America's view of the nursing profession - page 4

Hi everyone! I have noticed that different people in society all have very different views of nursing. Some think that nursing is a "dirty job", meaning that it involves many unpleasant tasks. Other... Read More

  1. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from lindarn
    People may resent my "in your face NYer opinions, but this is the point that I have been trying to make with all my threads. The public may think that we are wonderful, but ask them if we are as educated and skilled as other health care professionals, and should earn the high pay that they do. Here in Spokane, Pt's earn an averge of $77, 000 a year. The average pay for a nurse is about $43, 000. Can someone tell my what a PT does to earn that kind of salary? This salary is for a hospital PT, not even one who as their own PT business. I have a mnor in physical education, and had many pre- PT students in my classes. As far as I ma concerned, and seeing them in action in the hospital, and in provate practice, they are nothing more than glorified exercise techs.
    First, what does "in your face NYer opinions" mean? I have met incredibly polite people in NY and rude ones in other places. This has nothing to do with being from NY, Spokane, California, Florida or any other region and everything to do with respectful and professional communication.

    If nurses wish to be seen as professionals, and their opinions to be shown respect, it would be best to stop stereotyping others. That speaks more loudly, than any string of initials on one's nametag.

    Second, one does not earn the support of other professionals by insulting their profession. There are some people that look at nurses and see us as waitresses with pills, believing it easy to do. I am sure that there are a few Biology teachers that look at us and the money that we make, and how we were in Bio class and poo poo our abilities and skills. Virtually all professions can look easy on the surface. Please do not put down another profession, in a vain attempt to elevate your own.

    My extended family shows me the utmost respect for what I do...and virtually none of them have any idea what kind of degrees that health professionals require. That is not important to them. What is important is that they get good care in a timely manner, by an unhurried professional, with good communication skills.

    And none of them want to be treated as "blue collar trailer trash", even if they fit the definition.
  2. by   gypsyatheart
    Quote from jsteine1
    Regarding the Educational variances contributing to the lack of respect for nurses and the other issue raised regarding the very large discrepancy between therapists salaries and nurses salaries. Re Educational entry points; not sure I agree as PT assistants , a 2 year degree and licensure also earn more than registered nurses. RPTs earn far more as posted by Lindarn. Ive posted this before, but it may bear repeating. Therapists are revenue producing in their settings. There is not a similar correlation in nursing. In an outpatient setting, for example a physical therapy ASSISTANT( associates degree) can produce 8-10 thousand a month in revenue. Therefore, its easy to see why its not painful to pay them 50k or more a year. It's extremely profitable. If nursings functions were broken down by billable codes with a revenue amount attached, believe me, the salaries would skyrocket and hospitals would happily overstaff to drive revenue! Unfortunately, nurses are overhead, not revenue producing. When and if this changes, the entire salary issue will no longer be a problem.

    You have a good point here.... Nurses are looked at as an expense...a "necessary evil", if you will by hospital admins. I have said this before and will say it again....

    Patients are in the hospital because they need nursing care. Think about it. Why else are they there? They can receive any other treatment as an outpatient and go home. But they are admitted because they need nursing care.
    If nurses were recognized as professionals by hospital administration and if nurse billed for their services as MD's do.....if the public were aware (made aware) of this fact...things would change and change fast. Of course administration doesn't want to tout this, they'll get you tied up in the "team" mentality. The patient is here for a "multidisciplinary approach" . Yeah, right. Again, any other service can be provided outpt, but if you're in the hospital, you need nurses!
    Unfortunately, nurses can not, will not unite, even amongst ourselves, something that has been fostered by administration for decades. Until our own mentality changes, we certainly won't be changing anyone else's!
  3. by   achot chavi
    I think Nursing is like any profession if you want to be respected you have to act respectful to yourself and others. I have seen nurses wearing tight , revealing, or low cut outfits flirting with patients. It doesn't make me angry or upset but that same nurse can't complain if she isnt taken seriously. I have always tried to treat both patients and staff (and that means everybody) respectfully and I have been taken seriously and treated well my whole career. When a Hospital Administrator told me that he prefered the color of my co-workers (dyed blond) hair over my auburn tresses, and that is why he decided to give her a bonus worth a few thousand dollars, I protested and resigned. Nurses should not accept such treatment. I was later rewarded and now hold a higher, better paying and better hours position!!
    SO my advice is not to spend money campaigning, we are each ambassadors of our profession. If we want respect we have to earn it by being respectful, professional, knowledgeable and consistant. Trust me the higher salaries will then follow!

    Good Luck
  4. by   imenid37
    I think tust and respect go hand in hand. Who does not respect a person whom they trust, esp. in a professional relationship? I think there are some bad apples out there who are just plain obnoxious and give us a hard time, but they probably dog others too. I find most patients are respectful. Most physicians are too, though again there are a number who act out so much they give the whole bunch a bad name. I think trust is a building block upon which respect is built. One problem I see today in our society is that we are often just plain rude. Patients may seem disrespectful when they want things now and don't say please and thank you, but this is how they deal w/ everybody. I think people have trouble expressing respect. We also have to demand it in a polite, but firm way. I have told physicians and other nurses that I do not like the way they speak to me and that I can not carry on a conversation w/ them when they are disrespectful. I have also reminded rude patients that I respect them and would appreciate that they recipricate. Usually they say something like I didn't know I was acting like that. If you want something, you must ask for it. I also think and have pt's. tell me all of the time, "I didn't know nurses could do that" People have very little idea of what we do. Also the notion that all of these receptionists and MA's in physician's offices are referred to really burns me up. I don't refer to a PA or NP as a doctor even though they do many of the same things physicians do. I'd really appreciate it if doctors wouldn't refer to their clerical and unlicensed staff as nurses just because they perform some of the things we do. Our scope of practice and knowledge base, not to mention liability is much more far reaching.
  5. by   NessaNurse
    This is sorta an off topic remark to the trailer trash thing..but hey here in so cal you can buy yourself a double wide for a million bucks> sheesh.so I guess its not trash. Whats wrong with blue collar anyway?
    I myself think nurse is both blue collar and white collor. Some/most of us work with our hands but we also have some sort of degree behind (mostly) as an RN. Be that ADN or BSN or whatever.
  6. by   bluesky
    Quote from Q.
    Is it any different than "pink collar" (as nursing is often defined) or "white collar?"

    It is meant to imply the type of job - blue collar meaning physical labor.
    Exactly. Blue collar used by itself, in the context of working people is not offensive. "Blue collar trailer trash", however, used to describe a disrespectful characterization of the nursing profession is clearly an insult to all blue collar working people.
  7. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from caroladybelle
    First, what does "in your face NYer opinions" mean? I have met incredibly polite people in NY and rude ones in other places. This has nothing to do with being from NY, Spokane, California, Florida or any other region and everything to do with respectful and professional communication.

    If nurses wish to be seen as professionals, and their opinions to be shown respect, it would be best to stop stereotyping others. That speaks more loudly, than any string of initials on one's nametag.

    Second, one does not earn the support of other professionals by insulting their profession. There are some people that look at nurses and see us as waitresses with pills, believing it easy to do. I am sure that there are a few Biology teachers that look at us and the money that we make, and how we were in Bio class and poo poo our abilities and skills. Virtually all professions can look easy on the surface. Please do not put down another profession, in a vain attempt to elevate your own.

    My extended family shows me the utmost respect for what I do...and virtually none of them have any idea what kind of degrees that health professionals require. That is not important to them. What is important is that they get good care in a timely manner, by an unhurried professional, with good communication skills.

    And none of them want to be treated as "blue collar trailer trash", even if they fit the definition.
    Very well said.
  8. by   AMARTIN1
    Quote from BlueYYsRN
    You are right on.

    Maybe it would help if we stopped insulting each other. Am I "blue collar trailer trash" because I am a Registered Nurse who obtained an ASN before taking the same boards as the nuirse who obtained a BSN?

    I generally dont even respond when this comes up but I must say this old argument is insulting.
    Amen to that!!!! I don't see myself as Blue collar trailer trash nor am I treated that way. It starts with us (nurses...ASN,BSN,MSN,Phd) respecting each other and valuing each other as a profession. You are how you act!!!
  9. by   Thunderwolf
    Quote from moondancer
    if nurses were recognized as professionals by hospital administration (and patients...my addition here) and if nurse billed for their services as md's do.....if the public were aware (made aware) of this fact...things would change and change fast.!
    totally agree...we would most likely be recognized more for our technical and educational abilities...because we would charge good money for those services.
  10. by   mysticalwaters1
    Quote from ChevRN
    When I tell others I am a nurse, they look up to me and respect my profession. They look at my job as one that is professional and of high responsibility, also well paying.

    This is my experience from personal friends and acquaintances. In the media, however, I have seen this differently. Take, for example Ben Stiller's role as Greg Focker in "Meet the Parents/Fockers". In "Meet the Parents", he is belittled by the Byrnes family and their friends.

    What are the other personal experiences of other nurses.
    For the most part same with me. Although my girlfriends my age at first thought of me just dealing with bm and urine constantly and that was it. Maybe that mentality preventing people entering nursing? So did my grandmother. She just thought I got pt's there food, cleaned, and passed out medications. I shed the light on them about all we do.

    But my other family members and college non nursing majors and pt's for the most part seem to really respect nursing. You may not notice it with pt's because of course you're crabby when you're sick but I hear it. I do feel we tend to tear each other apart but I'm finding out quickly it seems to be that way where ever you go in any job or profession.

    So it seems it's mixed about how people regard nursing. Most seem to respect them reguardless but still don't understand all we do. And the TV drives me bonkers since out of work I'm a coach potato and I never see nursing shown in correct light or it's all negative. I usually watch stuff about a nurse who killed her relative or childe with overdose on insulin oooh drives me nuts! Or there is all these MD shows. Nothing wrong with MDs but not that we have to have our own show, would be nice I think it could be quite funny, or can't there be a medical show in collaboration with all hospital staff? While ER is better than most you barely see the nurse and the ER docs doing stuff the nurses do. That show specifically b/c perfect opportunity to show md's working with nurses to care for pts. It just stinks! Oh and the one character was a Nurse and then they converted her into a doctor....argh..Not that one wouldn't do it but I liked that character especially b/c she was a nurse and a main character... oh well...I still say MTV needs to do a true life show on nurses.
    Last edit by mysticalwaters1 on Oct 22, '05
  11. by   jsteine1
    I'm trying to view this from the perspective of the general public and I just do not believe that they can look at you and tell whether you were a Diploma, Associates, Bachelors or mastered prepared nurse. I personally have never been asked the question, have any of you outside of your hiring interview? Unless asked and answered, a physician wouldnt know either unless it was on your name tag. So if there is an air of disrespect, it's roots are deeper than credentialing, a lot of it sadly is economically driven relative to reimbursement models and our societal values. In some countries, physicians rank about the same as a technical worker, like a plumber. In the US, the perception of doctors is one of affluence and power, thus unfortunately, almost automatic respect from the masses. Rock stars are well compensated too, thus preferential treatment. Crazy? absolutely. This is just reality and I dont believe nurses should look to fault themselves and each other for this. Deal with your own reality, garner respect through your work, your compassion and your professionalism.
  12. by   bluesky
    I guess in truth I don't really care what random Joe's think of my job. I know that the visitors and patients and physicians that I take care of and work with respect my intelligence and say so on a regular basis. Other nurses, on the other hand are a completely different story. We need to fix how professionally we view and treat each other before we can impact the rest of society. Just my 2 cents, y'all.

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