In Unit 11, both Rosie Purves and Elvis Malcolm talk about their experiences of racism at work. Compare their different experiences and discuss how racism can be avoided in care work.
Racism involves inappropriate behaviour towards another person due to their race, colour, nationality or ethnic group. Racism is made up by people??™s Stereotyping, prejudices and discrimination towards others who are different from them. Racism is then applied by someone with the power to act on it. The power relationship gives us understanding to how prejudices and racism are acted upon. I am going to compare Rosie Purves and Elvis Malcolm??™s experiences of racism at work and discuss how racism can be avoided in the care work.
A comparison between Rosie and Elvis was that Rosie didn??™t have the support from management that Elvis had. Rosie was under racist actions due to the colour of her skin. The consultant went along with the mother??™s request to move her child away from Rosie??™s care. This was due to the mother not wanting anyone who was black looking after her child. By the consultant not challenging the mother made it look like he was agreeing with her actions and saying that racism was ok. ???Nobody at the hospital apologised. The priority was the child, according to the consultant. The team was saying, ???We don??™t see you as being black??? but they were still prepared to move the child??™. (Purves, 2010, p 23) By the consultant going a long with the mother??™s request caused the hospital to be institutionally discriminative. One of the reasons why the NHS trust was guilty of showing racial discrimination was due to there being no recognition of racism and ???no policy setting out what action should be taken to address it??™. (K101, Unit 11, p159) However in comparison with Rosie, Elvis felt he had full support from his manager. This is due to Somebody Cares having an equal opportunities policy that was actively put into place to make ???a safe and positive organisational climate for staff.??™ (K101, Unit 11, p167) This helps carers working for Somebody Cares know the correct procedure to go though if experiencing racism, while also helping them to feel valued, supported and confident that racism will be dealt with.
Due to the fact that nobody challenged the mother in the case of Rosie, the racism was able to continue. This lead to another mother becoming involved and she also became abusive to Rosie. ???The second mother started to abuse me??™. (Purves, 2010, p24) In comparison, Elvis didn??™t face this situation due to the racism he faced being challenged straight away and due to him having full support from his manager.
This shows how important it is to appropriately challenge racism straight away otherwise it can lead to more people thinking its fine to be racist towards others.
In the example of Rosie and her colleagues, even though there was clear awkwardness about what had happened, nobody talked about it. ???It remained, as she says, ???an unspoken thing??™. (K101, Unit 11, P155) By not talking about racism would affect the staff and the way they coped with it. Further more due to the fact that they didn??™t talk about it would lead to a barrier of communication between them. Also it would affect staff being able to support and deal with a service user if they suffered from racism as they wouldn??™t know how to challenge it. In comparison to Rosie, Elvis says that, ???he is able to talk openly about racism to other staff??™. (K101, DVD, Unit 11, activity 12) Maybe this is due to there being a wide ethnic group of staff at Somebody Cares so he knows he is not alone and he feels supported
Due to the way racism was handled in the case of Elvis, he knew he was supported by his colleagues and manager so he was able to move on from a situation knowing it was dealt with. He was able to carry on enjoying his job and feel ???valued at work.??™ (K101, DVD, Unit 11, activity 12) In comparison to Elvis, Rosie was alone; she didn??™t tell anyone about the racism for seven years. This was due to her feeling ashamed about the way she was being treated and about feelings she had about letting her family down by being stopped from looking after the child. This isolation and loneliness lead to Rosie becoming depressed, Rosie stated, ???I put a brave face on at work, then I would come home and dissolve into tears at night.??™ (Purves, 2010, p 24)
The racism really effected Rosie??™s confidence; she was worried when she met new parents as she thought they would not accept her. ???I??™m in turmoil when meeting new parents ??“ I wonder, will they accept me??™ (Purves, 2010, p25)
The experiences that Rosie and Elvis had compare greatly due to the way they were supported. It shows how by not having policies in place and having no support from other members of staff makes it unbearable for those who suffer racism. However it also shows how having the right support and policies in place helps the member of staff to move on and still enjoy their job and feel valued
A way racism can be challenged and dealt with in the care work setting is by having an equal opportunities policy. This should not just be written and put to one side but should be one that managers and care workers are aware of and actively using and following. If this had happened in the example of Rosie then the racism she experienced would not have been allowed to carry on and would have been challenged appropriately and dealt with straight away. It would have been a source for them to refer to and gain knowledge and clarification from. Furthermore an Equal opportunity policy would help staff to talk about racism more openly. ???written policies make it easier to talk about racism and deal with it.??™ (K101, Unit 11, p154)
Managers need to be aware of the hierarchies in hospital settings. This would help everyone feel more equal and help staff not feel below or above anyone else. The fact that Rosie and her colleagues probably ???felt powerless to challenge the consultant paediatrician??™ (K101, Unit 11, p158) shows that the consultant was in control and thought he was above them, he had the power over that situation and ???power is a key ingredient in the process of discrimination.??™ (K101, Unit 11, p158)
An organisational culture and climate needs to be developed in a care work setting to help avoid racism, this will help staff have a voice and feel valued for their individual ethnicity. Sometimes there is a certain informal process that happens in the care work setting that gives a sense that certain situations should not be challenged. In the example of Rosie and her colleagues, going a long with what the consultant said was the norm. For Rosie it was ???very hard for just one person to take a stand and challenge this??™. (K101, Unit 11, p156
Managers can help staff to feel able to talk about any issues they have by making them feel comfortable and at ease. By talking to staff, providing them with set regulations gives them clarity about the way racism would be challenged and handled. By giving staff training will help them to know what to do and how to handle different situations they face. Also by offering extra support to staff if needed when they are in training helps the work setting to be inclusive for all. An example for this is when Julie, the manager of somebody cares offers someone with dyslexia a one to one to help them be included and able to complete training for the theory side of the work. (K101, DVD, Unit 11, activity 12) By having posters up in the Care work setting stating that racism and verbal abuse would not be accepted would be a way that puts the message out to service users and their families that it would not be acceptable behaviour and would be challenged.
There are many ways that managers and care workers can implement strategies to help racism be avoided in care work. Everyone needs to work as a team for this to happen and support each other when situations do arise. There needs to be set policies in place that are actively followed and used so that all are aware of the process for challenging racism. There needs to be good communication between managers and staff so issues can be raised easily. Also Managers of care settings should be aware of the Equality act 2010 and should be reinforcing this in their setting. This is one of their duties as a manager which will help challenge racial discrimination and promote equal opportunities for all ethnic groups.
Word count: 1448
The Open University (2010) K101 An Introduction to health and social care, Unit 11 Working with diversity, Milton Keynes, The Open University.
The Open University (2011) K101 An Introduction to health and social care, DVD, Unit 11, Activity 12, Responding to diversity at the somebody cares agency, Milton Keynes, The Open University.
Purves, R. (2010) ???Racist abuse ruined my life??™, in Johnson, J. and De Souza, C. (eds) Understanding Health and Social Care: An Introductory Reader, London, Sage/Milton Keynes, The Open University.
Supporting people to use community resources
1. I would offer to offer to go with Mina to visit a ???Cooking Pots??™ session to meet the organiser and other parents, and make sure in advance that the organiser will have time to talk with Mina about the group.
2. How will Mina get there
How much will it cost Can Mina afford it
What day of the week and what time are the sessions Is this convenient
If Mina is the only Asian woman, how will she feel about this
Will the group be sensitive to Mina??™s culture For example, will the menus be appropriate to Mina??™s way of cooking If not, what can be done
Will there be any communication difficulties How might these be resolved
3. Mina has expressed an interest in meeting other local parents, and assisting her to do this will help her to feel in control ??“ even though there may be some difficulties to overcome. As Mina already has cooking skills she may be able to share these with the other parents
4. It will be necessary to explore whether Mina feels confident enough about her English to take part in the group by herself, or whether there is another woman who speaks the same language and can go with her.
5. Mina has expressed an interest in this community activity, so I could help her to explore whether this option meets her needs. As things progress, I can check with Mina and the group organiser that the group is meeting her needs and that Mina is getting any additional support required