The internet is in an uproar after Onyx Moore’s Facebook post about the Nursing Textbook went viral.

Racist, anti-semitic and culturally-insensitive are just a few words people are using to describe “Nursing: A Concept-Based Approach to Learning,” A  nursing textbook published by one of largest textbook companies in the world, London based Publishers, Pearson.

Nurses have been using this textbook for years, but when Onyx brought the public’s attention to the racist claims made in one particular section of the book, people started freaking out.

This is what Onyx posted on her Facebook Page after discovering the offensive chapter:

CN: Racism across the board

This is an excellent example of how not to be even remotely culturally sensitive. These assumptions are not evidence-based, they encourage nurses to ignore what a patient is actually saying (if someone tells you their pain level is high, you need to believe them), they list common behaviors as culturally specific (most people are more comfortable being honest about their pain with family members/those close to them), and they don’t actually teach nurses how to engage in a CULTURALLY SENSITIVE way.

This chart lumps together various groups whose belief-systems vary widely. Native Americans are not a monolithic group, so you can’t make a generic list of what is culturally sensitive to them. Asia is a huge continent and the chart completely glosses over that while leaving out countless groups in an attempt to convey the message quickly. If they are including African people under Black, then they’re intentionally shoving together a whole host of groups with different cultural customs; if they’re not including them under Black, then they just completely ignored an entire portion of patients. Jewish/Muslim can be both ethnicities or religions, so what happens if a Black Jew comes in? Or a Black Muslim?

Seriously, I could go on for some time about how much is wrong with this and how outright harmful it is, so I’ll sum it up as this:

If you want to be culturally sensitive, then you need to actually LEARN about other cultures. If a patient tells you their pain level, believe them- because *they* are the expert on their body. As a medical professional, your job is to provide medical care, the patient’s job is to convey their symptoms; when in doubt err on the side of better treatment, not disbelief.

The chapter focusses on cultural differences and how it may impact their response to pain. The book states that nursing students should be aware how their patient’s cultural differences play a critical role in their response to pain, but then they make offensive and stereotypical claims about the different cultural groups that many are calling racist. Categorizing each race and their response to pain.

“Native Americans might may prefer to receive medications that were blessed by a tribal shaman”

“Jews may be vocal and demanding of assistance”

“Blacks believe pain and suffering is inevitable.”

This is horrifyingly wrong” Commented one facebook user

“I’m so disgusted… why isn’t the protocol basic compassion instead of that ignorant nonsense?” Another user commented

The second edition of the textbook available to purchase on Amazon, but the recent reviews are harsh.

“This book should cease to be printed. The fact that this is taught in schools makes me quite literally sick,” reads one review.

“I’m absolutely horrified by the racism and outright lies in the “Focus on Diversity- Cultural Differences in Response to Pain” section. This is unacceptable. You have printed all these generalizations and assumptions as though they are facts. They are not- they are offensive and racist.” another reviewer says

With the huge amount of negative feedback received, the publisher Pearson, made a public apology video. They are totally aware of the mistakes made and are taking steps to fix the issue. Pearson said they will remove the offensive section from the book.

“While differences in cultural attitudes towards pain are an important topic in medical programs, we presented this information in an inappropriate manner. We apologize for the offense this has caused and we have removed the material in question from current versions of the book, electronic versions of the book and future editions of this text.”

Public Apology Video By Pearson

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