You’re the doctor?! Not a nurse?!!

Nima Scott,
Madison, WI.

I’m a Black, dreadlocked woman who works in a psychiatric facility. My first week on my unit a Black patient incredulously yelled that he had NEVER seen a Black doctor in the hospital in all of the years that he lived there. Apparently, neither had my peers whose sole framework for a Black professional woman is that of a nurse. I’ve had to interrupt staff from sanctioning black patients with time-outs, losses of privilege, and at worst, seclusion for erupting in anger when white patients call them “n*****”! It appears that the expectation is that the recipient maintains his equanimity. Staff seems impervious to my reasoning that psychotic or not, calling someone “n*****” is not going to elicit understanding for the perpetrator’s struggles, but rage. It enrages me! But then again, that could just be my lack of professionalism. I am Black, after all.


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