Nursing Image - page 2

Why do you think there is a problem with our Nursing Image? I know that we are short staffed and they are hiring more and more unlicensed personnel to do some of our nursing tasks, but why should we... Read More

  1. by   JNJ
    Appreciated your posting, Agnus. It's each one of us acting professionally, all the time, that's going to change things.

    I was just talking to my mother in the UK who had just seen her diabetic educator. My mother, who is usually fairly kind, was concerned about the level of professional advice she was getting because the educator kept saying things such as 'blinking heck' (a very slang, UK type exclamation).

    At least the unprofessional manner alerted my mother to check the package insert with her medication - it stated take with food or just after food; the 'educator' had told her to take it 20 mins before.
  2. by   P_RN
    i remember having to stand when "their majesties"....'scuse me the "lord high physicians" entered the room........i remember being reprimanded because my hat wasn't starchey enough (by a majesty no less). i'm not all that old....

    look at all your nursing tschoshkes *** . i have 35 nurse figures......all have a cap on, all look "traditional" look at the greeting cards.......aside from the big fat nurse ones...the fairly good looking nurse ones all have a cap on, all look traditional.
    look at the tv shows.....wandering around in the desert there are "nurses" white dress......etc etc. people think this was because it is comforting...frankly i still like to see nuns in starched black habits.....that's my perception.....sheesh.....my nun friend wears shorts and sleeveless shirts at times.

    re: the j&j.....those nurses did get to wear uniforms/scrubs with clean polished shoes and nice hairdo's. where were the poopie/emesis covered shirts and the sweaty hair after tangling with a confused patient. the nurses on china beach were the first i saw who kinda resembled what i think about what "real appearance" is.

    ***n. (yiddish) an object of little intrinsic worth, but with a garish, overblown appearance.
  3. by   LoisJean
    I mainitain and will 'til it freezes, (you know where), that the the 'image' of nursing is much like the Emperor and his New Clothes...we think we're wearing one, but in fact we are naked.

    Suzy is so absolutely correct in my opinion! Agnus is correct! Wendy, too! The image of nursing, to me, is an ATTITUDE; that is, a POSITION. How we are viewed by the public at large is directly influenced by how we make our Profession known to that public. And, frankly, I don't think we have done that. People know there is a shortage. What do they care? Why should they care?

    Look, a person puts out a little glass bottle at her garage sale. She puts 50 cents on it. Someone comes along and buys it....finds out it's worth $500.00.

    People who are aware of what TODAY'S nurse is all about are more likely to appreciate the value. They are more likely to stand and vocalize their insense at the conditions which nurses find themselves in. Without an outcry from the public at large, why should any corporate entity change the way it treats it's employees? And why should the public cry out if they haven't a clue as to the value of a nurse?

    People go to hospitals for nursing care-not doctor care. They are paying for this. They ought to know exactly what they are paying for. I think less emphasis on "Dare to Be a Nurse" and more emphasis on "Nurses Dare to Be"....and make it clear in the most visual of ways exactly what we BE.

    Any nurse, be it RN or LPN has the absolute right to speak out for his/her Profession...to the public; to provide people with a clear concept of what a nurse is and what it takes to become one. There are plenty of places where this can be carried out within a community setting. And I don't mean taking blood pressures all day at a mall...I mean setting up a formal seminar, free of charge, inviting anyone and everyone to come and listen to nurses speak about nursing.

    Peace,
    Lois Jean
  4. by   caroladybelle
    P_RN -

    Unfortunately at a certain hospital on a certain unit in Athens, GA - there is a few nurses that stand when his majesty the MD approaches.

    They follow two or three steps behind on rounds, being sure to memorize every word he speaks so that they can write down his orders for him.

    And if there is anything on the nurse's station desk for nurses - it is moved - so that an MD that sits there frequently will not be "disturbed". Poor baby can't stand to sit in the MDs room because he can't yell orders to the secretary there. They placed a dictation phone out there for his personal conveniance. A couple of Float nurses had their stuff shoved abruptly out of the way without nary a word of apology by the day Charge nurse. (I thought they were going to beat the crap out of her (hoped that they would anyway).

    I think that we need to start the image change with our own - as Pogo said "We have met the enemy and they are us".
  5. by   MICU RN
    Many good post concerning this hot topic. And by the way I think it is one of the most important things we can address as nurses. If we are ever going to get the respect and compensation we deserve, not to mention fixing the current nursing shortage.
    Emerald NYL had some very good points and insights.
    I agree 100% that we need to send the message to the public and future prospects that you have to be smart and serious about providing good health care to become a RN. For too long the message has just been all you need to do is be caring to become a nurse. And while this is an important component to being a good nurse it is only one part.
    People need to be educated on what it takes to become an RN, especially through a four year university program; it is not an easy degree, as a matter of fact, it requires more hard work and sacrifice than most other undergrad. degrees. The average person has no clue as did not most of us until we went through it.
    Johnson and Johnson may have meant well with their new ad 's, however if you ask me they picked absolutely the worst theme.
    The "be a nurse because we care" slogan is part of the problem not the solution. It promotes once again the message that all you need to be a nurse is care. Here are some other suggestings to help improve our image:
    We need to seperate our role from the so called medical assistants that receive minimal training and then are thought of as nurses. I think we should consider changing our title to reflect the education we are receiving to provide the standard of care that we provide. And of course this means eventully having one entry point for receiving a college education. But we will save that discussion for another day.
    We have to expect to be compensated as college educated professionals. This means when comparing our incomes we compared it to other college professions, not blue collar jobs. Many nurses do this and I think it is because they don't see nursing as a college educated profession. That is a big problem, how can we expect others to respect us and compensate us better when we don't see ourselves as a real profession?
    Nursing has changed over the last century and it is up to us to let the world Know. I work in a big academic teaching hospital and I always try to educate the residents I work with in regards to how challenging nursing school is and how competive it can be to get in. Most don't have a clue and are surprised, as a matter of fact, many have told me they don't see how we do what we do for twenty dollars a hour. I also believe our services are worth more and I have no guilt in stating this; when enough of us start feeling this way, just maybe we will start getting the respect we deserve. One more view, if we are serious about changing our image we will have to demand that our role of often being forced to do clerical, maid, and nurse's aid work will have to change.
    Most new BSN grads I come across in my unit or in other ICU's state that there is no way they are going to clean crap as part of their job for the rest of their working career. Can you blame them? What other college educated professional is expected to do that as part of their job? Give me a break, on one hand you want us to have someones life in our hands and then do menial work throughout the shift. Our image and job role are directly linked and both need a make over!
    Last edit by MICU RN on Feb 3, '03
  6. by   deespoohbear
    Originally posted by NightMoonRN
    I had a patient actually tell me that the nurses' image disappeared when we stopped wearing Nurses' Caps and white uniforms!
    He remembered when nurses stood up when a physician entered a room.
    He must have reincarnated from Florence's era!





    Tell him it is time to check into the 21st century!!!
  7. by   rachel h
    These are all very good points. I am personally disgusted by the public's image of nursing. The majority of people think we just fetch the bedpan and pass out pills. They have no idea the critical thinking, self-initiative and organizational skills one must posess to be a nurse. Add to the fact that nearly everyone who works in a hospital wears scrubs, and suddenly everyone's a nurse in the patient's eyes.

    I can't tell you how many patients I have who think it is my sole duty to make them a snack, fill their water pitcher, empty their garbage, make their bed, etc. Yes, these may all be things that a patient needs, but for me they take a backseat when I have a patient getting blood, another one in respiratory distress, a new admit on the way and let's not forget all the medications and treatments in between that need to be administered in a timely manner. And patients and their families act disgusted when a nurse doesn't have time to fluff their pillow.

    The public needs to know what nursing truly entails... I think there should be a reality series about nursing. They should follow some nurses around for 24 hours and see what we really have to put up with...
  8. by   deespoohbear
    Originally posted by rachel h

    The public needs to know what nursing truly entails... I think there should be a reality series about nursing. They should follow some nurses around for 24 hours and see what we really have to put up with...

    Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! What an excellent idea.....
  9. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Originally posted by rachel h
    The majority of people think we just fetch the bedpan and pass out pills. They have no idea the critical thinking, self-initiative and organizational skills one must posess to be a nurse. Add to the fact that nearly everyone who works in a hospital wears scrubs, and suddenly everyone's a nurse in the patient's eyes.

    I can't tell you how many patients I have who think it is my sole duty to make them a snack, fill their water pitcher, empty their garbage, make their bed, etc. And patients and their families act disgusted when a nurse doesn't have time to fluff their pillow.

    The public needs to know what nursing truly entails... I think there should be a reality series about nursing. They should follow some nurses around for 24 hours and see what we really have to put up with...
    BRAVO, Rachel!
  10. by   wildfire11
    I have many strong feelings about this post. I have been a nurse for two years. This is a second career for me. I have a B.S. in Business and a BlS. in Nursing, which I 39. I work in an old-school type hospital, which has half old staff who bow to physicians and half new staff, who don't. The doctors expect the nurses to get up out of their seats, and give them the computers. they are only the ones willing to use the computers. The other come into the station and ask for the labs, xrays etc. to be hand delivered to them. I found this difficult to adjust to, because I did many of my rotations in Boston, in teaching school, etc. where the med students, residents, etc, got this data and wrote orders.
    I have had several patients tell me that they liked the days when nurses wore caps etc. I then explain to them that the caps were one of the biggest offenders for transmitting nosocomial infections. I listen to my patients and I advocate for them. I let them know I am a very educated, professional person. It irks me that a lot of the nurses I work with, just want to get their meds and personal care done, quick and take no time to interact with the patients. This does not help promote a professional role for nurses.
    I work on a telemetry unit, in a hospital with second busiest emergency room in MA. So my day is busy, but I will never be "put down" because I am the nurse. I am the one who educates my patients on procedures, medications, health etc. I am also the one to stand up to the physicians and advocate for my patients. They are for the most part in their 80-90 and think the doctors are gods. I don't, I tell them they are paying for this service, they should do what they want. Because of my values, I have a hard time fitting in amongst the "old crew". The new crew of the 22 years old are the same as me, except they are in fear of the doctors. Its too bad nursing has this image. Nurses have to work to break this image.
    Wildfire11
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I like the reality TV show series. As SICK as I am of all the FLUFF "reality" out there, we can stand to absorb yet one more show. As enamoured of TV as the USA is, it's high time.
  12. by   Coytoy
    Before I became an RN, I was a factory worker, truck dispatcher, and insurance biller. I always thought that nurses were intelligent, educated people. This is what first interested me in pursuing a nursing career. I have just passed the state boards and am sure there will be a heavy sting of reality shock, but to all who have been nurses before me----keep up the good work and good image.
  13. by   catrn10
    This is a very interesting thread and I have to put in my 2 cents worth. We are our own worst ememies. I was thinking of the public image of a Nurse and remembered when a local hospital actually had to tell their nurses not to wear Thong panties (you could see them through the tight pants), along with tight shirts and bared middriffs. These girls worked in an ICU. They didn't look like competent, professionals, they looked like highschoolers on a field trip. I'm all for not standing up when God enters. And I hate the way the media portrays us. But if you are standing there in your skin tight yellow pants, with black thong panties and a tight mid-driff sweater on , flipping your hair and rubbing on the Residents, what do you expect? They called that unit Silicon Valley....and it had nothing to do with computers.....

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