A series of YouTube videos paints a picture of the beliefs and frustrations that a handful of labor and delivery nurses harbor about patients.
While I appreciate the parody, the funny animated format, the need to vent about work and the humor of hearing an epidural called and “epidermal” and amniotic fluid referred to as “atomic fluid”, I’m discouraged by how unapologetically racist and classist these examples are.
The first two videos take on the harmful stereotype of the poor black woman who has no control over her reproduction, doesn’t know who fathered her baby, is uneducated, uses drugs and has a chaotic home life.
Here is a similar class stereotype with a visibly white character used. One underlying theme of all of the videos is that these patients are annoying because they don’t understand that they’re not actually in labor.
Another class assessment shows white women who are intended to appear opulent with champagne and pearls. These women are portrayed as annoying because they have a birth plan and want a natural birth. The second video shows a nurse giving well-timed but patronizing responses to a patient’s laundry list of wants. The creator of the video apparently believes:
- that patients with birth plans are so annoying that the staff wants to punish them with a cesarean.
- that birth plans will fail because women don’t know that they actually want pharmaceutical pain relief.
- that if you walk in with a birth plan, it’s your fault if your baby ends up in the NICU.
What would a “good” patient look like? Thoughts?