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Working in the healthcare industry is no easy job, especially for women nurses. USA Today reported, women dominate the nursing field yet male nurses are still paid more — therefore, we can only imagine women of color nurses are paid even less. That said, can you imagine being a nurse and told you cannot work because a white patient doesn’t want any Black nurses? This reportedly happened at a Michigan healthcare center.

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According to TV 6, “Six Black certified nursing assistants filed a lawsuit April 11 against Providence Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, where they all work or formerly worked. The Zeeland facility offers memory care, rehabilitation, retirement and assisted living to mostly senior patients. … The lawsuit alleges some residents said they didn’t want Black caregivers, and the facility would grant the requests and put them in the patient’s care plan.”

Providence Life Services spokeswoman Sheila King declined to comment “but said Providence doesn’t change staff assignments based on race.” However, Julie Gafkay, an attorney for the women, said, “When (the CNAs) were assigned to care for said patients, they would be switched with a Caucasian employee, they would be told not to care for the patient. If they cared for the patients, they were called racist names by the patients who believed such requests were permissible because (Providence Healthcare’s) failure to properly address.”

The six women are asking for compensation for mental anguish, emotional distress and damage to their professional reputation. We hope they are properly compensated. It is ridiculous for a healthcare center to allegedly support this type of behavior.


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Patients Asked For White-Only Nurses And This Michigan Center Agreed  was originally published on