Nursing Image - page 3

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   liberalrn
    Wow! So many good answers and reasons! I have thought for a long time that a major reason for the "image" problem is that the public just doesn't want to acknowledge what healthcare is really all about--DYING or the prevention of. May sound crazy, but the many laypeople in my life always get uneasy when hospitals or medicine is brought up. The depth of ignorance present in even college educated folks re: their health etc. is flabbergasting. I think that disease and illness make people feel vulnerable and so they dismiss the topic and the entire profession. We've all had the pts who have confused their unit w/ a resort or luxury hotel, the nurses w/ massage therapists/waitresses/personal assistants etc. I'm to the point where I'm convinced that the vast majority of the public DON'T want any personal responsibility for their health or prevention of disease.....sorry am straying from point! Bottom line: MD is the "sexy" one because of power structure...very dramatic ("ER" anyone?) to shout orders; very scarey and anxiety-provoking to watch those orders carried out!
  2. by   fab4fan
    Ha, ha...Wendy's comment about coffeemaking reminded me of something that happened to me as a new nurse.

    I worked in a psych unit, and we basically had two docs. The one, a female, no less, comes into the room where the coffemaker is and sees that the pot is empty. She turns to me and says, "Fab4fan, would you make some coffee?" So I say, "Are you asking me as a friend, or are you asking me because you see that as a nursing function?"

    She said, "Oh for godssakes, I'll make the coffee..."

    Anyway, back to the original question. I think pts want nurses to be part saint, part hooker, part Florence, part handmaiden, part genius.

    I do try to speak out when I see the media negatively portray nurses. But look what happened on a recent thread about the show "Scrubs." People said to not take things so seriously, "it's a comedy." Well, nurses have been the punchline too long, and what's happening now is not funny.
  3. by   fab4fan
    Originally posted by catrn10
    They called that unit Silicon Valley....and it had nothing to do with computers.....
  4. by   kavi
    Most interesting thread. And I've been trying to read it from four perspectives:
    1) As a former hospital patient years ago.
    2) As a former Medical Assistant
    3) As an EMT
    4) As a nursing student

    1) When it comes to confusion about who the nurses are in a medical situation, I have been there. Now this was back more than ten years ago, at least.
    But as a hospital patient with various people coming in and out of the room, I could never figure out which ones
    were the nurses. There was NO clue by the way they dressed. IF they had a name badge on, half the time I couldn't read it. And back in the days before I was interested in medicine, I didn't have a clue what the different initials stood for anyway.

    Yes, I'm sure the Nurse's introduced themselves to me. And sometimes I did remember. But in a cycle of three different hospital stays (each lasting about a week) I was (a) too distracted by my own pain/problem to remember who was who.(b) too confused by the large volume of people coming in and out (c) always bad with names anyway.

    2) I worked as Medical Assistant in a small clinic and ran into the same problem. However, if anyone ever called me 'nurse' or confused the situation, I made it very clear what my role was. Once again, we were all expected to 'dress' alike. I don't blame patients for being confused. But at least I felt it was my duty to set them straight.

    And I don't for one minute believe that everyone should go back to white caps etc.
    So what's the answer? I don't know. But I think Nurse's do NEED something that easily identifies them as NURSES for patient's who don't know, aren't thinking clearly, not able to read or understand name badges, etc.

    Yes, how we carry ourselves should be important. But remember, women doctors are often mistaken for nurses. Male nurses are often mistaken for doctors. So it's more than just a positive attitude that is required.

    As far as being an EMT---I have tons and tons of hours of education, on the job skills, and take my job very seriously. I save lives or often times save them from more permanent injury. Yet most people refer to me as 'the ambulance driver'. There is a huge dropout rate when people begin EMT classes because people assume it's just first aid. There's no appreciation for all we learn unless you work in the field, or know people who do. I think nursing is a profession that has the same problem.

    As an EMT I've spent seven years in many bloody, messy situations. I've knelt in people's brains, I've choked on their vomit while trying to do CPR, dealt with people lying in their own feces, and so on.

    Yet, when I tell people I'm going into nursing, I get the comment: "Oh gosh, you mean changing bedpans and stuff? How gross, why would you want to do that?"

    Of course since they think I'm just an ambulance driver......
    The irony----I guess they just don't know.

    I like the idea of a good television show. I've heard countless cops say the only TV show that ever came close to what it's like to really be a cop was "Barney Miller". So maybe instead of a 'reality' show, we need a "Barney Miller" for nursing.

    As far as clothing or identifiers, anyone have any thoughts on that?

    Last edit by kavi on Feb 9, '03
  5. by   frannybee
    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!
    Since when have modern nurses had time to be sat down when the physicians come around anyway????
  6. by   Jamesdotter
    As far as clothing or identifiers, anyone have any thoughts on that? >>>

    Well, police have a big POLICE on the back of their shirts.
  7. by   kavi
    __________________________________________________ __
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    Well, police have a big POLICE on the back of their shirts.

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    :roll :chuckle :roll