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Public Health Nurse (PHN) is not without public health education. We are living in a world of different background, origin, nationality, and most likely a mixture of both. With that in mind, beliefs, values, and culture come along with it. PHN need to be able to care for patients regardless of race, age, socioeconomic status, gender, and culture.
A stereotype is an idea or opinion of a specific group of people by what a person heard or learned without proven evidence. A bias is a personal feeling or attitude towards a particular group of people based on the stereotype associated with the group or person. For example, a patient came in with a known history of substance abuse disorder was complaining of pain. A nurse disregarded the patient complain, thinking that the patient is only seeking drugs. The nurse should plan care individualized to the patient's need. Every single person under a nurse's care deserves care without bias but with understanding and respect to promote better health (Falker, 2018).
Strategies to reduce bias among health care providers are as follows: 1. The cognitive strategy of Individuation, in the provider, focuses on the individual attributes of a particular patient, as opposed to categorization, in which the provider perceives the patient through the filter of his or her group membership (e.g., race). 2. Implicit Association Test is a procedure, a test that can reveal unconscious prejudice and stereotypes. That by doing so, it would help to reduce unconscious biases once they become aware of them. Once a person is aware, it would give them more motivation to become more sensitive to prevent the effects of unconscious prejudice and stereotypes. 3. Another is by accepting the fact that prejudice and stereotyping is a normal process of learning. Helping the providers acknowledge this might help them in openly approach on how to overcome these issues. 4. Strengthen providers confidence in their ability to have positive interactions with different groups through direct contact with them. For example, interracial discussions with colleagues might help ease health providers anxiety when interacting with the opposite race. 5. Individuals emotional stress either positive or negative before seeing a patient enhances a person's stereotyping toward a specific group. Mindfulness techniques, meditation, and Balint groups do help to reduce provider bias. Balint group is a small group discussing cases from their practices with a focus on the patient-health professional relationship. 6. Perspective taking and affective empathy. Providers imagine themselves in the other's shoes. 7. Building a partnership with the patient. The patient-centered approach is a good example (Burgess, van Ryn, Dovidio, & Saha, 2007).
Burgess, D., van Ryn, M., Dovidio, J., & Saha, S. (2007). Reducing racial bias among health care providers: lessons from social-cognitive psychology. Journal of general internal medicine, 22(6), 882-7.
Falker, Angel (Ed). (2018). Community & public health: The future of health care. Retrieved from https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs427vn/community-and-pub...