Suspended Nurse

I read today with sadness the news that whilst a Muslim is allowed to wear a headscarf on a ward a Christian Nurse in the same hospital is not allowed to wear a necklace with a cross on. To me both items are symbols of an individuals faith and as such should both be respected. The Nurse has worn the necklace since being confirmed 38 years ago and yet is being denied the right to wear it openly on the ward. This seems so sad and wrong, tommorow the Nurse is meeting with management of the hospital I hope that she is allowed to wear the cross again but at the moment it seems unlikely.

Sometimes it seems as though the world has gone mad! A council early in the year tried to change the title of a festive celebration, they felt that the Christ part of Christmas might offend other religions! Whilst i recognise that church attendance is in decline Christians are still meeting and worshiping on a regular basis and yet in some instances are being discriminated against. I hope that a court of law comes down in favour of the Nurse and that commen sense prevails.

22 Replies

  • Perhaps it is me, but appears that today we are quick to support other cultures in their religions and beliefs and yet often our own culture gets penalised. I believe it is time that there is one rule and all should abide by it. I feel it is wrong that this nurse is suspended for wearing a symbol of her religion ie: a small cross, but it is not up to me to decide who is right and wrong in this.

    Common sense really needs to prevail over such things, and if someone's religion asks them to abide by certain rules and wear certain garments or symbols of that religion as long as they do not interfere or cause any health/safety or hygiene problems in the work place then the person should be allowed to wear their symbols or garments.

  • This is typical of our country. look at christmas, most work places can't put up decorations for fear of offending other cultures, well what about ours. When is someone going to stand up and say, no this is our country, we were here, it's ours, you've moved in, now accept what we have, and believe, and if you want to stay thats the way it is, and we will do the same those who move in with other faiths and beliefs. Not very PC perhaps, but this is really getting out of hand, look at what happened when a female jurnalist wore trousers in the middle east, she gets locked up because of it.

  • This shocked me. I live in Leicester and see all kinds of cultures. Sometimes seeing someone has the same religion as a patient makes the patient calmer.

    This world seriously needs adjusting

  • It does seem to be standard dress code in many NHS trusts to not wear any necklaces (for health & safety but surely if someone is going to grab you, they''ll go for hair or clothes?), also 'bare below the elbows' policy means only plain wedding band allowed, no wristwatch etc.

  • Each and everyone of us are special in our own way.Beliefs and religions,culture or symbols.Some rules are there for a reason like health and saftey,but everyones special belongings and religious items should always be put first and their feelings should be considerd to try to acomadate for all. Love Glynis xxxx

  • Whilst you are all leaping up and down it is worth remembering we were originally Pagan and we celebrated our ""New Year"" last night not sure what all the leaping about in masks or trick and treat thing is a about but for Pagans it is a very special time we are now a recognised UK Religion and no we don't sacrifice aminals and there is no devil in Paganism we beleive good and bad come from ourselves not some bloke in red with a pointy tail. Infact all the major Christian Festivals (Christmas, Easter, Mayday, Harvest Festival) have been piggy backed onto and then taken over Pagan celebrations. I have no problem with any religion so long as it does no hurt or harm others. Paganism is not proseltising which means I can talk about it without feeling I need to save your ""soul"" or recruit you. There is no reason why the nurse could not wear a longer chain so it is out of sight or keep it in her pocket. I asked my mother about this recently and she said she would not mind taking off her cross (she is a church warden and very active) as she does not need something around her neck to remind her of her faith. I think you will find it is written in Qur'an sets out that women have wear head scarves, no-where in the bible does it say you must wear a cross, the orgins of which date back to people in the middle ages when the selling of relgious icons became popular and lucrative. Finally anything on a chain could fall forward and catch or snag on something. My daughters penticle almost pulled my gripper out at the start of the week when she reached over me to pass me some gauze.

    I think people should understand why a Muslim woman wears a headscarf before citing it as a reason why someone else should be allowed wear a cross. And understand the difference between something that is a religious symbol and something that is requirement of religion.


  • I agree with woody-som, why shouldn't we be allowed to celebrate our own festivals, if we moved to another country we wouldn't expect them to stop celebrating their festivalls because of us, so why should we stop celebrating ours for them. we go out of our way to accomodate other festivals but what about actually appreciating and celebrating our own for a change!!!

    it is absoloutley ridiculous and needs to stop! christmas is a special and fun time of year and what gives anyone the right to take that away from us, wish there was something we could do to end this madness!

  • whilst i accept that everyone has a right to believe what he or she chooses and respect the ethnic and religious differences we have in britain- we still live in a dam christian country!! Whilst we still have the monachy we are still technically a christian country. Not everyone believes in God and i do not want to offend anyone, but we have accepted that there are other religions in this country and allowed the building on mosks and other places of worship for every different religion that is practiced in this country etc yet it is always seems that christians get a raw deal!

    I say raw deal as in this case its blatent discrimination against the lady wearing the cross as they are basically saying that its ok to practice muslim views but not christian tut tut. The same thing happened in the jerry springer opera saga in that loads of christians complained that it was offensive yet it was still aired and they were made out to be easily offended-yet i think perhaps that would not have been aired had it targeted another religious group!

    Im really sorry if i have offended anyone as i really didnt mean to it just makes me very angry that someone is aloud to wear head garments that may discise their face but someone else is not allowed to wear a simple necklace! Grr! If anyone had told me to remove mine whilst i was working i would have gone mad-its something i feel very strong about-sorry lois you got me on one of my pet hates! Sorry for the rather long rambly rant peeps! Xx

  • No whist i am a practicing Catholic and for many years wore a crucifix (both when nursing on wards and the community )if I had been asked to remove it I would have done without any problem as yes as far as im concerned it could be a health risk - like Bex said necklaces can easily be caught on things such as Grippers or other medical paraphernalia.

    How ever I also have been in the position where a Muslims nurses headscarf fell onto an open wound i had - this is not good medical practice either and i was concerned that if it had done this before or was not particularly clean i was at greater risk of cross infection. I am fully aware as to the reason why Muslims wear their Hajib as i read up about it when i had a Muslim girl join my brownies.

    Why cant a compromise be found like a smaller less obtrusive head scarf be worn and if particular staff feel the need to show their faith then a small subtle fabric badge be added to the uniform.

    But as been said already why if you have faith does it need to be shown 24/7 when at work but then again knowing someone caring for you is of your same faith can also be reassuring.

    On a more positive note i was very impressed when at rbh last week i wear a small thread with a Miraculous medal(blessed in Lourdes) normally am my local I am asked to remove it but at RBH i was allowed to keep it on as the nurse pointed out I was about to undergo a scary procedure and if it gave me reassurance ( which it does as i pray with it)then they were happy to keep it on and the anesthetist agreed despite having a major battle trying to get a line in was also happy for it to stay put even tho i did offer to remove it - 5 gold stars to RBH!1

  • The only nursing staff I have seen wearing the hijab have worn the ""fitted one"" with a pin or broach under the chin, and I think it would have been worth letting someone know know about that incident I am sure it was not intentional the way they wear them if worn properly makes it almost impossible for it ""flap"" around. It helps having your daughter going out with a Muslim you can get the real info on things like this.

    Hops, moving on to your RBH experience I had the chaplin come to visit me because religeon ""Pagan"" had come up on their computer. We had a lovely chat about what it meant to me and I was offered the use of the quiet room during my festival days. I suggested some places to go for balenced reading actually the BBC do a great section of their website devoted to most religions. We also talked about if there were any rites or rituals associated with dying, I know that sounds morbid and I have no intention of shuffling off the mortal coil but introduced it as then may be a time when the information I gave them is useful. I love religion I am doing a ""proper degree"" on campus just like my kids in Theology next year I can't wait. Very interested in studying the facts and compairing them with the misconceptions. So already getting text books put onto audio files as I have trouble retaining written information. I am really excited I am going to be a real student again, family not so happy but I don't want to do it through the OU I am worried if I am not actually having to attend lectures I will not do the work. Also there is the problem of retaining information that is written down the OU I seem to recall involved a lot of reading and the theology course involves huge amounts of it, I can see am going to be forever listening to books and we have to talk about how I reference my text as when it is read to you the most you get is a ""chapter 1""


  • Mod hat on.

    I have just reviewed this thread and some of the comments are skating extremly close to being racist. They are certainly not showing a christian attitude to our fellow man. Can I suggest you look hard at comments made here especially those refereing to Muslims.


  • The Holy Qur'an

    I really don't understand what this has to do with Asthma, but here goes: -

    1) The only mention of Women's dress in The Holy Qur'an is in SÈ—rah XXIV:31 (In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful) and states that a woman should be modest, and only show her uncovered bosoms to her husband. (1909, The Koran, Marmaduke Pickthall) - this is the only English translation to have received the approval of the Supreme Islamic authority of Al-Azhar in Cairo.

    2) The hijab (veil) is an invented Muslim tradition that first made its appearance in the 1930s among the female affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Muslim Sisters, in Egypt: it has nothing at all to do with Islam. (2000, Islam - A Very Short Introduction, p. 109, Malise Ruthven)

    These two facts I picked up while studying for my HND in Islamic Studies (which, for the unbelievers amongst us, I passed), and I hope that they will help dispel a common misconception about Islam.

    Also, please don't blame Muslims because ignorant people ban Christmas. Jesus is worshiped in Islam as well as the Christian World, and the only time that the term ""saintly"" is used in Islam is in the Qur'an - to describe Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

    Now, as the nurse in question was more than likely suspended for contravening HSE Regulations (which I think that someone has already mentioned), can we now return to the very important subject of Asthma.

  • I do hope none of my post was deemed racist i certainly wasnt meant to be -(please let me know if it was and i will edit it).

    I did report the incident to the ward sister and it was dealt with to my satisfaction - the nurse was new onto the wards and had only worked in clinics before where the looser scarf is acceptable the following day she did wear the more fitted one.

    Go Bex -i have been considering going back to uni as i feel rather brain dead but still cant decide what to do!!!i want something that can be useful if i ever am able to go back to work so am considering something ni the line of psychology -either child or criminal. I need to do alot of research as i can no longer write or type for any reasonable length of time due to RA in my hands so need to find out what support i could get. where did yuou start with it all Bex?

  • For hopalongkp, and other budding students with disabilities.

    I attended a normal campus style university as a disabled student, and had support in all areas. For writing during exams I had a scribe and/or as much extra time as was needed, and a digital recorder and Kurzweil software for recording and transcribing my lectures. Now that I am stuck at home my studies are through the Open University, where the support is just as superb, and my tutorials and exams are done at home. Yes, my tutor visits, and so does the examination board representatives, scribes, Uncle Tom Cobbly and all: and the exams can be spread over as many days as required. They tell me that my health is the first priority! The only down side is the rollockings I get when I'm caught trying to do too much.

    So, don't be put off, and whichever university or college you decide to attend, make the Disability Advisers' office your first call - and best of luck with your studies.

  • this is all getting a bit complicated but as a commited christian i feel that as long as health and safety is taken into consideration religious articles should be able to be worn. I can see the point from a safety point of view of not allowing a necklace as long as all necklaces not just cross and chains were not allowed the same for rings etc. likewise if a muslim is required to wear a headscalf for religious reasons as long as approprioate measures are taken to reduce cross infection whats the problem? If the nurse in question refused to remove the necklace I have to say i think she is being unreasonable but thats my point of view. What I don't agree with is the changing of festival names eg taking the christ out of christmas as we are in principal still a christian country and those that don't want to celebrate or have other beliefs shouldbe able to celebrate their own festival at the time they want without being targeted. Hopefully this won't offend anyone but if it does feel free to let me know and i will remove it.

  • I am wheeze, I assume you have looked at all 9 (9 mainstream there others out there too) versions of the Qu'ran, like the bible it also many tralsations. King James had a morbid fear of witches and had the bible translated to read ""thou shalst not suffer a witch to live"" do I need to walk in fear of my life? My daughter is going out with a Muslim his family, who were here yesterday and enjoyed some Halloween fun as well as joining my quite rital for Samhain. I can assure you that the need to cover up is very key to them, their, lives and respect for each other. They also do not cover up in their homes as only their own men folk will see them.


  • Can people also do the me the courtesy of reading my warning I said some posts were coming close to being racist I did not and have not accused anyone of being racist if I thought someones was the post would be removed and poster warned.


  • Since we do not have represtatives of the major British Faiths (there is list somewhere on the Home Office site), it is impossible to have a balenced debate. Let me be clear on this, I am prayed for every week at church, when the hospital chaplicy come around they ask if they can pray for and I say yes, my mother is member of the PPC and a church warden, I was christened and confirmed I went to a catholic convent as boarder and beleive me nothing is more scary than Dominican nuns! However, I accept we in the UK live in a multi-cultural society I love that diversity the cultural mix and blend that in the future will hopefully mean we call all live on this planet in peace. We have long gotten over burning people for their religion, we can be civilised about this. Did you know all footballer have to remove necklaces and now wedding rings in order to play, does anyone recall reading about this in media?

    What is upsetting is the immediate reaction when someone is asked to remove a cross is always ""Muslims are allowed to wear headscrarves"". The issue in this case was not that it was a Cross it was because it was a health and safety issue, the media have chosen to construe that has a covert critisim of Christianity. This has been turned into a religous debate instead of one on health and safety.

    If the nurse in question feels that she was asked to remove the cross on any other grounds other than health and safely she is completely at will to use the racism laws to seek a judicial review.


  • Why does a christian need to wear a cross? Muslims are asked to keep there bodies covered, where are christians asked to wear a cross? ( i am a born again christian and we are called to be salt and light in other words share what we believe with other people) A cross can be worn to help us remeber to tell others of jesus but we are not told to wear anything specific in the bible we are just told to be an example in the way we live our lives.

  • My reply to Bex.

    Bex: your disparaging comments on my beliefs are symptomatic of the ignorance which leads to religious bigotry, and these I find offensive. Worse, your attempts, especially as a forum moderator, to introduce racism into this forum, I find totally abhorrent!

    As you are the only person here introducing racism into the forum, I can only come to the opinion that you may have some natural affinity for that loathsome subject.

  • Moderator message

    I'm A Wheeze - woah there! Where did that come from?! I can't find any message in this thread where Bex has been disparaging to any religion. In fact, as a pagan, she's more likely to treat Christianity and Islam equally than someone who practices either of those religions themselves.

    I find your suggestion that Bex is racist - for that is exactly what your last paragraph claims - to be despicable. Thus I have no alternative but to close this thread. I'm not going to stand around whilst you throw foundless accusations of racism around at any members of this board.

    My apologies to everyone else here who was enjoying a healthy debate.



  • Moderator message - updated

    I have deleted all of the posts made by ""I'm A Wheeze"" in this thread. It turns out that an IP trace has shown that he was a previously-suspended member just out to cause trouble.

    We will look into the possibility of blocking his IP address from accessing the boards to prevent further problems.

    As you were, folks - consider this thread reopened!



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