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Nurse not allowed to care for patient claims discrimination

After being denied the ability to care for a patient for 17 days, a nurse is seeking retribution for her treatment. The woman, who is an African-American, is still currently employed by the Palms of Pasadena Hospital in Florida. She was originally hired as a dietary aid in 1998 but later became a nurse. She alleges that she was turned away from caring for a patient because of her race and has filed a discrimination claim against the hospital.

According to her complaint, the woman went into a room to care for a patient, but a supervisor asked her to leave the room because of her race. The patient was admitted into the hospital after she had been mugged by a black person and, reportedly, did not wish to be treated by any black staff. Other hospital employees claimed that the woman became anxious when black caregivers came in to treat her.

Her daughter had allegedly agreed to preventing blacks from treating her mother, but she later denied making such a statement. A notice had been placed on the door to the patient's room that instructed hospital employees to report to the nurse's station before treating the patient. The claim alleges that this was required so that the supervisor could ensure that no black nurses cared for the woman.

The Florida hospital released a statement claiming that they foster a work environment that promotes diversity, equality, respect, and honors the law and regulations. After the incident, the nurse was placed on leave, but, when she returned to work, she alleges that the woman's care was still restricted to certain ethnicities. A federal judge ruled that the hospital did discriminate against the woman, as well as the other black employees who were involved. A future jury trial will determine if the nurse will be awarded the damages she is seeking from the hospital for her discrimination claim.

Source: tampabay.com, "Judge rules Palms of Pasadena Hospital discriminated against black nurse", Zack Peterson, March 2, 2015

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