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Diversity in Surgery - November 2019 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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4 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 9 A s an Army brat, I grew up in a truly diverse community, with children of all skin colors, nationalities and reli- gions. None of us felt different; we all just saw each other as friends. I was also very fortunate to attend nurs- ing school at a historically black university. In addition to receiving an excellent clinical education, my school powerfully grounded me in diversity, inclusion, acceptance, empowerment, lead- ership and pride in my culture. Looking back, I'm so grateful for the knowledge and positivity I gath- ered in my youth. I would need it to negotiate the challenges ahead. Shortly after graduating and starting nursing practice, I sensed that my skin color caused discomfort for many of my Caucasian patients. I noticed that when many institutions held recruiting events, historical- ly black colleges and universities like my alma mater were not invited to participate. As a leader in group discussions, some co-workers avoided looking at or addressing me. Once in my career, another sen- ior leader said I lacked the talent to accomplish my job. Often, I heard inappropriate or even racist comments. Most were not meant in a mean-spirited way, but they hurt just the same. Although my instinct was to push back when these events happened, I understood that doing so would be counterproductive. A Caucasian woman who holds her ground has a chance to be seen as strong and courageous. African American women know that same behavior will The challenges are real, but we can overcome them — one peri- operative leader's perspective. Nakeisha Archer, MBA, RN, NE-BC, CNOR, CSSM Houston, Texas Hope for The Future DIVERSITY

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