Published Jan 19, 2005
hey! i'm a future nurse, now senior in highschool. and when i tell people i'm going into nursing some say "wow, you'll be great and we need nurses!" others say, why not go "all the way" and be a doctor. i want to be like, are you saying nursing is not as important as doctoring? or that i should abandon my dreams and achieve the ones you want for me? how do i respond to this statement, i don't want to hurt their feelings. & how do you feel about this comment? thanks so much!
we dare to care
we dare to cry
we dare to be
a part of life!
hey! i'm a future nurse, now senior in highschool. and when i tell people i'm going into nursing some say "wow, you'll be great and we need nurses!" others say, why not go "all the way" and be a doctor. i want to be like, are you saying nursing is not as important as doctoring? or that i should abandon my dreams and achieve the ones you want for me? how do i respond to this statement, i don't want to hurt their feelings. & how do you feel about this comment? thanks so much!we dare to carewe dare to crywe dare to bea part of life!go nurses!!!!!!
i think you must follow your heart, not someone else's.
do what you want to do. you won't be happy with anything else.
when people say that to you just tell them nursing is your dream. don't be afraid of hurting their feelings. it's not anything for anyone to get their feelings hurt over.
i am going all the way...all the way through nursing school :) 15 weeks left!
Tweety, BSN, RN
Tell them, doctors don't heal or get a patient well, that's the nurses job.
Good luck to you!
HillaryC, RN, CRNA
unfortunately, you may want to get used to this comment it's very popular. i just graduated 7 months ago, and i've noticed i don't really get the comment much now that i'm done with school, but i definitely got it a lot when i was first starting out. people just don't understand that nursing and medicine are two separate fields. there's a very popular misconception that all nurses are wannabe physicians.
people mean it as a compliment (as in, "you're so smart, you should be a doctor"), they just don't understand how inherently offensive it is. i think a big part of the problem is that people have know idea what nurses really do, and how much knowledge we have.
i haven't really figured out the best way to respond to this comment, other than to say something like "nursing and medicine are completely different careers, and though i have tremendous respect for what physicians do, i'm not interested in their job." i don't know if it's the best thing to say, but it's usually all i can come up with.
congrats on figuring out what you want to do so young! good luck in school!
"You could be a doctor!"
Well-meaning persons sometimes suggest that a nurse they find to be skilled or knowledgeable could or should be a physician, or kiddingly address such a nurse as if he were a physician. Although nurses appreciate compliments, many nurses view these usually innocent comments as unhelpful to the profession. Nurses work together with physicians to restore and maintain health. But nursing is an autonomous profession with its own theory, scholarship and clinical practice areas. Nurses are not junior physicians or physicians' assistants, and few nurses wish to become physicians. In fact, nursing has its own "doctors:" nurses with doctorates in nursing.
In many cases, these statements reflect a common stereotype that a health care worker who displays significant knowledge or technical skills must be a physician, since nurses do not have such qualities. When it becomes obvious that a particular nurse does have such qualities, it is not surprising that many conclude she must be exceptional, which does not conflict with their larger pre-existing ideas. The challenge is to help the public see that knowledgeable, skilled nurses are not the exception, but the rule. Breaking down this part of the nursing stereotype could also help persuade more bright, motivated people to enter the profession and relieve the current shortage.
Not all elements of the common nursing stereotype are negative. Many regard nurses as notably trustworthy, caring and patient-focused. However, we are still waiting to hear about a physician who displays these qualities being told: "You could be a nurse!" Of course, given the wide disparity in status between physicians and nurses, such a statement would be virtually impossible today. And we are not suggesting that it should be made; it could reflect negative stereotyping of physicians.
personally i think it would be most complimentary if a physician was told "you should be a nurse."
it's not even comparing apples to apples in terms of educational achievement or 'prestige', yet i feel honored to be nsg and agree that doctors prescribe/treat while nurses nurture and heal.
Whenever someone mistakes me for the doc I laugh and say "Oh, my, don't demote me!" and just make a joke of it.
Nursing and medicine are two distinct philosophies and disciplines. You know that, and you know that you are not a "junior doctor".
People are just ignorant. Don't worry about it.
lay people tend to view health care personnel as if we were all arranged along one lonnnng spectrum, with length of education determining our placement. they don't understand that health care is more like a tree with diverging branches.
docs tend to fight against sickness, defect, and injury. nurses tend to fight for their patients. different focus, different tasks, same goal--a good outcome for the people who need all of us.
Let me humbly and honestly say that I used to have this attitude. I did. :imbar
Then I ended up on the other side of the fence (as a patient in ER) and discovered nursing. I was, and remain, blown away by the myriad of possibilities available in nursing that just don't equate for medical practitioners. And don't be fooled by the so-called academic jump. I'm learning quick smart that in this day and age you not only have to have the "book smarts" but street smarts as well. Not everyone lasts in the world of nursing and there's a reason for that.
Prepare to be challenged.
I look at it this way...we as nurses care for and make the patient get well. The doctor just gives a diagnosis and tells the nurse what to do. Not that i'm looking down on physicians...they do a lot. I did consider going to medical school...for a brief second. :chuckle I don't think as nurses we should be looked down upon. Some people don't want to spend 10+ years in continuous college just to get 1 degree. At least with nursing we have options. We can start out as LPNs or diploma or degree RNs...work our way to a BSN and then our masters...and even a doctorate. There is just a lot more options in nursing...I think. I'd rather focus on caring for the patient then diagnosing them.
this is my answer. i may be a little harsh on physicians, but this is what i say:
'instead of spending over a decade in school, racking up tens of thousands of dollars in debt, and risking my patients' lives all through residency, when i'd be working for several days with no sleep, i decided to go into nursing instead. nurses are the ones who actually deliver most patient care; we practice independently, and we have more opportunities to influence our patients' lives. i can do all of this- and make as much, or more money- in a fraction of the time and cost of medical school.'
yes, i'm biased. but most people, after hearing my rationale, say, 'wow, i didn't realize what nurses actually *did*. that makes sense.' also, i was already 31 before i started nursing school, so the time in school argument is more applicable for me, perhaps, than you, but the gist of it is the same.
good luck, and don't let the opinions of others influence your choices in life!
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