What are in your opinion the realities of nursing

  1. Hi everyone thought id ask the question What are the realities of nursing?
    Im needing help as I started my nursing diploma course last week and have had my first bit of homework which is to find out the myths and realities of nursing. I thought it would be better to ask those who are student nurses and also qualified nurses. I have a few myths but as I havnt had any formal placements (training on wards/community) I cant really say what the realities are for many of you out there.

    I'd be grateful for some input as I dont want to make up realities from the top of my head as that defies the point of me researching. Hope you can help. Thank you for reading. Lastly I apologise if this has been put in the wrong place as I thought being a british student id put it in the UK forums.

    Lou x:spin:
  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   Fiona59
    Well many of the myths are worldwide.

    A common one from the public is that nurses are "angels", helpful and selfless.

    New students in my part of the world keep mentioning "job security" and "great pay". Jobs are only as secure as government funding and "great wages" in my part of Canada are being surpassed by the wages on the oilfields.
  4. by   sweetpealoubylou
    thank you so much fiona its the same job wise with job security in the UK all dependant on the money the NHS receives from Govt. If the NHS doesnt get it theres not enough to keep staff working within the NHS i'll add that to my list. =0) Thanks again

    Lou x
  5. by   royr
    As a senior nursing student in a BSN program I can say that the reality is this - when you are dealing with people - expect the unexpected and try to be as prepared as you can every day. All you can do is your best, and as long as your heart is in your work your best will do just fine.
  6. by   sweetpealoubylou
    Thank you royr i'll add that too =0) getting there slowly Just gotta wiggle my information around and will probably do diagrams showing the realities and myths

  7. by   karenG
    the reality..

    hmm we are not angels and we dont fit the 'carry on' nurse sterotype!

    patients make you smile/cry and grit your teeth with frustration. the reality is no two days are ever the same.

    for me in general practice, the reality is the sheer variety of things i see and the (at times) sheer stupidity of people!! its not like Dr Findlays case book. we are not seen as someone to be listened to/ we are not regarded in awe. we are shouted at (sometimes) cried over, hugged when its going brilliantly and sworn at when its not!! I feel like 'mum' to half my patients!

    great job really!!

  8. by   RGN1
    The reality is that nursing can be the most rewarding thing you've ever done & the most frustrating thing you've ever done all rolled into one days work every shift you do!

    It has the potential to be a wonderful job but too many problems & low pay stop it being as good as it should be.

    I love my job though & I wouldn't want to do anything else (other than win the lottery of course!)
  9. by   sweetpealoubylou
    Thanks RGN and karen. Gring i have to do my IBL presentation tomorrow god im so nervous hehe

    Lou x
  10. by   RGN1
    Hope it goes/went well! Let us know!
  11. by   emmycRN
    I agree with the above posts. We are definately not angels or martyrs, as we are often perceived by the public. We are expert professionals with the knowledge and desire to heal. The misperceptions regarding nurses being self-sacrificing has led us to be abused by hospitals. It's also led to nurses own misperceptions about what they should tolerate as far as working conditions. For instance, a martyr would never complain when ordered to work incredibly long shifts with mandatory overtime, lift loads that will damage back muscles for a lifetime without any kind of assistive device, and put up with verbal/emotional/physical abuse from physicians. A good resource for you to discover many of the popular myths of nursing as well as the challenges you will face as a nurse is the book "Nursing Against the Odds". This book should be required reading for every nursing student in my opinion.
  12. by   EmerNurse
    This sounds like a great project - I'd love to see the final result!

    MYTH: Patients always listen to their nurse.
    TRUTH: Patients do what they want or what is convenient for them and will argue to get their way.

    MYTH: Nurses are always professional and never get emotional.
    TRUTH: Some patients will pull at your heartstrings, some will make you want to VENT ON ALLNURSES, some will just make you laugh. Nurses do cry.

    MYTH: Helping people is its own reward.
    TRUTH: Nurses need and deserve good pay and benefits, we work hard for it.

    MYTH: All nurses have a strong work ethic and always do what the absolute best they can.
    TRUTH: I wish.

    MYTH: Our work environment is designed with patient outcomes and quality care in mind.
    TRUTH: All too often, it's the almight dollar - sadly.

    MYTH: Nurses are overworked, underpaid, dead tired, and not respected.
    TRUTH: OOPS, that was the truth <sigh>.

    TRUTH: Most of us still love being a nurse!

  13. by   kiwideb
    lol, fabulous myth/truth answer, was waiting for some myths to be put out there only to be dispelled, especially like the last one
  14. by   Fiona59
    At the risk of being flamed, I'll do it for you. Most days, I love my job. Others, it's just a job and I'm there for the paycheque.

    There, an honest answer.