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues. And when we say listen, we mean actively listen. You should ask questions and reflect on what’s being said.
If you would like more information on how you can help to combat racial discrimination against minority ethnic nurses, midwives, and nursing associates, click HERE for the full NMC resource.