Biases are highly attributed to healthcare disparities experienced in the United States of America. The term refers to prejudice or discrimination against something, an individual, or a group of people. In addition, bias involves favoring or having a preference for one thing over the other, often in an unfair manner. Stereotypes, instead of factual knowledge play a significant role in the projection of biases. Some biases are good while others are negative and may influence interactions and impact outcomes. Biases can affect the way people connect by either destroying or strengthening relationships. Moreover, biases can promote desirable outcomes or cause bad results (Byrne, & Tanesini, 2015). The paper will discuss biases in the context of a family nurse practitioner (FNP) and how it affects outcomes in this specialty. The paper will also identify a personal bias and determine whether it is implicit or explicit. Besides, it will cover a strategy to reduce bias and a self-reflection section.
Discussion of bias
Biases are commonly experienced in the field or nursing by all types of nurses. FNPs may be biased towards a certain group of people or against something. Likewise, they may also experience prejudices or preferences from the people they care for. FNPs are advanced practice registered nurses (RNs) whose care provision is family oriented. They work closely with other healthcare workers to provide care for diverse groups of people, and many opt to work with the underserved people. Generally, FNPs work towards promoting individuals’ health and achieving the desired health outcomes. For instance, they are often involved in offering preventive care to safeguard communities from becoming sick. However, biases can hinder FNPs from succeeding in their goals to ensure that patients achieve good health.
One way in which biases can affect health outcomes in the provision of care by the FNPs is by destroying the patient-provider interactions. Racial biases on nurses and patients have been widely reported in the U.S. For instance, white people despise black healthcare providers, and can make racial remarks during treatment. Most of the white patients claim that African-American practitioners are less skilled and instead, they prefer to be managed by white physicians (Hall et al., 2015). Due to the resentment, a patient might refuse to follow the advice given by a black nurse. If they do not have the money to pay a private FNP of their choice, sick people who look despise down on the black physicians may develop complications and their health may deteriorate due to failure to comply. More so, when black FNPs realize that white people do not appreciate their services, they may offer poor quality services, which leads to poor health outcomes.
On the other hand, biases can promote the achievement of positive health outcomes by influencing treatment decisions. In healthcare, patients have the freedom to make healthy choices. For instance, a patient may decide that they want to be handled by a nurse from a certain gender, race or religion (Hall et al., 2015). For example, most Muslim women are biased towards men in the sense that they often prefer and feel comfortable when they are managed by female nurses. As a result, their health may be optimized since they easily comply, leading to desirable health outcomes.
Preference for white people over black people is a personal bias. Being biased against black people is individual in the sense there is nothing wrong with that group of people. It is just that one dislikes them. Stereotypes such as believing that black people are violent or lazy might have made the person to hate the African-Americans. As such, disliking the black people is an explicit bias as it is conscious and is most likely based on the attitudes that the individual holds about the African Americans.
Strategy to reduce bias
One of the ways to reduce bias is by embracing open-mindedness. Everyone has a bias against something or a certain group of people which are based on preconceived notions (Hall et al., 2015). To get rid of the biases people should try as much as they can not to develop attitudes based on beliefs but founded on facts. To be open-minded means that one understands that all human beings make mistakes, and an individual’s fault should not be used to make a conclusion about other people.
Completion of this assignment expounded my knowledge regarding the various types of biases experienced in nursing practice. For instance, racial biases are common in the healthcare setting. Besides, I learned how health outcomes can be affected by the biases. Good biases can promote health while bad ones can lead to undesirable health outcomes. The relations between nurses and patients can be impacted by the biases and in turn, affect the treatment results. Most importantly I learned ways in which I can address or reduce biases in nursing practice. Completing this assignment will play a significant role in changing my future professional practice as I will apply the knowledge I have acquired to ensure that biases promote health and wellness in the community.
Byrne, A., & Tanesini, A. (2015). Instilling new habits: addressing implicit bias in healthcare professionals. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 20(5), 1255-1262.
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.