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A Black Senior Nurse suffers from a toxic atmosphere at work ... “Us vs Them”mentality




What Was Your Nursing Role?

Senior Nurse


What Brought You to Equality 4 Black Nurses (E4BN)?

My journey to E4BN was born out of a distressing and traumatic experience in my career. 

When I decided to blow the whistle on a crucial matter; I expected to be supported and protected by my employer and the relevant authorities. However, the reality was quite the opposite. Instead of receiving support, In retaliation, I faced trumped-up charges, deceit, lies, and a coordinated effort to discredit me. The situation led to immense stress and anxiety. Throughout this challenging period, I found myself alone and marginalised without support. The nursing union I trusted and paid for many years was unhelpful and more concerned with my employer's interests. Feeling lost and alone, a friend who was already a member of E4BN extended a helping hand and introduced me to this fantastic organisation. Reflecting on my experiences, I wish I had known about E4BN earlier. Their unwavering commitment to supporting nurses facing similar challenges and their dedication to tackling racism and injustice within the profession struck a chord with me. E4BN became a haven where I could finally share my story, seek guidance, and find solace in knowing I was not alone in my struggles.


Did You Contact a traditional Union for Help?

Yes


Were you satisfied with how your union representative represented you before joining E4BN?

My experience with the union was far from satisfactory and, quite frankly, disappointing. Despite hoping they would champion my cause and fight for my rights, I soon realised the union was not on my side. Instead of offering genuine support and guidance, the nursing union worked hand in hand with my employer, leading to more harm than good. Their advice often felt misguided, leaving me feeling isolated and unsupported. Only after I connected with E4BN did I understand the gravity of the situation and the missteps that had been taken in handling my case. The genuine care and concern the E4BN team and members showed me were unparalleled. I found comfort in knowing that their priority was to protect Black Nurses and ensure that their voices were heard.


What Was Happening at Work That Made You Seek Advice from E4BN?

Two of my colleagues grouped and made false allegations about me. The accusations against me were racially charged and steeped in racial stereotypes of Black men being aggressive and sexual predators. The allegations against me were inconsistent, and my employer never provided specific dates or details to me. The lack of support took a toll on my mental and emotional well-being, leaving me drained and disheartened. Despite being innocent of wrongdoing, the lack of support from the union and the employer exacerbated the situation. The workplace environment had become hostile and divisive, creating a toxic atmosphere. The divisions were stark, with an "us versus them" mentality. What I experienced was heart-wrenching and led to feelings of insecurity and mistrust. 

As a result of the false allegation, I was dismissed from my job without a local investigation, referred to the Nursing and Midwifery (NMC) where I was suspended from the NMC register and then received a police charge which was later dropped and marked as a No Evidence case when the accusers failed to follow up with their false claims. 


How Has the Racism You've Experienced Impacted You Physically and

Mentally?

The racism I faced has left deep scars, both physically and mentally. The constant feeling of being targeted due to my ethnicity and the emotional burden of dealing with discriminatory attitudes took a toll on my well-being. Trusting others became an arduous task as I second-guessed the intentions and motives of those around me. The stress and anxiety resulting from the racism led to depression, which became a constant companion. The entire experience left me emotionally scarred. As someone who had always approached work with enthusiasm and dedication, I doubted my abilities and questioned my worth.


How Did E4BN Help You With Your Case, and What Was the Outcome?

E4BN's support and guidance have been a beacon of hope during this tumultuous period. While my journey is ongoing, witnessing the positive outcomes of other Black Nurses who found solace and support through E4BN has given me confidence. The organisation has provided valuable insights into approaching my case effectively, and I am optimistic about the future. Despite the difficulties I faced, the continuous encouragement and unwavering support from E4BN have given me the strength to believe in the possibility of reinstating my nursing pin and reclaiming my career. However, I must admit that the traumatic experience has left me apprehensive about returning to the profession. Nonetheless, E4BN has shown me that there is a safe space where I can share my concerns and fears without judgement.


How Has Neomi and Other E4BN Members Supported You?

Neomi and the entire E4BN community have been my pillars of strength throughout this challenging time. Their genuine concern and empathy gave me a sense of belonging and a safe space to express my thoughts and feelings openly. The unwavering support and reassurance from the E4BN community have been invaluable in helping me navigate these trying times. Knowing I can contact them anytime for support or advice has provided me with comfort and relief. Even when I am abroad on holiday, they have ensured that their lines of communication are open, demonstrating their dedication to supporting Black Nurses like me, regardless of our circumstances.


Which E4BN Services Did You Use, and How Did You Find Them?

I had the opportunity to utilise the Support Bubble Service which was crucial in providing me with the support I needed. On the day of my E4BN Triage, I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of empathy and compassion from everyone present. I was provided with a Support Bubble Team that gave me a sense of belonging and camaraderie, it was amazing knowing that others understood what I was going through.


How Has Joining E4BN Changed You?

Joining E4BN has been a transformative experience that has reshaped my perspective on various aspects of life. It has taught me to trust my intuition and believe in myself, even in adversity. E4BN has opened my eyes to the pervasive nature of racism within British institutions and the healthcare sector, prompting me to be more aware of the challenges faced by Black and ethnic minority Nurses. While the trauma I experienced shook my trust in institutions, E4BN has shown me the importance of standing up for what is right and fighting against racism and injustice. I now carry a newfound pride in my Blackness, my achievements and a determination to be a voice for positive change.


What Is the Most Important Thing That You've Learned from E4BN?

Above all, E4BN has taught me that I am not alone in my experiences and feelings. The organisation has shown me that racism is not just a personal struggle but a systemic problem that needs to be addressed collectively. Trusting in myself and my instincts has become essential, and E4BN has given me the courage to challenge the status quo and advocate for my rights. E4BN has made me realise that my experiences were not isolated incidents but part of a larger pattern of racial discrimination that impacts countless others. This realisation has fueled my determination to fight against racism and work towards building a more inclusive and equitable society.


Would You Recommend E4BN, and Why?

Without a shadow of a doubt, I wholeheartedly recommend E4BN to any Nurse or healthcare professional facing similar challenges or experiencing racism in the workplace. The genuine care, understanding, and empathy displayed by the E4BN community are unparalleled. They have become my family, offering unwavering support during the darkest time in my career. Their commitment to fighting racism and advocating for Nurses' rights is commendable, and I genuinely believe that they can make a positive difference in the lives of others. E4BN is more than just an organisation; it is a community of like-minded individuals standing together against injustice and striving for a better future.


How Have You Found E4BN's Process?

E4BN's process has been positive and encouraging overall. The support and services they provide are undoubtedly invaluable for Nurses in distress. However, like any organisation, additional resources and staffing would enhance their capabilities, offering even more comprehensive support to Nurses facing difficult situations. Each case is unique, and I appreciate the effort put in by the E4BN Team who handle the cases with care and sensitivity. E4BN aims to help and make lives better for people who have been victims of racism by providing representation and support to our Nurses during their time of distress. 


Together as a community, we create a secure environment and encourage a sense of positivity, confidence and reliability amongst our members and the Nurses who join us. We intend to make the organisation stronger and always welcome new members.


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