Did a Texas Nurse Really Lose Her Job Over ‘Implicit Bias’ Training?
A registered, albeit now unemployed, College Station, Texas nurse recently composed an op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal about how she was fired for her refusal to participate in "Implicit Bias" training.
Laura L. Morgan's rationale for refusing to attend the mandatory training was that the training implied she was inherently racist for being born white.
After 39 years of providing equal care to all my patients without regard to their race, I objected to a mandatory course grounded in the idea that I’m racist because I’m white. I fear every healthcare professional will soon be forced to make the same awful decision I did: Falsely admit to being racist or abandon the medical field.
Now, I must admit that I'm not a nurse and have not had to undergo any nurse training about bias. But as a rational and nuanced thinker and human being, I can already catch a whiff of how bad this nurse's claim stinks.
First of all, bias is like sin. We are all born with it and it's wired into all of us. I catch myself thinking with a bias constantly. I did the math, figured this woman is at least 60 years old and drew biased conclusions about her with that information. Is it fair to assume because she is 60+, white, and writing a fist-shaking op-ed piece that's she's a cranky, high-maintenance and entitled mess? Absolutely not. But here I am. I also assume a younger checker at the grocery store will be faster and that the baby on the airplane will cry.
This doesn't make me a bad person; it makes me a normal person. However, my judgments, whether I'm aware of them or not, do not affect the life, death or health of people. A nurse's decisions, conscious or not, could literally kill or maim a person.
Another eyebrow-raising part of this nurse's account is that she implies that the attendees are somehow forced to pledge allegiance to, or sign in blood, an admittance to being a Racist White™:
It’s part of the woke assumption that society, including healthcare, suffers from “systemic racism.” Accordingly, my own supposed implicit bias, which is a euphemism for ingrained racism, must be rooted out. Not only that, it must be replaced with preferential treatment for the nonwhite. I fail to see how real racial discrimination is justified by my nonexistent racism.
Oh boy. She reveals a lot about herself in that paragraph. Her reference to POC folks as "the nonwhite" sure feels icky. The fact that she uses the word "woke" at all is exhausting. Simply put: doth the lady protest too much? But let me put aside my bias here and assume this woman is absolutely, 100 percent not racist at all. What would attending this mandatory training that every other nurse had to take cost her?
Some time. Some annoyance. Maybe a nominal fee, though I doubt it. Nurses have to attend all kinds of yearly mandatory training for all types of things. It's truly part of the job.
She could have sat through the training, completed her workbook or whatever and then completely flushed all that information out of her brain immediately if she didn't agree with it. Or she could have taken the opportunity to really evaluate any bias she might hold, whether it's race-based or not, and thought of ways she could provide better healthcare to her patients.
The truth is, we can all be better. I know I certainly could be.