Dangers of Bias

by Angela Richard-Eaglin, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC, CNE, FAANP, CDE

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    00:06 You've heard me mention the word stereotype multiple times, so I just want to make sure that we're speaking the same language and I define what I mean by that, so it's either preconceived or oversimplified idea of characteristics that typify a person or a situation and it creates an attitude based on this preconception.

    00:26 The problem with stereotypes is that they're negative and harmful or pejorative, meaning, judgmental.

    00:32 And so that is where all these other things are born from so don't stereotype or label people.

    00:38 I found this funny little meme thing that says, label [inaudible 00:36] not people.

    00:43 So, think about that when we start to label people.

    00:47 There are multiple dangers of biases and you've heard me mention them before.

    00:51 One is that they create -isms and they create -ics.

    00:55 And I've given lots of examples of those -isms and -ics, they include elitism, racism, chauvinism, classism, ageism, ableism, and colorism.

    01:05 And then remembering some of those -ics, homophob- homophobia, rather, let's call them phobias.

    01:11 Homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia.

    01:15 And the thing people hate, even though they perpetuate these behaviors and consistently show these behaviors when we do this, then we do become an -ist because it becomes a part of our character but we can undo that.

    01:28 So when we practice elitism, especially consistently, so there are, there will be moments where we make elitist comments.

    01:35 But when that becomes a part of our character, we become an -ist.

    01:40 Elitist, racist, chauvinist, classist, ageist, ableist, colorist, and misogynist.

    01:45 So if you don't want to be an -ist, then you need to try to practice undoing some of those -isms and phobias, Because the phobias turn into the -ics, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic.

    01:56 And we want to focus all this around humans first and that all humans, regardless of whatever those characteristics that make us unique are, whether we agree with them or not, we want to make sure we keep our biases intact so that we don't fall into that category of -ist.

    02:15 We talked a lot before about dangers of bias and I just want to give you something to try to remember.

    02:21 When we think about headstarts.

    02:23 So when I was little I was really competitive and I used to love to try to compete with my male cousins and try to outdo them, and racing was one of those things.

    02:32 I wanted to be a fast runner so bad.

    02:34 It never happened but I was always striving toward that goal and some of my male cousins oftentimes will tell me, I'll give you a headstart and I'm still going to beat you.

    02:46 Well, we don't want headstarts and I hated headstarts back then even in a race, so we don't, we definitely don't want to do that in the case of how we operate in this world from personal and professional perspectives.

    03:00 You've also heard me mention when we talked about the dangers of bias, I've used the word sentinel events.

    03:06 On terms of bias, it creates debilitating different outcomes.

    03:15 So debilitating threats to psychological and physical safety of humans and then it leads to those sentinel events. And what is a sentinel event? Remember I said I like to adapt definitions? So according to the joint commission, a sentinel event is a patient safety event that results in death, permanent harm, or severe temporary harm.

    03:38 Well, I'd like to change that word, patient safety, a sentinel event is a threat to human safety.

    03:44 So we need to remember that and that's an all-spaces, when we allow bias to impact how we interact.

    03:50 In terms of healthcare, you heard me mention the word stigma.

    03:54 We also tend to marginalize people with biases, through biases, and what happens is that we discriminate.

    04:03 So we discriminate in terms of how we distribute resources.

    04:06 We discriminate in terms of how we approach patient care and how we develop those treatment plans and that turns into substandard healthcare practices.

    04:17 And that's not our goal. We don't become health professionals to give substandard care.

    04:22 Personally, I like to operate from a space of excellence in all aspects of my life but especially on how I'm going to impact somebody else's outcomes, especially when I have that much power that what I do, can negatively impact someone or positively impact someone and I talk about in terms of rewards and awards.

    04:45 My biggest rewards and awards come from when a patient leaves from my care in a better state than they were in when I started caring for them.

    04:55 Those are the things that help me sleep well at night and give me warmth, fuzzes, and goosebumps.

    04:59 Having a negative impact, so, if I ever think through my day and I'm like, uh, I forgot to do XYZ.

    05:07 And if I think that I could have negatively impacted a person or a patient, then it does disrupt my sleep.

    05:14 So I try to approach every day with the goal of excellence in mind and making sure that I have a positive impact on this world.

    05:23 And so I have mentioned already about the health disparities and the higher burns of illness.

    05:28 Excess barriers sometimes secondary to culture, how can I be a part of the change with determinants of health? And I'll talk about that more in detail through the series as we progress.

    05:39 But just think about when we deny things as, I said already, denied different parts of optimal care to people, comorbidities happen.

    05:48 We talked about that $310 billion a year, well, a lot of that also, I didn't mention earlier is because comorbidities happen as a result of something we neglected to do in the past or didn't do correctly based on that substandard care, and people end up in poor physical health.

    06:07 Sometimes we can reverse it and sometimes we can't, but we always want to be thinking from a proactive standpoint.

    06:13 Then, you know, I briefly mentioned about mental health disturbances and conditions.

    06:18 Think about the stigma attached with that and how marginalized people feel, how judgy people are, how people stereotype when we think about those, so that's very sensitive and I want us to always be cognizant of in addition to all those physical things.

    06:33 Think about the mental impact.

    06:36 And, when we mistreat people, it perpetuates that and exacerbates those mental health issues.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Dangers of Bias by Angela Richard-Eaglin, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC, CNE, FAANP, CDE is from the course Bias in Healthcare.

    Author of lecture Dangers of Bias

     Angela Richard-Eaglin, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC, CNE, FAANP, CDE

    Angela Richard-Eaglin, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC, CNE, FAANP, CDE

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