"Just a nurse?"

  1. Have you ever been refered to as "just a nurse"? Do you feel most people preceive nursing to consist of changing bed pans and giving baths, despite the wide range of skills we perform? Do you feel the nursing profession is under credited?
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   DeathRowRn
    Yes I do! I've heard this phrase many times in my career. Yet I have to wonder if we are "just a nurse" why do people ask us for our opinions? Not only in the work place, but in our personal lives as well. How many times has a friend or nieghbor asked you about a certain ailment and then say "what do you think" or they've been to the doc and when the see you at home, at the PTA, or where ever, they say "the doctor advised this or that, but what do you think?" It blows my mind! LOL. Sometimes I feel like answering "How should I know, I'm just a nurse" LOL. But of course I don't. Another pet peeve is laymen often think the Docs are gods, little do they realize most doctors rely on us for thier eyes and ears. It is us that are calling the doctors saying "Mr. Jones is experiencing this or that" or "Mr. Smith isn't responding to that treatment, would you like to try this". Nor do they realize the times the doctor will actually ask us "what do you think" I have that happen more than not. Anyway in answer to your question... I do feel we aren't given credit for our knowledge nor ability, and the impact the us "just a nurse" nurses have on the medical field. By the way, could you please pass me they bed pan. LOL.
    Hang in there!
  4. by   Nancy1
    Hi, I had to chuckle at "just a nurse". I cannot count the number of times that I said "I'm just a (take your choice) woman, wife, mom, peon,etc. I feel that very often we do not give ourselves credit for the things that we do. It takes skill to be a housewife, mom, student, whatever. But we all use the term "I'm just..."
    I think that it will take a concerted effort on everyone's part to limit the use of "I'm just..."
    I wish you luck, my personal journey with changing my thought process has been going on for 20 years or so.
    This is similar to my favorite remark, "It's my job" I use that one a lot too. How about you?
    NA
  5. by   mcrow
    Try not to get upset when you hear yourself referred to as " just a nurse ". I don't think they can even imagine what all being a nurse means. The only things that may make nursing less than a very rewarding job are usually things we have no control over.
  6. by   DIDI
    That expression is like JUST a woman, my answer is yes to both and ---proud of it. you get used to hearing just a nurse, my grandmother introduces me as just a nurse. I wonder about that sometimes//di
  7. by   jtfreel
    Unfortunately, WE are part of the problem. Let me share the experiences of 2 friends; both were hospitalized in different facilities and both had good reputations. EVERYONE on the floor (and please don't scream at me) was identically dressed. A near-sighted friend without her glasses was complimenting the friendliness of "her nurse." Her nurse's name tag identified her (in small letters) as a nursing assistant. The other friend was very angry upon my arrival and complaining about everything especially the rudeness of "her nurse." Her name tag identified her as a member of housekeeping-again in small letters.

    If we are not identifiable as nurses, as RN's, then everyone who enters is a "nurse." There is so much extraneous stuff on name tags that one wonders why it is so difficult to get RN printed in big, obvious letters. And (and this is where the beatings may begin), it would help. All of the staff were dressed in scrubs and tennis shoes. I have no problem with comfort. I do have a problem with looking sloppy and a lot of them did. To the patient, it may be that...if everybody looks like a nurse, then everyone is a nurse and so everything wrong must........be nursing's fault. Maybe in the grand sceme of things we have allowed ourseles to become just one of the many.
  8. by   Nancy1
    I agree with the statement made that we are part of the problem. When I started at my current facility, the RN, LPN, CNA, and Unit Secretary, had the individual's name and Nursing Department. The nurses and CNAs dress alike. We have changed and now the name tags have a larger font and titles. All it took was time to convince the administration. It worked for us. I hope other facilities will try the same. NA
  9. by   Jeanbean
    I have to agree that many people do not realize that nurses have so many skills and a broad knowlege base. My mother-in-law is a prime example. Her experience with nurses is watching them "sit there filing their nails and making a lot of money". She was surprised to hear that I can actually give an injection! I tried to explain that nursing is so much more- not just bathing pts and taking vital signs- but it's no use. She can't understand why it took me 4 years of school to learn how to give a bath. I've given up trying to explain- I am proud of what I do and that's what matters to me.
  10. by   erteamplayer
    Originally posted by KKRN:
    Have you ever been refered to as "just a nurse"? Do you feel most people preceive nursing to consist of changing bed pans and giving baths, despite the wide range of skills we perform? Do you feel the nursing profession is under credited?
    I've only been a nurse for 2 years, but the comment "just a nurse" means nothing to me....the work I do everyday in the ER in my hospital feels me with such pride that the comment affects me in no way. The elderly ladies hand I held last night as she slowly passed away left me with the most wonderful, useful feeling....the scared look in her eyes seemed to disappear as she felt the warmth of my hand and the true compassion she saw in my eyes. Anyone else feel this way?

  11. by   erteamplayer
    Originally posted by KKRN:
    Have you ever been refered to as "just a nurse"? Do you feel most people preceive nursing to consist of changing bed pans and giving baths, despite the wide range of skills we perform? Do you feel the nursing profession is under credited?
    I've only been a nurse for 2 years, but the comment "just a nurse" means nothing to me....the work I do everyday in the ER in my hospital feels me with such pride that the comment affects me in no way. The elderly ladies hand I held last night as she slowly passed away left me with the most wonderful, useful feeling....the scared look in her eyes seemed to disappear as she felt the warmth of my hand and the true compassion she saw in my eyes. Anyone else feel this way?

  12. by   ecb
    When I am asked why I am "just a Nurse" and not a Doctor, i respond with "Dr.s take care of Parts, I prefer to take care of people" They seem to respect that, at least in the short term.

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    *** May we all have the serenity to accept what we cannot change, and the determination to change what we cannot accept. ***
  13. by   emhkirkpatrick
    Dear ecb
    AMEN!!!!!!
  14. by   LenMalRN
    Originally posted by KKRN:
    Have you ever been refered to as "just a nurse"? Do you feel most people preceive nursing to consist of changing bed pans and giving baths, despite the wide range of skills we perform? Do you feel the nursing profession is under credited?
    I have another perspective being a male nurse many times my patient's call me Dr. and i tell them no " I am a nurse you can tell becouse we nurses work for a living


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