Pearson is apologizing for these ‘racist’ stereotypes in nursing textbooks

Pearson is apologizing for these ‘racist’ stereotypes in nursing textbooks
Book publisher Pearson has apologized for publishing content in nursing textbooks that has been deemed offensive and racially stereotypical. (Image source: Onyx Moore's Facebook screenshot)

Most people, when they seek medical treatment, prefer to be evaluated based on their condition rather than their race or religion.

That’s why stereotyping in a Pearson nursing textbook has caused backlash and prompted an apology from the publisher.

What was the offensive content?

Some examples of the content Pearson will be removing from future publications:

  • “Hispanics may believe that pain is a form of punishment and that suffering must be endured if they are to enter heaven.”
  • “Jews may be vocal and demanding of assistance.”
  • “Native Americans may prefer to receive medications that have been blessed by a tribal shaman.”
  • “Blacks often report higher pain intensity than other cultures.”
  • “Indians who follow Hindu practices believe that pain must be endured in preparation for a better life in the next cycle.”

The book also included categories with information about Asians, Arabs and Muslims.

How the content got public attention

According to Inside Higher Ed, the text was first brought to public attention by wellness advocate Onyx Moore, who said such stereotyping in medical professions can be harmful.

Moore went into detail in this Facebook post.

“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,” Moore wrote.

Pearson’s apology

Pearson apologized for the content in a series of tweets late last week.

“We have been notified of offensive content in a Nursing textbook. We are removing this content from publication.

“We hear you. We take full responsibility and are taking steps to correct this problem and ensure this does not happen again. We are actively reviewing all of our Nursing curriculum products, and this content will be removed everywhere it is found. We apologize for publishing this material. We will continue to update you about actions we are taking to correct our offerings.”

Pearson also posted this video apology:

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