What the public thinks you do

  1. What do you think the public thinks your job is as a "nurse"??
    I am still only a student currently getting my BSN, but I have had people tell me I don't need to go to school anymore because it's no that hard to change bedpans or give out medications. I have also been told that a degree in nursing is not a real degree. This is just a post to hear some of the interesting things that you may have heard or been told.
    Cheers
    :roll
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   Grace Oz
    One thing I believe is; I think it's time to put applicants for nursing through a selection process.
    It's not enough to have the required high school (year 12) pass mark. We need appropriate people in nursing. Now I know, you're all going to say things like; " there's a nursing shortage". But, does that mean we should lower the standard & have people as nurses who are inappropriate?...It's one thing to have a degree... another to have a real "calling" to the nursing profession. Having a degree doesn't necessarily make one a better nurse!! Some of the bEST nurses were "Hospital" trained!!...
    Cheers from Down under,
    Grace.
  4. by   fedupnurse
    I agree Grace, I find that the best nurses are "Diploma" nurses. I am not a Diploma nurse before any of the ADN, BSN people get their panties in a bunch. I am an ADN,BSN blah, blah,blah and it doesn't mean a thing. Experience is the real important thing.
    Now getting back to the topic. Whenever someone learns I am a nurse (outside of the work setting I am talking about here) I almost always hear the following "You must be a great person to do that". When I am at work I frequently hear people say "I don't know how you people do this job. It must be so stressful." That being said, I really honestly believe that the general public has absolutely no clue about how important nurses are. How many of us have caught a complication, notified the doc and the doc came out looking like a hero. Not that I want to be a hero but these people leave the hospital and tell everyone how their doctor saved their life. What really happened was the nurse had to threaten or beg the doc to come in and after he/she berated that nurse finally was convinced to do what he/she should do for the patient. It happens a lot. Anyone who has worked nights for any length of time can tell you what bastards some of the docs can be!
    I believe the perception most people have is that we are basically a waitress. I think we need to have more media exposure about how we do save lives by spotting complications and intervening in a timely manner. Perhaps if nursing had a more positive focus in the media (doesn't it kill you when nurses are protrayed as slutty or that they can work in every department in the hospital?????????) maybe more people would be attracted to look into the profession. Of course the working conditions, money and benefits have to improve to really get people to make the commitment.
    Personally this BSN nurse doesn't think you need a BSN to do bedside nursing. You need a good clinical foundation in school and continued clinical experience to be a great clinician. My BSN didn't add anything at all to my practice as a bedside ICU nurse.
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    i addressed this in my thread about what we would say to the public about what we do and ads on TV to that effect. maybe they could revive it here...high time we were more POSITIVE and EDUCATIONAL as to what "real nursing" is.........
  6. by   lindalee
    Read "From Silence to Voice" by Susan Gordon and Bernice Buresh and learn. It is a powerful book. It is available on Amazon for about $20.00 It should be mandatory reading for all nurses in our profession and all considering the profession.
  7. by   nursegoodguy
    I have always been treated with respect by people who learn that I am a nurse. Now when I tell them that I choose to work long term care then their attitude changes a bit.... I don't really care cause I love the patients I work and I "know" that I make a difference for them! Same job nearly 6 years.
    nursehappytoworkLTCguy
  8. by   oramar
    I think someone said that 60 minutes is supposed to follow a nurse tonight. If this is true watch it then come back here for coments.
  9. by   Huganurse
    Thanks oramar, I'll watch!
  10. by   fedupnurse
    Thanks for the heads up Oramar.
  11. by   Laurlaur
    Ha ha!!! What do nurses do?? I'm a first year paed. nurse student in the UK, my usual response when I tell people is "Oh, you work in a creche?" Get real!! Also disbelief when you tell them that you actually go to university (and need a degree). I'll just say that I work in a bank in future!!
  12. by   bandaidexpert
    Those of us in LTC get a mixed response. Some believe that "nursing homes" are where you go to die. While others praise us for doing what we do. But they never really fully understand what we do. Only the parts they find ugly.
  13. by   gretnao
    I've dealt with a few patients that are condescending to what nurses do and the tasks we perform. But I've found, that most patients and the public in general are supportive of nurses and appreciate what we do. However, I think that a lot of people do not understand the full extent of the responsibility we have and the day to day pressures we face.
  14. by   mattsmom81
    I thought the 60 minutes show did a fairly good job in that the nursing instructor actually got a chance to say the hospital couldn't run without nurses....I still wish more details would have been shared, and more reasons behind the shortage.

    I found it a bit distressing that the host related the nursing shortage to a nurse 'not answering the call light fast enough'. There's the old waitress/servant connotation again....GRRRR....

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