The Role of Nurses in Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Healthcare – In the healthcare industry, diversity, equality, and inclusion are hot topics, but simply including a DEI module in Mata Sahib Kaur College of Nursing’s annual education is insufficient to address these issues. While policies are a useful tool, real change must come from each staff member on a more individual basis. There is a need to define and understand the role of nurses in promoting diversity, equality, and inclusion in healthcare so that we can have meaningful discussions about DEI that can result in major change.
First, problems often arise from our prejudices, especially those that are hidden by the circumstances of our lives. We can’t fight for what we don’t understand, and if we don’t fight for change, we will continue to operate in our “safe” silos, which only serve to reinforce the notion that we are separate from each other. Making diversity, equality, and inclusion a part of our workplace and nurse recruitment begins with acknowledging our differences and making sense of them.
Diversity is inclusive of people from different backgrounds. Employees benefit from exposure to diversity among peers, for example, the health care system, nurse staffing taking into account different cultures, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic backgrounds, and patients knowing that they feel more comfortable that they are not alone.
Even though we’ve made great strides since the days when only white men could practice medicine, our healthcare system has always lacked diversity. Today, despite our progress, we are still made up of white people. According to research by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), 64% of doctors were male and more than 56% were white doctors. According to Minority Nurses, approximately 75% of RNs identify as white, and 91% of those are female.
The idea of equity is often confused with the idea of equality. Equity in healthcare means giving everyone the same resources or opportunities to achieve their health goals. Equity is recognizing that each person has unique circumstances and respecting them. Providing opportunities and resources to enable them to achieve similar outcomes.
Merely giving someone a chance is insufficient if they lack the resources to take advantage of it. No one may be disadvantage because of his or her age, color, ethnicity, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation, location, or socioeconomic status. Only then can equity be realized.
Inclusion is about creating a respectful and safe environment for all members of staff and patients. Giving patients and staff a voice in providing and receiving care means promoting inclusion and diversity. In the field of healthcare, a one-size-fits-all strategy is inappropriate. We must all strive to value diversity and advance equity.
Because people want to be include in addition to being hire, inclusion has emerged as a desirable addition to healthcare diversity. What child doesn’t aspire from an early age to participate in activities? Be a part of teams with their classmates, friends, and families. In adulthood, nothing changes. Later in their careers, people aspire to be a part of their organizations.
When members of different racial and ethnic groups join a team at work, they want other team members to recognize their value. If their efforts are not recognize. They may feel they were employe for the wrong reasons and may leave the company with regrets.
Although they may not have much influence over how policies are implement in healthcare systems. Nurses are often the first and last members of the staff a patient encounters. Nurses play the most important role in diversity, equity, and inclusion with patients, in nursing education. In our own workplaces because of the strong interactions we have with our patients.
Meeting patients where they are is one of the most important lessons of Mata Sahib Kaur College of Nursing. Together, colleagues and I can build a healthcare system that is more efficient and serves everyone.