Yahoo News: Experts weigh in on how Black women can navigate the healthcare system

UC expert says a holistic approach is necessary

A variety of factors make navigating the healthcare system difficult for Black women. Those factors include systemic racism and implicit bias, plus there is underrepresentation of Black and brown medical professionals, meaning Black women often experience discrimination and mistreatment within the healthcare ecosystem. This leads to poor health outcomes and a lack of trust in medical professionals. Yahoo News published a story about ways Black women can navigate the healthcare system and ensure they receive the care and treatment they need. 

One of the experts interviewed for the story is Beth Ann Clayton, DNP, director of the nurse anesthesia program at the UC College of Medicine, who says a holistic approach is necessary. 

“To navigate structural racism and bias, Black mothers and their healthcare providers should take a holistic approach to the mother’s pregnancy and postpartum care, keeping in mind any underlying medical conditions and family history that may affect birth,” said Clayton. “This all starts with trust between the care team and mother, as well as standardized protocols in how we as healthcare professionals care for our patients.”

Speaking up in the presence of medical professionals can be intimidating. For some, it may feel those in the medical field have the “upper hand” in a situation as they are more knowledgable about certain issues. It is important to advocate for yourself despite any discomfort or insecurity. Clayton says doing so can make or break your healthcare prospects.

“From my perspective, it is first and foremost the responsibility of the healthcare provider to support Black women in navigating the healthcare system and providing them the knowledge and care they need,” says Clayton. "Though the healthcare system is working to address systemic barriers, I encourage my Black patients to stay informed, advocate for themselves, ask questions to their healthcare provider, and speak up when they feel their voice isn’t being heard.”

Read the entire story here

Lead image of Clayton with former nursing student Candace Holloway/Colleen Kelley/UC Marketing + Brand

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