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Some People Shouldn’t Be Nurses

, , , , | Healthy | July 30, 2021

I am newly eighteen, so at my doctor’s office, I have to fill out new paperwork — confidentiality and whatever they make you do. I’m a short, very light-skinned girl with bright blonde hair which is naturally dark brown but I dye it. My mother is from Cuba and her father is from Spain, so I am 50% Latina and Hispanic. I definitely don’t look it, which isn’t normally a problem. It’s more like a fun trivia tidbit about me.

On one of the papers I am filling out, it asks if I am Hispanic/Latina. I check yes, because I am. I give the nurse the paperwork and wait in the room for a doctor. I can hear some nurses outside the door in the office area talking rather loudly.

Nurse #1: “She’s got blonde hair and blue eyes — perfect Aryan. I think she checked the wrong box.”

Nurse #2: “Change it for her. Obviously, she got it wrong.”

Nurse #1: “Maybe she’s trying to scam us. One of those people begging to be oppressed.”

For the record, I have deep brown eyes, not blue. But I’m very upset about the conversation I’m hearing. My ethnicity is not for them to decide or discuss, and my patient records are supposed to be confidential, not talked about in front of or to anyone.

The nurse comes back in and hands me the clipboard.

Nurse #1: “I think you marked that wrong — the Hispanic/Latina question.”

Me: “Uh, I am both Hispanic and Latina. I’m Cuban and Spanish.”

Nurse #1: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Are you sure you should be gossiping about your patients’ medical files to other nurses and whoever else can hear right in front of the door?”

She left without another word. I’ve considered switching from that office for a while, but I don’t go enough for it to be a huge problem. I’m still bothered by this incident, though.

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