Nursing Bias and Stereotypes

  • How does the community health nurse recognize bias, stereotypes, and implicit bias within the community?
  • How should the nurse address these concepts to ensure health promotion activities are culturally competent?
  • Propose strategies that you can employ to reduce cultural dissonance and bias to deliver culturally competent care. Include an evidence-based article that addresses the cultural issue.

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Nursing Bias and Stereotypes

How the community health nurse recognize bias, stereotypes, and implicit bias within the community

Unconscious or implicit bias refers to negative or positive stereotypes and attitudes activated involuntarily and automatically, that influence an individual’s behaviors, decisions, and understanding without his or her voluntary control of awareness (Alspach, 2018).  A community health nurse recognizes implicit bias and stereotypes within the community when patients receive substandard care because of their ethnicity or race or when providers demonstrate unequal treatment recommendations to and lack empathy toward minority patients.

Alspach (2018) indicates that implicit bias is manifested in four major areas; treatment decisions, provider-patient interactions, patient health outcomes, and treatment adherence. How a provider communicates, including body language, verbal cues, and nonverbal behavior( frequency of eye contact and physical proximity) might manifest subconscious bias. Bias can negatively influence whether patients return for or seek care, adhere to treatment protocols, and possibly affect care outcomes.

How a nurse should address these concepts

The nurse can address implicit bias and stereotyping to ensure culturally competent health promotion activities through perspective-taking.  According to Edgoose et al. (2019), perspective-taking involves considering experiences from the viewpoint of the individual being stereotyped. This can entail consuming media about those experiences, such as watching documentaries, reading novels, and listening, and having direct interactions with individuals from different cultural backgrounds. Increased face-to-face contact with individuals who are culturally different from you undermines implicit bias.

Strategies that I can employ to reduce cultural dissonance and bias

Individuation, partnership building, and affirming egalitarian goals are strategies that I can use to minimize cultural dissonance and bias to deliver culturally competent care.  Endgoose et al. (2019) allege that individuation involves collecting specific information about the individual you are interacting with to avert group-based stereotypic inferences.  A person’s social identities intersect with numerous social groupings, for instance, related to race and ethnicity. Within these multiplicities, an individual can find shared identities that bring them close to these groups, including common interests ( for example, sports teams) or shared experiences (for example, parenting) (Edgoose et al., 20190.   The nurse can use individuation to help inform clinical decisions by utilizing what the nurse knows about the unique, specific, and specific attributes of a person.

Partnership building involves approaching the interaction between the patient and the provider as collaborative, patient-centered efforts, rather than the provider directing the patient.   In this approach, both parties are required to agree on health problems, treatment goals and roles, and priorities of care (Alspach, 2018).

Affirming egalitarian goals involves expressing my commitment to provide optimal care to all patients and correcting disparities in care. According to Alspach (2018), studies on affirming egalitarian goals demonstrate that providers are highly receptive to acknowledge and modify their biases when they express their commitments to deliver the best possible care to every patient and to share in the obligation to correct disparities in care.


Alspach, J. G. (2018). Implicit Bias in Patient Care: An Endemic Blight on Quality Care. Critical Care Nurse, 38(4), 12-16.

Edgoose, J., Quiogue, M., & Sidhar, K. (2019).  How to Identify, Understand, and Unlearn Implicit Bias in Patient Care.  Family   Practice Management, 26(4), 29-33.


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