Changing the Culture

Being a nurse is hard. Being a nurse of color can be even harder, according to Minerva Martinez-Lopez, a nursing Ph.D. student and a nurse at the University of Utah. To help, she developed an Anti-Racist Training module for nursing faculty to educate them on how to appropriately support nursing students of color when they are encountered with a racist patient or act during clinical rotations.

The module was released in early 2022. It is 32 minutes long and was sent to all College of Nursing faculty as a part of a quality improvement project. Martinez-Lopez developed a script for a video along with a framework called “Framework for Responding to Racist Patients” in a learning module. The video contained scenarios on the wrong and right things to do when student nurses and faculty are dealing with a racist patient during clinicals.

Martinez wants to keep nurses safe, patients accountable and students supported and protected in these instances. The intent was to provide faculty better tools to support people of color in a clinical setting in the event of a racist patient act. She plans on a manuscript for publication in an academic journal next. Support for her work includes a Nursing Workforce Diversity Grant.

Martinez is a first-generation immigrant from Mexico, from the Oaxaca Mixtec region. She got into health care from personal experience, because she saw very few nurses of color after immigrating, and as a 5-year-old, had to translate Spanish to English in hospitals to help her family, which was daunting as a child. She became passionate for working in health care for people of low income and especially people of color who struggle with health care.

Martinez got her bachelor’s degree at the U in nursing and started her doctorate in 2019 as a family nurse practitioner. She is currently pursuing a doctor of nursing, with a specialization in family medicine, and graduating in spring 2022.

More articles like this in ‘Student Innovation @ the U!’

Find this article and a lot more in the 2022 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers, and entrepreneurs.

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