Choice Magazine Review of Real Nurses and Others

Real Nurses and Others
Racism in Nursing

By Tania Das Gupta  

Das Gupta (York Univ.) describes an exploratory study undertaken in 2000 that examined the common experiences, patterns, and features of systemic racism within professional nursing in Ontario, Canada. From this qualitative study, the author developed a theoretical framework for analyzing and understanding systemic racism. The book identifies complex and multiple definitions of racism; contextualizes racism in nursing; and presents research findings and a discourse analysis. Das Gupta suggests that within nursing, racism in paid workplaces is disguised; this creates difficulties in identifying, understanding, and combating it. However, her finding did identify four forms of racial harassment that are common in Ontario. She observes that these arise from unconscious policies, procedures, and practices. Moreover, the largest proportion of what she terms “put-downers” are colleagues, followed by patients, physicians, managers, and others. Das Gupta notes that many nurses are forced to quit their jobs or leave the profession because health care institutions are not proactive in dispelling employment inequities, but rather take an adversarial approach. This is a well-written volume that describes the serious problem of systemic racism and suggests that it be addressed through an alternative justice model. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through professionals/practitioners.

–D.B. Hamilton, Western Michigan University

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