I am a Registered Nurse and I was working a night shift at a hospital with a team of White colleagues. I was the only Black member of staff on the shift.
I was looking after patients with my own allocated HCA and the other registered nurse was working on the other side of the ward with a different HCA. The Registered nurse and I checked medications together and the shift was going relatively well. I noticed that the other registered nurse then called her HCA to help her, but the HCA ignored her and left the ward.
The Registered nurse was looking for her HCA for a while and she asked me if I had seen her. I said no and carried on with my duties.
As I was going into my bay to check the vital signs of my patients, I saw the HCA on a different ward area and I gently said to her "your nurse is looking for you" She immediately became angry and barked, "she’s always looking for me", as she passed by me to go back to her area. Slightly taken aback, I ignored her aggressive attitude towards me and started my patients observations.
I was in my bay for a while, working and delivering care, when the same White HCA came in and walloped me (with full force) in my buttocks and thighs using a heavy-duty plastic bedpan. Her exact words were “You think I was skiving”.
I was shocked, horrified and this attack left me traumatised.
I sustained an injury and was diagnosed with bilateral hamstring injuries and severe chronic lower back pain. I believe I was singled out because I am Black and the only Black Nurse on the ward. I didn’t do anything wrong to the HCA and I was an easy target.
For many years, I have suffered with pain and I have to live with the permanent feeling of sitting on a hot plate, my mobility is affected, and I can’t stand for long periods of time. The discomfort caused by the long-term nerve damage is so intensely painful and debilitating that I was unable to work for several months. I got sacked while I was off on ill health.
When I reported the incident using the hospitals internal reporting system, the case was opened and closed. I had to beg my employer to investigate. At the end of the investigation, my employer refused accountability. I felt discriminated against, less than and hopeless. Furthermore, the police refused to investigate the attack as a crime.
This White HCA is still working at this hospital today.
My world came to an end that night, everything was taken away from me, my health, my career, my future, my destiny and my children’s future.
My life is upside down. University Hospital Coventry should take responsibility for what happened to me.
Equality 4 Black Nurses will be supporting Our Black Nurse:
2pm on Saturday 21st August 2021, at the University Hospital Coventry
Please join us in our protest
Black nurses are suffering mentally and physically from racial trauma, and nobody is listening. Equality 4 Black Nurses is challenging this racism. We demand justice, we demand change and we will not be silenced. If you need our help in any way, please get in touch with us via our website or our social media accounts and we will support you