Kentucky Implicit Bias Training

Course Highlights

  • In this Kentucky Implicit Bias training course, we will cover the implications and long-term outcomes of unaddressed subconscious biases in healthcare and why it is important for providers to recognize and remove any biases that could impact their ability to offer equitable care.
  • You’ll also learn ways to change these biases from forming and affecting care both individually and on an institutional level, as required by the Kentucky Board of Nursing.
  • You’ll leave this course with a broader understanding of identifying, addressing, and overcoming implicit biases in healthcare settings.


Contact Hours Awarded: 1.5

Morgan Curry

Course By:
Sarah Schulze

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The following course content

Health Equity is a rising area of focus in the healthcare field as renewed attention is being given to ongoing data regarding discrepancies and gaps in the accessibility, expanse, and quality of healthcare delivered across racial, gender, cultural, and other groups. Yes, there are some differences in healthcare outcomes purely based on biological differences between people of different genders or races, but more and more evidence points to the vast majority of healthcare gaps stemming from individual and systemic biases.  

Policy change and restructuring is happening at an institutional level across the country, but this will only get us so far. In order for real change to occur and the gaps in healthcare to be closed, there must also be awareness and change on an individual level. Implicit, or subconscious, bias has the potential to change the way healthcare professionals deliver care in subtle but meaningful ways and must be addressed to modernize healthcare and reach true equity.  

This Kentucky Implicit Bias training meets the “Implicit Bias” requirement needed for Kentucky nursing license renewal.

What is Implicit Bias?

So what is implicit bias and how is it affecting the way healthcare is delivered? Simply put, implicit bias is a subconscious attitude or opinion about a person or group of people that has the potential to influence the actions and decisions taken when providing care. This differs from explicit bias which is a conscious and controllable attitude (using racial slurs, making sexist comments, etc). Implicit bias is something that everyone has and may be largely unaware of how it is influencing their understanding of and actions towards others. The way we are raised, our unique life experiences, and an individual’s efforts to understand their own biases all affect the opinions and attitudes we have towards other people or groups (7). This Kentucky Implicit Bias training course will increase your awareness of implicit bias in your nursing practice.

This can be both a positive or a negative thing. For example if a patient’s loved ones tells you they are a nurse, you may immediately feel more connected to them and go above and beyond the expected care as a “professional courtesy.” This doesn’t mean you dislike your other patients and their loved ones, just that you feel more at ease with a fellow healthcare professional which shapes your thoughts and behaviors in a positive manner.  

More often though, implicit biases have a negative connotation and can lead to care that is not as empathetic, holistic, or high quality as it should be. Common examples of implicit bias in healthcare include:  

  • Thinking elderly patients have lower cognitive or physical abilities 
  • Thinking women exaggerate their pain or have too many complaints 
  • Assuming patients who state they are sexually active are heterosexual  
  • Thinking Black patients delay seeking preventative or acute care because they are passive about their health 
  • Assuming a chatty college student is asking for ADHD evaluation because she is lazy and wants medication to make things easier

On a larger, more institutional and societal level, the effects of bias create barriers such as:  

  • Underrepresentation of minority races as providers: in 2018 56.2% of physicians were white, while only 5% were Black and 5.8% Hispanic (2) 
  • Crowded living conditions and food deserts for minority patients due to outdated zoning laws created during times of segregation (17). 
  • Difficulty obtaining health insurance for minority or even LGBTQ clients, decreasing access to healthcare (3). 
  • Lack of support and acceptance for LGBTQ people in the home, workplace, or school as well as lack of community resources leads to negative social and mental health outcomes. 
  • Due to variations in the way disabilities are assessed, the reported prevalence of disabilities ranges from 12% to 30% of the population (15). 
Quiz Questions

Self Quiz

Ask yourself...

Before introducing the implications and long-term outcomes of unaddressed implicit biases in healthcare, reflect on your practice and the clients you work with. This will help as we progress through this Kentucky implicit bias training course.

  1. Think about the facility where you work and the different types of clients you come into contact with each day. Are there certain types of people you assume things about just based on the way they look, their gender, or their skin color?  
  2. In what ways do you think these assumptions might affect the way you care for your clients, even if you keep these opinions internal?  
  3. How do you think you could try and re-frame some of these assumptions?  
  4. Do you think being more aware of your internal opinions will change your actions the next time you work?  
  5. Before the Kentucky Implicit Bias Training course requirement, how often did you consider implict bias?
  6. Reflecting on your personal nursing practice, why do you think Kentucky has added a requirement on Kentucky Implict Bias training?


Once you have an understanding of what implicit bias is, you may be wondering what it looks like on a larger scale and what it means in terms of healthcare discrepancies. More and more data stacks up each year with examples that span all types of diversity, from race to gender, age, disabilities, religion, sexual identification and orientation, and even Veteran status. Examples of what subconscious biases in healthcare may look like include:   

  • Medical training and textbooks are mostly commonly centered around white patients, even though many rashes and conditions may look very different in patients with darker skin or different hair textures. This can lead to missed or delayed diagnoses and treatment for patients of color (9).  
  • A 2018 survey of LGBTQ youth revealed 80% reporting their provider assumed they were straight or did not ask (12). And in 2014, over half of gay men (56%) surveyed who had been to a doctor said they had never been recommended for HIV screening, despite increased risk for the disease (10).  
  • A 2010 study found that women were more verbose in their encounters with physicians and may not be able to fit all of their complaints into the designated appointment time, leading to a less accurate understanding of their symptoms by their doctor (4).  For centuries, any symptoms or behaviors that women displayed (largely related to mental health) that male doctors could not diagnose fell under the umbrella of “hysteria”, a condition that was not removed from the DSM until 1980 (20).  
  • When treating elderly patients, providers may dismiss a treatable condition as part of aging, skip preventative screenings due to old age, or overtreat natural parts of aging as though they are a disease. Providers may be less patient, responsive, and empathetic to a patient’s concerns or even talk down to them or not explain things because they believe them to be cognitively impaired (18).  
  • Minority, particularly Black or Hispanic patients, are often thought to be less concerned or more neglectful of their health, but minority patients are also most often those living in poverty, which goes hand in hand with crowded living conditions and food deserts due to outdated zoning laws created during times of segregation. This means less access to nutritious foods, fresh air, or clean water which has overall negative effects on health (mude). Minority patients are also still disproportionately uninsured, which leads to delayed or no care when necessary (3).  

Although these are only a few examples, there are obvious and substantial consequences of these biases; which is why it is vital that we address them in this Kentucky Implicit Bias training course.  

This has obvious negative connotations or repercussions at the time of care and can lead to client dissatisfaction or suboptimal treatment and missed preventative care, but over time the effects of implicit bias can add up and lead to even larger consequences. Examples include:  

  • A 2020 study found that Black individuals over age 56 experience decline in memory, executive function, and global cognition at a rate much faster than their white peers, often as much as 4 years ahead in terms of cognitive decline. Data in this study attribute the difference to the cumulative effects of chronically high blood pressure more likely to be experienced and undertreated for Black Americans (16). 
  • Lack of health insurance keeps many minority patients from seeking care at all. 25% of Hispanic people are uninsured and 14% of Black people, compared to just 8.5% of white people. This leads to lack of preventative care and screenings, lack of management of chronic conditions, delayed or no treatment for acute conditions, and later diagnosis and poorer outcomes of life threatening conditions (3). 
  • A 2010 study showed men and women over age 65 were about equally likely to have visits with a primary care provider, but women were less likely to receive preventative care such as flu vaccines (75.4%) and cholesterol screening (87.3%) compared to men (77.3% and 88.8% respectively) (4).  
  • About 12.9% of school aged boys are diagnosed and treated for ADHD, compared to 5.6% of girls, though the actual rate of girls with the disorder is believed to be much higher (5).  
  • Teenagers and young adults who are part of the LGBTQ community are 4.5 times more likely to attempt suicide than straight, cis-gender peers (11).  
Quiz Questions

Self Quiz

Ask yourself...

For the purpose of this Kentucky Implicit Bias training, put yourself in a patient’s perspective and reflect on the following:

  1. Have you ever been a patient and had a healthcare professional assume something about you without asking or getting the whole story? How did that make you feel? 
  2. How do you think it might affect you over time if every healthcare encounter you had went the same way?  

Impact of Historic Racism

In addition to discrepancies in insurance status and representation in medical textbooks and among medical professionals, there is a long history of systemic racism that has created generational trauma for minority families, leading to mistrust in the healthcare system and poorer outcomes for those marginalized communities.  

Possibly one of the most infamous examples is the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. This 1932 experiment included 600 Black men, about two thirds of which had syphilis, and involved collecting blood and monitoring the progression of symptoms for research purposes in exchange for free medical exams and meals. Informed consent was not collected and participants were given no information about the study other than that they were being “treated for bad blood”, even though no treatment was actually administered. By 1943, syphilis was routinely and effectively treated with penicillin, however the men involved in the study were not offered treatment and their progressively worsening symptoms continued to be monitored and studied until 1972 when it was deemed unethical. Once the study was stopped, participants were given reparations in the form of free medical benefits for the participants and their families. The last participant of the study lived until 2004 (6).  

The “father of modern gynecology,” Dr. J. Marion Sims, is another example steeped in a complicated and racially unethical past. Though he did groundbreaking work on curing many gynecological complications of childbirth, most notably vesicovaginal fistulas, he did so by practicing on unconsenting, unanesthetized, Black enslaved women. The majority of his work was done between 1845 and 1849 when slavery was legal and these women were likely unable to refuse treatment, sometimes undergoing 20-30 surgeries while positioned on all fours and not given anything for pain. Historically his work has been criticized because he achieved so much recognition and fame through an uneven power dynamic with women who have largely remained unknown and unrecognized for their contributions to medical advancement (21).  

Another example is the story of Henrietta Lacks, a young Black mother who died of cervical cancer in 1951. During the course of her treatment, a sample of cells was collected from her cervix by Dr. Gey, a prominent cancer researcher at the time. Up until this point, cells being utilized in Dr. Gey’s lab died after just a few weeks and new cells needed to be collected from other patients. Henrietta Lacks’ cells were unique and groundbreaking in that they were thriving and multiplying in the lab, growing new cells (nearly double) every 24 hours. These highly prolific cells were nicknamed HeLa Cells and have been used for decades in the development of many medical breakthroughs, including studies involving viruses, toxins, hormones, and other treatments on cancer cells and even playing a prominent role in vaccine development. All of this may sound wonderful, but it is important to understand that Henrietta Lacks never gave permission for these cells to be collected or studied and her family did not even know they existed or were the foundation for so much medical research until 20 years after her death. There have since been lawsuits to give family members control over what the cells are used for, as well as requiring recognition of Henrietta in published studies and financial payments from companies who profited off of the use of her cells (13).  

When considering all of the above scenarios, the common theme is a lack of informed consent for Black patients and the lack of recognition for their invaluable role in society’s advancement to modern medicine. It only makes sense that these stories, and the many others that exist, have left many Black patients mistrustful of modern medicine, medical professionals, or treatments offered to them, particularly if the provider caring for them doesn’t look like them or seems dismissive or unknowledgeable about their unique concerns. Awareness that these types of events occurred and left a lasting impact on many generations of Black families is incredibly important in order for medical professionals to provide empathetic and racially sensitive care. 



Quiz Questions

Self Quiz

Ask yourself...

Consider the above-mentioned historic events and reflect on the following:

  1. Have you ever had a negative experience at a healthcare facility? How has that experience impacted your view of that facility or your opinion when others talk about that facility? 
  2. How would you feel if you learned that a sample of your cells or a bodily fluid was taken without your consent and had been used for medical experimentation? What about if companies had made huge profits from something taken from your body?  
  3. Even without monetary compensation, why do you think recognition for a person’s role in healthcare advancement through the use of their own body is important? 

Exploring Areas of Bias


Cultural competence is a common buzzword used in healthcare training programs and information about various religions, ethnicities, beliefs, or practices is often integrated into medical training. Students and staff members are often reminded that the highest quality of care anticipates the unique cultural needs a client may have and aims to provide care that is holistic and respectful of cultural differences. An awareness of the potential variances in care, such as dietary needs, desire for prayer or clergy members, rituals around birth or death, beliefs surrounding and even refusal for certain types of treatments, are all certainly very important for the culturally sensitive healthcare professional to have (and the distinctions far too many for the scope of this course); however, there is also a fine line between being aware of cultural similarities and stereotyping.  Since this course is a required Kentucky Implicit Bias training, it is essential that this topic is covered. 

Clinicians should make sure to understand that people hold different identities, beliefs, and practices across racial, ethnic, and religious groups. Remember that just because someone looks a certain way or identifies with a certain group does not mean all people within that group are the same. Holding assumptions about clients of a particular race or religion, without getting to know the individual needs of your client, is a form of implicit bias and may cause your client to become uncomfortable or offended.  

Simply asking clients if they have any cultural, dietary, or spiritual needs throughout the course of their care is often the best way to learn their needs without making assumptions or stereotyping. Overall, it should be thought of as extending care beyond cultural competence and working on partnership and advocacy for your client’s unique needs. 

Quiz Questions

Self Quiz

Ask yourself...

  1. Have you ever cared for a client that you made an assumption about based on appearances and it turned out not to be true?  
  2. Did your behavior or attitude towards that client change at all once you gained new information about them? 
  3. Think about ways you could incorporate cultural questions into your plan of care and how it could improve your understanding of client needs.  

Maternal Health

One of the most strikingly obvious places that implicit bias has tainted the healthcare industry is in maternal health. Repeatedly, statistics show that Black women experience twice the infant mortality rate and nearly four times the maternal mortality rate of non-Hispanic white women during childbirth.  

Let those numbers sink in and realize that this is a crisis. Pregnancy and childbirth are natural processes, but do come with inherent risks for mother and baby; but in a modern society, women should feel comfortable and confident in their care, not scared they won’t be treated properly or even survive. Home births among Black women are on the rise as they seek to avoid the biases of the hospital setting and maintain control over their own experiences (19).  

The reasons for this disparity and Black women fearing for their lives when birthing in hospitals are many, often centering on a lack of health insurance leading to poorer general health even before pregnancy, a lack of prenatal care, and a lack of care in the weeks following pregnancy. However, the discrepancies still exist at an alarmingly high rate even when looking at minority women with advanced education and high income, indicating that a more insidious culprit, implicit bias, is hugely responsible (19).  In order for true change to come, this topic must be addressed in this Kentucky Implicit Bias training. A few notes that indicate the prevalence of implicit bias in healthcare throughout history are listed below:  

  • False beliefs about biological differences between white and black women date back to slavery, including the belief that Black women have fewer nerve endings, thicker skin, and thicker bones and therefore do not feel pain as intensely.  
  • These beliefs are obviously untrue, but subconscious bias towards those beliefs still exists as Black and Hispanic women statistically have their perceived pain rated lower by health care professionals and are offered appropriate pain management interventions less often than white peers.  
  • Complaints from minority patients that may indicate red flags for conditions such as preeclampsia or hypertension are often downplayed or ignored by healthcare professionals.  
  • Studies show healthcare professionals may believe minority patients are less capable of adhering to or understanding treatment plans and may explain their care in a condescending tone of voice not used with other patients.  
    • One in five Black and Hispanic women report poor treatment during pregnancy and childbirth by healthcare staff. 
    • These patients are less likely to feel respected or like a partner in their care and may be non compliant in treatment recommendations due to feeling this way, however this just perpetuates the attitudes held by the healthcare providers (19) .
Quiz Questions

Self Quiz

Ask yourself...

  1. Think about how a provider’s perception of a maternity client’s pain could snowball throughout the labor and delivery process. How do you think it might affect the rate of c-sections or other birth interventions if clients have not had their pain properly managed throughout labor?  
  2. Pregnancy is a very vulnerable time. Think about how you would feel if you were experiencing a pregnancy and had fears or concerns and your provider did not seem to validate or respect you. Would you feel comfortable going into birth? How might added fears or stress impact the experience?  

Reproductive Rights

Branching off of maternal health, is reproductive justice. Biases surrounding the reproductive decisions of women may negatively impact the care they receive when seeking care for contraception or during pregnancy. While some of these inequities may be more profound for women of color, women of all races can be and are affected by biases surrounding reproduction, which is why it is being covered in this Kentucky Implicit Bias training course. Examples of ways implicit bias may affect care include:  

  • Some healthcare professionals may believe there is a “right” time or way to become pregnant and feel pregnancy outside of those qualifiers is undesirable; this can stem from personal or religious beliefs. While healthcare staff are certainly entitled to hold these beliefs in their personal lives, if the resulting implicit biases are left unchecked, they can lead to attitudes and actions that are less compassionate when caring for their clients. Clients may feel shamed or judged during their experiences instead of having their needs addressed (8). Variables that may be perceived as unacceptable or less desirable include: 
    • Age during pregnancy. Clinicians may feel differently about pregnant clients who are very young (teenagers) or even those who are in their 40s or 50s (8).  
    • Marital status during pregnancy. Healthcare professionals may have beliefs that clients should be married when having children and may have bias against unmarried or single clients (8).  
    • Number or spacing of pregnancies. Professionals may hold beliefs about how many pregnancies are acceptable or how far apart they should be and may hold judgment against clients with a large number of children or pregnancies occurring soon after childbirth.
      - Low income and minority women are more likely to report being counseled to limit the number of children they have, as opposed to their white peers (14).  
  • Method of conception. Some healthcare professionals may have personal beliefs about how children should be conceived and may have negative opinions about pregnancies resulting from fertility treatments such as IVF or surrogacy (8).  
  • Personal or religious beliefs about contraception may also cause healthcare professionals to provide less than optimal care to clients seeking methods of birth control.  
    • Providers may believe young or unmarried clients should not be given access to contraception  because they do not believe they should be engaging in sexual activity (8). 
    • Providers, or even some institutions such as Catholic hospitals, may withhold contraception from clients as they believe it to be immoral to prevent pregnancy. 
    • Providers may push certain types or usage of contraception onto clients that they feel should limit the number of children they have, even if this does not align with the desires of the client. This includes the use of permanent contraception such as tubal ligation (14).  
    • Providers may provide biased information about types of contraception available, minimizing side effects or pushing for easier, more effective types of contraception (such as IUDs), despite a client’s questions, concerns, or contraindications (14). 
      One study showed Black and Hispanic women felt pressured to accept a certain type of contraception based on effectiveness alone, with little concern to their individual needs or reproductive goals (14).  
  • Personal or religious beliefs about pregnancy termination may impact the care provided and counsel given to pregnant clients who may wish to consider termination. Providers who disagree with abortion on a personal level may find it difficult to provide clear and unbiased information about all options available to pregnant women or may have a judgemental or uncompassionate attitude when caring for clients who desire or have had an abortion (8).  

Case Study

Alexandria is a 22 year old Hispanic woman who has always wanted a big family with 3-5 children. She met her current boyfriend in college when she was 19 and became pregnant shortly afterwards. It was an uneventful pregnancy, and Alexandria had a vaginal delivery to a healthy baby girl at 39 weeks. When that child turned 2, Alexandria  and her partner decided they would like to have another baby. At 38 weeks gestation, Alexandria was at a prenatal appointment when her provider brought up her plans for contraception after the birth. The provider suggested an IUD and stated it could be placed immediately after birth, could be left in for 5 years, and would be 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. Alexandria stated she had an IUD when she was 17 and did not like some of the side effects, mostly abdominal cramping, and that she also might like to have another baby before the 5 year mark. Her doctor stated “All birth control has side effects, and this one is the most effective. You are so young, do you really want 3 children by age 25 anyway?” 

Quiz Questions

Self Quiz

Ask yourself...

  1. What implicit biases does this healthcare professional hold about reproductive rights?  
  2. How do you think those opinions are likely to affect Alexandria? Do you think she will change her mind or her future plans? Or do you think she will be more likely to disregard this provider’s advice and opinions moving forward?  
  3. What are some potential negative consequences for Alexandria’s pregnancy prevention plans after this exchange with her doctor? 
  4. Prior taking this Kentucky Implicit Bias course, were you aware of any implict biases regarding reproductive health?

How to Measure and Reduce Implicit Biases in Healthcare

Assessing for Bias

In order for change to occur, there is a broad spectrum of transitions in individual thought and policy that must occur. Evaluating for the presence, and the extent, of implicit bias is one of the first steps.  This Kentucky Implicit Bias training will cover both individual and institutional level focuses. 

On the individual level, possible action include:  

  • Identifying and exploring one’s own implicit biases. Everyone has them and we all need to reflect upon them. This goes beyond basic cultural competence and includes a deeper understanding of how your own experiences or environment may differ from someone else and may have caused you to feel or believe a certain way.   
  • Attending training or workshops provided by your job and completing exercises in self reflection will help you better understand where your biases are and the extent to which they may be impacting your behavior or actions at work and in your personal life. 
  • Reflecting on how one’s biases affect actions. Once you have recognized the internal opinions you hold, you can examine ways that those opinions may have been affecting your actions, behaviors, or attitudes towards others. Reflect on your care of patients at the end of each shift. Consider if you made assumptions about certain clients early on in their care. Think about ways those assumptions may have affected your interactions with the client. Think about if you cared for your clients in a way that you would want your own loved ones cared for.  
  • If you have the time, volunteer at events or in places that will expose you to people who are different from you. Use the opportunity to learn more about others, their lived experiences, and identify how often your implicit biases may be affecting your view of others before you even get to know them.  

On an institutional level, the measurement of biases can be more streamlined and may utilize tools like surveys.  

  • Monitoring patient data and assessing for any broad gaps in diagnoses, preventative care and treatment rates, as well as health outcomes across racial, ethnic, gender, and other spectrums. Recognizing gaps or problem areas and assigning task forces to evaluate further and address the underlying issues.  
  • Regularly poll clients and employees of healthcare facilities to determine who might be experiencing effects of bias and when. 
  • Require employee participation in implicit bias presentations or courses, allowing employees to self identify areas where they may be biased.
Quiz Questions

Self Quiz

Ask yourself...

  1. In what ways will your approach be different the next time you care for a client unlike yourself?
  2. Can you think of a policy or practice that your facility could change in order to provide more equitable care to the clients you serve?
  3. Do you have a better understanding of implicit bias in healthcare after taking this Kentucky Implicit Bias course?

Acting to Reduce Bias

Once the presence and extent of bias has been identified, individuals can make small, consistent changes to recognize and address those biases in order to become more self aware and intentional in their actions. Some possible ways to address and reduce implicit bias on an individual level include:  

  • Educating oneself and reframing biases. In order to change patterns of thinking and subsequent behaviors that may negatively impact others, you can work on broadening your views on various topics. This can be done through reading about the experiences of others, watching informational videos or documentaries, attending speaking engagements, and just listening to the experiences of others and gaining an understanding of how their lives might be different than yours.  
  • Understanding and celebrating differences. Once you can learn to see others for their differences and consider how you can adapt your care to help them achieve the best outcomes for their wellbeing, you are able to provide truly equitable care to your clients. This includes understanding differences in experiences, perceptions, cultures, languages, and realities for people different from yourself, recognizing when disparities are occurring, and advocating for change and equity.  

When enough people have recognized and addressed their own implicit biases, advocacy can extend beyond individual care of clients and reach the institutional level where change is more easily seen (though no more important than the small individual changes). One of the most effective ways to make institutional level changes is through representation of minority groups in positions of power and decision making. Simply keeping structures as they are and dictating change without any evolution from leadership is not likely to be effective in the long term. Including minority professionals in positions of leadership or on decision making panels has the most potential to make true and meaningful change for hospitals and healthcare facilities.

Examples of institutional level changes include:  

  • Medical schools will need to take a broader, more inclusive approach when admitting future doctors, incentivise minority students to choose careers in healthcare, and invest in their retention and success (9).  
  • Properly training and integrating professionals like midwives and doulas into routine antenatal care and investing in practices like group visits and home births will give power back to minority women while still giving them safe choices during pregnancy (1).  
  • Universal health insurance, basic housing regulations, access to grocery stores, and many other socio-political changes can also work towards closing the gaps in accessibility to quality healthcare and may vary by geographic location (3).  
  • Community programs should be available to create safe spaces for connection and acceptance for LGBTQ people. Laws and school policy need to focus on how to prevent and react to bullying and violence against LGBTQ individuals (12). 
  • Cultural competence training in medical professions needs to include LGBTQ issues and data collection regarding this population needs to increase and be recognized as a medical necessity (12). 
  • Medical professionals must be trained in the history of inequality among women, particularly in regards to mental health, and proper, modern diagnostics must be used. The differences in communication styles of men and women should be taught as well (20).  
  • Medical facilities should emphasize respect of a client’s views on controversial topics such as pregnancy/birth, death, and acceptance or declining of treatments even if it conflicts with a staff members’ own beliefs (14).  
  • Healthcare facilities can adopt practices that are standardized regardless of age and include anti-ageism and geriatric focused training, including training about elder abuse (18). 

Obviously each geographic area will have differing demographics depending on the populations they serve. What works at one facility may not work at another. Hearing from the community is beneficial for keeping things individualized and allows facilities to gain perspective from the local groups they serve.  

  • Town Hall style meetings, keeping hospital board members and employees local rather than outsourcing from travel companies (when possible), and encouraging community involvement from staff members are all great ways to keep a community centered facility and keep the lines of communication open for clients who may be having a different experience than their neighbor.

There are many things that will need to be done in order for equitable, bias-free healthcare to become a norm nationwide. However, taking the time to learn from this Kentucky Implicit Bias training, apply it to current practices, and continue to learn about others and their respective beliefs and cultures is just the beginning.

References + Disclaimer

  1. Adams, C, Thomas, SP (2018). Alternative prenatal care interventions to alleviate Black–White maternal/infant health disparities. Sociology Compass, 12:e12549. 
  2. Association of American Medical Colleges. (2019). Diversity in medicine: facts and figures 2019. AAMC. ​​ 
  3. Buchmueller, T. C. and Levy, H. G. (2020). The ACA’s Impact on racial and ethnic disparities in health insurance coverage and access to care. Health Affairs, 39(3). 
  4. Cameron, K. A., Song, J., Manheim, L. M., & Dunlop, D. D. (2010). Gender disparities in health and healthcare use among older adults. Journal of women’s health, 19(9), 1643–1650. 
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (September 23, 2021). Data and statistics about ADHD. CDC.,12.9%25%20compared%20to%205.6%25).  
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (April 22, 2021). The tuskegee timeline. Retrieved from:  
  7. FitzGerald, C., and Hurst, S. (2017). Implicit bias in healthcare professionals: a systematic review. BMC Med Ethics, 18, 19. 
  8. Gothreau, C. and Acreneaux, J. (2019). The effect of implicit and explicit sexism on reproductive rights attitudes. Temple University. 
  9.  Guevara, J. P., Wade, R., and Aysola, J. (2021). Racial and ethnic diversity in medical schools- why aren’t we there yet? The New England Journal of Medicine, 385(1732-1734) DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp2105578 
  10. Hamel, L., Firth, J., Hoff, T., Kates, J., Levine, S., and Dawson, L. (September 25, 2014). HIV/AIDS in the lives of gay and bisexual men in the united states. Kaiser Family Foundation.   
  11. Healthy People 2020. (2020). Data 2020. 
  12. Institute for Policy Research. (May 18, 2018). Communication between healthcare providers and LGBTQ youth. Northwestern. 
  13.  Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). The legacy of Henrietta Lacks. Retrieved from:  
  14. Kathawa, C. A., & Arora, K. S. (2020). Implicit Bias in Counseling for Permanent Contraception: Historical Context and Recommendations for Counseling. Health equity, 4(1), 326–329. 
  15. Krahn, G. L., Walker, D. K., & Correa-De-Araujo, R. (2015). Persons with disabilities as an unrecognized health disparity population. American journal of public health, 105 Suppl 2(Suppl 2), S198–S206. 
  16. Levine DA, Gross AL, Briceño EM, et al. Association between blood pressure and later-life cognition among black and white individuals. JAMA Neurology, 7(7):810–819. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2020.0568  
  17. Mude, W., Oguoma, V. M., Nyanhanda, T., Mwanri, L., & Njue, C. (2021). Racial disparities in COVID-19 pandemic cases, hospitalisations, and deaths: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of global health, 11, 05015. 
  18. Regis College. (n.d.). Why ageism in healthcare is a growing concern. Regis College.  
  19. Saluja, B. and Bryant, Z. (2021). How implicit bias contributes to racial disparities in maternal morbidity and mortality in the united states. Journal of Women’s Health, 30(2). 
  20. Tasca, C., Rapetti, M., Carta, M. G., & Fadda, B. (2012). Women and hysteria in the history of mental health. Clinical practice and epidemiology in mental health : CP & EMH, 8, 110–119. 
  21. Wall L. L. (2006). The medical ethics of Dr J Marion Sims: a fresh look at the historical record. Journal of medical ethics, 32(6), 346–350. 

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