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Nr 500: Foundational Concepts and Applications - Addressing Bias

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Addressing Bias

Josie Allred

Chamberlain College of Nursing

NR 500: Foundational Concepts and Applications

July 29, 2018


Addressing Bias

        Oxford dictionary defines bias as, “Inclination or prejudice for or against one person or group, especially in a way considered to be unfair.” (Oxford, 2018).  Bias can either be implicit, unintentional or explicit, deliberate.

        Bias play an important role in how we treat others. In the article Teaching Strategies to Increase Nursing Student Acceptance and Management of Unconscious Bias (Schultz, 2017) it talks about how unconscious biases can cause a negative interactions between patient and provider. There can be a lack of communication and concern perceived from the patient leading to decreased trust in the provider. If the patient doesn’t trust the provider the chance of them following the treatment plan decreases.         

This paper will discuss bias, identification of a personal bias, provide a strategy to reduce bias and will finish with a self-reflection.

Discussion of Bias

        My specialty track is the FNP. I currently work in hospice and I would love to continue in hospice after I become an FNP, however there is not a role for nurse practitioner in hospice currently. My goal is to hopefully be able to somehow make nurse practitioners into more of a hospice role.

        If a FNP has a personal bias say for someone with color than there is a chance that the patient of color will not receive the care that they deserve whether intentionally or unintentionally. If a FNP has a typical stereotype and their patient happens to fall into that stereotype, it can affect how the FNP treats this patient. It can have an effect on the diagnosis, treatment plan and overall interaction between patient and provider (Nazione, 2013). 

Identification of Personal Bias

        The IAT test I took was the weight one. My results came back that I had a strong automatic preference for thin people over fat people. I’d like to think that I don’t have any biases however I’d be lying to myself if I said that. I think most of my biases are implicit. Throughout my nursing career I have tried to treat everyone equally. However I can specifically think of a patient that I was unintentionally bias to. This patient’s home was very dirty and I did not want to spend time in the home. I did the minimal things I had to do, which looking back was not fair to this patient.

Strategy to Reduce Bias

        The more experience you have in situations where bias can influence care the more opportunity you have to work on your own personal bias. Now that I am more aware of my own biases I can work on overcoming them. One way that I can overcome my biases is to make a list of each biases I have. I need to pay attention to how I react to each situation I am in in relation to my bias and work to make each experience a positive one for me and my patients. The more aware I am of my bias the more I can work to overcome it.

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