Why Are Nurses Given Such A Bad Rap Today? - page 3

In reading the threads regarding the so called nursing shortage our country is under :rolleyes:, I started wondering why is it that we as nurses are given such a bad rap today. Care to share your... Read More

  1. by   live4today
    Quote from rach_nc_03
    CharmcityRN,...................................... ..............
    .................................................. ................................................
    Of course, my ex and I once got in a fight in the grocery store over nursing...I was explaining the critical thinking papers we had to write in class, and how I thought they were a waste of time for most of us, he said, 'well you know, most of the people that become nurses aren't that smart- it's not rocket science. It's kinda in the same intellectual category as secretaries and preschool teachers.' :angryfire:angryfire

    Note the fact that he's my EX-husband.
    Well noted!

    My first ex-husband always had something asinine to say about nurses, too. But then again, no matter what I did, it was never good enough for him. Thus...my EX.
  2. by   boulergirl
    I just decided to give up my med tech status. Why? Because I don't want the liability of passing meds when I don't have the knowledge of a licensed nurse to assess patients, watch them for signs of a drug reaction, etc. Just in the last couple of months I've come to realize just how tough the job of a nurse is, and that you have to be mentally sharp and on top of your game. Anyone who thinks nurses are simply hand-holders and butt-wipers needs to look at a nursing textbook.

    When I was in college, by the way, the nursing students always had their nose in the books, and the books were HUGE!
    Last edit by boulergirl on Apr 8, '05
  3. by   boulergirl
    As much as I've grown to loathe ER, at the beginning I thought it was a decent show that portrayed nurses in a favorable and realistic light. Remember Carol Hathaway? She was a charge nurse, extremely knowledgeable, smart, experienced. She had the opportunity to go to medical school and didn't, because she was a nurse, because she liked being a nurse. That was very valuable to me at the time. I remember watching one episode where Carol was trapped inside a store that had been robbed, or something similar, and she confessed that she'd always been disappointed with her level of skills, and always wanted to be more than she was, and the criminal replied in disbelief, "With all you can do? Why?". That also spoke to me. Unfortunately, now Abby has become a doctor and the nurses seem to exist only to have affairs with the new residents.
    I used to love ER, too. Every Thursday night, I was in front of the TV at 10 PM. Now I can't get into the show for some reason. Who knows? Maybe I'll buy some of the original episodes on DVD someday.
  4. by   JVanRN
    Quote from CharmCityRN
    I have a very unpopular viewpoint.

    I think nurses have done this to themselves. With nurse leaders like Jean Watson, who developed an entire theory of 'caring', and the new Johnson & Johnson promo ads that urge people to 'dare to care'... nursing is downgraded to a league of nurturers and largely unskilled carers, caring both for and about their patients. There is a whole subculture of nauseatingly sweet images of nurses as 'angels of mercy' not to mention all the cutesy little boyd's bear nurses and other figurines that make me want to vomit on a daily basis. This is what the public gets of nurses.

    As much as I've grown to loathe ER, at the beginning I thought it was a decent show that portrayed nurses in a favorable and realistic light. Remember Carol Hathaway? She was a charge nurse, extremely knowledgeable, smart, experienced. She had the opportunity to go to medical school and didn't, because she was a nurse, because she liked being a nurse. That was very valuable to me at the time. I remember watching one episode where Carol was trapped inside a store that had been robbed, or something similar, and she confessed that she'd always been disappointed with her level of skills, and always wanted to be more than she was, and the criminal replied in disbelief, "With all you can do? Why?". That also spoke to me. Unfortunately, now Abby has become a doctor and the nurses seem to exist only to have affairs with the new residents.

    Sometimes, when I work swingshift, I listen to Loveline on my way home. A couple of weeks ago a female in her 20s called in and was talking about how dissatisfied she is with her life, how she doesn't have any skills, she doesn't do well in school. Adam suggested she go to junior college and become a nurse, the insinuation being that nurses required neither intellect nor education.

    Which brings me to my last point, that I think nurses would be better respected as a whole if we had a higher level of education, collectively. Granted, there are scores of nurses with MSNs and PhDs, but I'd like to see more RNs practicing at the BSN level.

    I think its our duty, as nurses, to educate the public where we can. Usually when someone asks me what I do for a living, I'll tell them I'm a nurse, and I'll get the same, "Oh, I could never do that." As if nursing is all blood and guts and bodily fluids. I'll usually take a minute to explain my specialty and what I *actually* do, and they're a bit more interested and less repulsed.

    Wow! Holy long post, Batman!
    I agree with you here. That's what I was trying to say about the overall image of nursing. Even in NICU lots of people have the idea that all I do is cuddle babies, they just happen to be tiny. And that I must have the best job in the world. When I try to inform them (them = friends and family) what I actually do and just how sick those babies can be they can't believe it. It's like "OMG a baby on a breathing machine..." Well yeah! Do you think the 2 doctors that we have are there 24/7? NO!!!! Since I've become a nurse my family has been better educated on what nursing is. Now my mom can't wait to brag to her friends about what I do And she mentions all the critical things to.

    Shoot...when I became a nurse even I was shocked at all nurses did (never really exposed to it until I started working and going to school) Before school my only image of nursing what MASH and ER. Boy was I in for a shock!
  5. by   mattsmom81
    Count me as another nurse who dislikes the 'carebear angel' image of nursing. What is so wrong about portraying our career choice as academic, intellectual, and technologically challenging?

    Remember when the ANA came out with the slogan "If caring were enough, anybody could be a nurse' ?? I believe they were trying to combat this 'carebear angel' image. I don't think it has helped much unfortunately. The public enjoys their sterotypes of nurses too much; and the media exploits this.
  6. by   smk1
    just had 2 friends over today and they just kept saying it seems like it is taking forever for you to be a nurse. DUH! it's not a 9 month certificate! They also can't believe when they see my books the info that I am responsible for and just think well the doctor should know that so why do you have to? sigh.... they also keep asking why i need to take classes like foreign languages, womens studies etc.. They never asked our friend who went to accountin school why she had to take classes like these that didn't relate to her major. It all boils down to they don't see nursing as a professional career, so all the extra general education courses for the degree seem silly to them and they really just didn't think nurses were that educated. It's sad.
  7. by   RN4NICU
    Quote from mattsmom81
    Count me as another nurse who dislikes the 'carebear angel' image of nursing. What is so wrong about portraying our career choice as academic, intellectual, and technologically challenging?

    Remember when the ANA came out with the slogan "If caring were enough, anybody could be a nurse' ?? I believe they were trying to combat this 'carebear angel' image. I don't think it has helped much unfortunately. The public enjoys their sterotypes of nurses too much; and the media exploits this.
    I wish they would revive it. It could go head to head with the J&J "essence of caring". Although, I do have to admit, the J&J nursing commercial that ran on TNT during 14 hours was much better than that "dare to care" thing they had before. I am SO glad they got rid of that one.

    I agree with you. It would be nice to get rid of the "carebear angel" image. However, how can we expect the public and the media to let go of this image if many nurses are unwilling to let it go?
  8. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I can live with the carebear angel images more than the stilettos, fishnets, and miniskirt crap.
  9. by   RN4NICU
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    I can live with the carebear angel images more than the stilettos, fishnets, and miniskirt crap.
    I think both are equally damaging. They diminish our education and professionalism and lead people to believe that nurses are just hand-holders and maidservants (or *****) rather than educated professionals.
  10. by   warrior woman
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    I can live with the carebear angel images more than the stilettos, fishnets, and miniskirt crap.
    Amen to that Marie! :Melody:
  11. by   fusster
    I understand that the ideal would be to be recognized as not only someone caring and compassionate, but also as someone who has achieved a great deal through hard work and is very intelligent and well-rounded, but I would rather be thought of by others as someone who is caring and compassionate but not too educated and intelligent than someone who is cold and uncaring but very smart and knowledgeable. Yes, when confronted by misconceptions I do try to dispell them, but it's the recognition by my patients that I made a difference in their lives that makes me feel important and want to continue in nursing school (I'm in my second year at a 4-yr school). If not for my patients gratitude and the support of everyone I meet, I would have switched majors the first day of clinicals. Nursing is not the most glamerous job and takes a huge toll on you emotionally, but it is because I make a difference in so many lives that I want to keep doing this, not because I will earn a degree and in doing so be known by all as intelligent. Of course my perspective is way different since most of you are practicing nurses and I am only a student and my perspective may change with time and experience.
  12. by   sunnyjohn
    Q's? Did Johnson and Johnson run that whole "Dare to Care" campaign by the ANA or did they just run 'gun-ho ' all by themselves
  13. by   humglum
    Quote from fusster
    I would rather be thought of by others as someone who is caring and compassionate but not too educated and intelligent than someone who is cold and uncaring but very smart and knowledgeable.
    [post truncated for brevity]

    Now, see, I totally disagree here. I would rather be seen as a skilled, intelligent professional than someone caring but uneducated. I don't think its necessary to care about your patients in order to be an effective nurse. If I have competent assessment and critical thinking skills, I can recognize changes in your condition, act on them, and achieve the best possible outcome without caring much about my patients as people. Its important to care for your patients, but not necessarily about them.

    I'm a nurse for special needs/autistic/CP kids, and while I do care about them (because they're kids, sometimes from abusive households, not quite vocal enough to stick up for themselves), I never really cared about my average adult patient. Cared for them, yes. Gave them the best possible nursing care, and was always interested in their outcomes, but I definitely never made an emotional investment in them. Part of it is probably that I'm not an overemotive, super sensitive person... but another part of it is that, as a nurse, if you make an emotional investment in and care about every single one of your patients, it makes it difficult to leave your job at the door when you go home. When will you be finished? How stressful would that be?

    This is a great thread, cheerfuldoer. Thanks for starting it.

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