At the 3rd Annual School of Nursing Oncology, we had the chance to sit down with Chasity M. Washington, MPH, CHES, director of the Center for Cancer Health Equity at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and discuss how to better understand each patient's unique situation.
For healthcare, diversity in the workplace extends to the patients oncology nurses provide for, and it's important to understand that social determinants of health will affect the patient's treatment experience. At the 3rd Annual School of Nursing Oncology, Chasity M. Washington, MPH, CHES, director of the Center for Cancer Health Equity at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, discussed how nurses can be a champion for their patients and curb some of their own implicit biases.
Know what your patient population is, interact with them, and know what their barriers are, and then speak out. If you're noticing there's a certain barrier for a certain population, make sure you bring that to the attention of the appropriate people in the organization. When you're doing your performance objectives or reviews, whatever you set as a goal or objective take them and [then] look at it from a health equity lens. Meaning, if you set a certain goal or objective is there a way to look at that and add some sort of health equity component to it. So again, I hope [nurses] take the implicit bias test and then based on their results get some sort of education and training on whatever areas they have a bias in. Then be that champion back at their university or their clinic that can be the person that shows the diversity lens when other people may not look at things that way.