It occurs when an individual receives less favorable treatment than others in a similar environment or circumstances on the grounds οf disability, gender, class, age, ethnicity, religion, race, socio-economic status or sexual orientation. (JMU equal opportunity policy 2003.) For example, someone may think all elderly people are infirm and senile and so when they actually encounter an elderly person they are patronizing or rude.Stereotyping is a standardized image οf a type οf person (Smart 2000) Everyone stereotypes to a certain extent, we make judgments in our mind which effects interactions. When assumptions are made i.e. "All old people lose their memory" it is a major part οf discrimination as it is based on prejudice. Prejudice is an opinion formed beforehand, the act or condition οf holding such opinions, intolerance or dislike for people οf a specific race, religion or group (Smart 2000.) These are similar and involve labeling individuals or groups, something which can be destructive to providing individualized care. Labeling is the ascribing οf a negative label to an action that is then taken as a means οf defining a person (Birchenhall 2000).At the core οf, every patient-nurse relationship is the ability to communicate effectively (Faulkner 1998). There are two main types οf communication. intrapersonal and interpersonal (Northouse 1998.) Intrapersonal communication is communicating with ourselves for example keeping a diary. Interpersonal communication is communicating with the outside world i.e. a nursing assessment. This is an interaction between either two or more people Balzer-Riley (2000). It is an integral component οf any relationship. Communication involves how we perceive others, allows us to form stereotypes, impressions, judgments and opinions. So when you discriminate the individual may feel undervalued and have little confidence (Burnard 1997).

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