Why Are Nurses Given Such A Bad Rap Today? - page 11

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   warrior woman
    Quote from cheerfuldoer
    Mike and pooh54........I agree.

    Here we are nurses who take care of "the sick". The worst kind of sickness is the "unseen kind".........mental illness, emotional pain, financial stress, the loss of a loved one through death, divorce, or other means, pressures in the home, pressures about aging parents, pressures of raising teenagers, pressures of worrying about adult kids whom we can't control anymore..............there are MANY factors that affect our lives every day, and keep us up at night. We still have to work to survive, to pay the rent, the huge car payments, the electric bill, the groceries, buy clothing for the family......money is tight or nonexistent...no where to turn for help.................IF we keep these things in mind when we go to work each day, it will make it a little easier to listen better to one another, to offer encouragement to one another, and to know that in spite of all the day to day pressures we ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL are under, we can support one another as a unit to get through each shift. We simply must start caring more about one another. What effects one should effect the other. We are to be encouragers of one another. Most of all, we need to keep first and foremost in our minds that we are human and subject to human error, and the need for forgiveness on those intolerable days that we all have.
    Right On Renee!! So eloquently stated,and sooooooooo very true. As the old saying goes; A house divided against itself cannot stand. We must not only reach out to others, but not be afraid to claim our own nurturing. We all need it for our own health's sake.
  2. by   nursemike
    Quote from cheerfuldoer
    Mike and pooh54........I agree.

    Here we are nurses who take care of "the sick". The worst kind of sickness is the "unseen kind".........mental illness, emotional pain, financial stress, the loss of a loved one through death, divorce, or other means, pressures in the home, pressures about aging parents, pressures of raising teenagers, pressures of worrying about adult kids whom we can't control anymore..............there are MANY factors that affect our lives every day, and keep us up at night. We still have to work to survive, to pay the rent, the huge car payments, the electric bill, the groceries, buy clothing for the family......money is tight or nonexistent...no where to turn for help.................IF we keep these things in mind when we go to work each day, it will make it a little easier to listen better to one another, to offer encouragement to one another, and to know that in spite of all the day to day pressures we ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL are under, we can support one another as a unit to get through each shift. We simply must start caring more about one another. What effects one should effect the other. We are to be encouragers of one another. Most of all, we need to keep first and foremost in our minds that we are human and subject to human error, and the need for forgiveness on those intolerable days that we all have.
    I think we may be on to something. I don't mean to dismiss political activism or union organizing or public relations, but before any of that can mean anything, we need to unite with the nurses on one floor, for one shift, and care for each other.

    Pooh, I don't know where it is leading, but since starting nursing school, and in some part from these boards, I have felt a reawakening of some sort--a need to at least explore my spiritual side in greater depth. I've been praying more, even when I don't exactly know to whom or what I'm praying. I have real problems with parts of Christianity, but some parts of the Bible sure seem relevent, here.

    Another funny thing has happened, since I started school.
    I work with some great nurses--people I want very much to emulate. But, of course, not all nurses have equal skill, or even equal temperment, and before I started school, I could have named several I wouldn't let watch my cat. Lazy, inept, bad attitude--or all of the above.
    Now, the longer I'm in school, the less I know, and I find myself at work learning things I need to know from some of these same crappy nurses. Which isn't to say every nurse I know is a complete role model, but it's getting harder and harder to think of any who don't have something useful and important to offer. I have a feeling that if I could make that a part of my everyday practice, I could love this job.

    But, all kidding aside, I think the key is that we should care for each other, and ourselves, just as we care for our patients. Toward that end, I offer:

    Disturbed Mental process, related to delusional behavior, as evidenced by: wants to be a nurse.
  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I don't mean to dismiss political activism or union organizing or public relations, but before any of that can mean anything, we need to unite with the nurses on one floor, for one shift, and care for each other.

    I agree with this, i mean, there's a few people i know that complain about the way things are, yet ask them if they're doing something about it, the reply is "i don't have the time". Might not have the time (some don't), but did they even try?
  4. by   mattsmom81
    Quote from cblancke
    I think you are right. Nurses are getting more of a bad rap in the media and while related to "the Arnold's" side swipe, the root cause, at least in
    California, is that Nursing wages have finally increases to a level in keeping with nurses level of education and responsibilities! As a "recovering" accountant and now a nurse I am aware that when any element of society becomes more costly to employ, their profile as a "cost element/unit" rises along with pressure from Administration (this can be state gov, hospital, or clinical) to reduce costs.

    So what does that mean? It means that we are in the cross wires of media savvy business administration cost cutters - because after all, whether we like it or not - health care is run as a business. Nurses have historically been viewed as unquestionably ethical and principled and last of all self-sacrificing. The latter is unfortunate because nurses have tended to be reluctant to speak up and complain in public. Well, watch out we are increasingly coming in for a well orchestrated media bashing in order to diminish our hard earned public reputation so that our public bargaining power is eroded.

    Schwartznegger's attack was a classic technique to reduce the validity of the target's voice. The California skirmish was about reducing the ratio of patients to nurses for patient safety reasons based on sound scientific research. Schwartznegger characterized nurses "as a special interest group" and threatened to "kick our butts". Let's remember the governator is very media savvy; that, after all, has been the entire reason for his success. We can dismiss him as an ignorant bully but we ignore his media treatment of nurses at our own peril; there will be plenty of other "cost cutters" who will follow his lead.

    I believe in speaking up in public - a short letter to the editor of the offending paper, etc. will do it. It is up to us to make sure the public really understands what we do so we can be better appreciated and defend our professionalism. Many of these posts are wonderful snap shots of public misunderstanding of the nurse's role/responsibility at the frontiers between nursing and the public. Don't be shy speak up.

    Sorry this is so long -
    Cblancke

    Excellent post Cblancke...I had to repost it because I believe your message is soooo important; illustrating why it is important for nurses to show solidarity in correcting the misperceptions out there.

    Organizations like the Center for Nursing Advocacy are badly needed...wish everyone would join. Nurses need to exercise their voices: in person and in groups.

    I dream of a day professional nurses unite (like docs), show solidarity, and become politically proactive activists for our profession and the public. It is long overdue...and if we don't shape our destiny others will be happy to do so; continuing to deskill, denigrate and replace the nursing profession.
  5. by   BeachNurse
    Maybe I am joining the thread late..but I didn't know nurses got a bad rap either! All the time that I have been a RN I have felt highly respected by my friends, family, and most importantly, physicians that I work with. Of course I do not "slave away" at my particular job, because I chose a job that doesn't do that. I was fortunate enough to find a field that makes me feel proud and appreciated.

    The "pink collar ghetto" term really burns me up. I am not sure what they are getting at. Before I went to nursing school, I waited tables on weekends and my husband's meager enlisted Army salary just barely took care of the bills. After completing an associates degree, my income soared. Now what other profession offers that kind of opportunity? Nursing is hard work, and I think that nurses who are there because they want to be are willing to do it. Demand better pay, demand better conditions...that's fine..but if you don't like it at one place, then leave and go elsewhere.
  6. by   pooh54
    Quote from nursemike?
    I think we may be on to something. I don't mean to dismiss political activism or union organizing or public relations, but before any of that can mean anything, we need to unite with the nurses on one floor, for one shift, and care for each other.

    Pooh, I don't know where it is leading, but since starting nursing school, and in some part from these boards, I have felt a reawakening of some sort--a need to at least explore my spiritual side in greater depth. I've been praying more, even when I don't exactly know to whom or what I'm praying. I have real problems with parts of Christianity, but some parts of the Bible sure seem relevent, here.

    Another funny thing has happened, since I started school.
    I work with some great nurses--people I want very much to emulate. But, of course, not all nurses have equal skill, or even equal temperment, and before I started school, I could have named several I wouldn't let watch my cat. Lazy, inept, bad attitude--or all of the above.
    Now, the longer I'm in school, the less I know, and I find myself at work learning things I need to know from some of these same crappy nurses. Which isn't to say every nurse I know is a complete role model, but it's getting harder and harder to think of any who don't have something useful and important to offer. I have a feeling that if I could make that a part of my everyday practice, I could love this job.

    But, all kidding aside, I think the key is that we should care for each other, and ourselves, just as we care for our patients. Toward that end, I offer:

    Disturbed Mental process, related to delusional behavior, as evidenced by: wants to be a nurse.
    I agree with everything you've said, my own spiritual quest has come about because of .....age?, seeing the way we treat each other,etc. It's kinda tough but I've been educating myself about other religions,philosophies. Maybe what we need is to formulate a nursing philosophy that talks to our own treatment of ourselves as nurses. Everything so far talks about our care of the patient.
    As for others, yeah, I've been working hard to look seriously at each person's contribution to our profession and focus on that, but I'm only a beginner and geeesh, it's kinda hard sometimes! LOL. Call me "grasshopper." For you young'ns, that's from an old show...Kung Fu. :chuckle
  7. by   MryRose
    Nurturing each other was what I had in mind with this post.... but there were only three respondants.

    https://allnurses.com/forums/showthread.php?t=101879

    It would be nice if more nurses (and the people they have to work with) wanted to have a supportive environment.

    I'm beginning to think that nurses want to complain and hope someone else will makes the changes.

    It would take so little for there to be a difference..... as was stated earlier.... one shift, one floor or even one person can make a change.

    You have to work thru the shift anyway...... wouldn't it be a whole lot easier if you had a supportive team around you?

    Hugs!

    MaryRose
  8. by   BeachNurse
    Quote from MryRose
    Nurturing each other was what I had in mind with this post.... but there were only three respondants.

    https://allnurses.com/forums/showthread.php?t=101879

    It would be nice if more nurses (and the people they have to work with) wanted to have a supportive environment.

    I'm beginning to think that nurses want to complain and hope someone else will makes the changes.

    It would take so little for there to be a difference..... as was stated earlier.... one shift, one floor or even one person can make a change.

    You have to work thru the shift anyway...... wouldn't it be a whole lot easier if you had a supportive team around you?

    Hugs!

    MaryRose

    Well said..and I think that's why I love my job..we nurses SUPPORT each other and I also have support from my supervisor. Makes all the difference in the world.
  9. by   NancyJo

    the excuse in the past for putting women in these boring or low-paid positions is that they are allegedly "better" at caregiving and organizing groups.

    bored? i can't say that i remember the last time i was bored at worked. who has time to be bored anymore?
    i think we as a whole are appreciated. unfortunately some people are chronic complainers and never can be satisfied. these are the people who tend to be the most vocal. they are the ones who will tell anyone who will listen just how terrible their hospital stay was, (although they are your frequent fliers many times) even if you busted your butt to make them happy. they are the ones who fill out the post discharge surveys and we the nurses are the prime target as we spend the majority of time with them. they are the ones who complain that they had to wait for a cup of coffee and could care less that you were tending to a confused pt. who had just fallen and probably busted a hip. face it much of society has become more demanding and less understanding of just how our poor staffing affects our ability to meet the needs of all. the majority of pt.'s who are happy with our care will tell you how wonderful everyone was and how they noticed you were so busy, but always had time for them, then don't fill out the surveys or even speak out about us. most people are just more apt to complain and unfortunately i think people listen more to what is being said when it's negative.
  10. by   msingiz
    hey
    the last time i checked, according to Gallup poll conducted last year, nurses were among the most trusted people. with a rating above 80.
  11. by   RN4NICU
    Quote from msingiz
    hey
    the last time i checked, according to Gallup poll conducted last year, nurses were among the most trusted people. with a rating above 80.
    Unfortunately trust and respect often do not go hand in hand. People can think you are trustworthy and feel comfortable that you will not cause them harm BUT treat you as if you are lower than the dirt beneath their feet, only there to serve them (or grumble about how you make so much money just for for fluffing pillows, fetching water and passing pills and that you have no right to be complaining about silly things like safe ratios or mandatory overtime - GRRR!)
    Last edit by RN4NICU on May 5, '05 : Reason: clarity
  12. by   ISeeURN
    I had my own minor victory... I have been mainly working for one Hospital here for the last 4 years as an Agency RN in ICU. About 3 years ago, the then CEO came up with yet another award, "Achieving Professional Excellence" aka the APE award. (Sarcastically speaking: What were they thinking?).
    The Award turned out to be a MONKEY, dressed up in a Nursing Uniform, which got additional tools of the trade awarded by the recipient of this display. Shortly after starting this award, the CEO bought a display case, right next to the entrance of the Cafeteria and this monkey was grinning at everyone, visitors, hospital staff, nurses alike every day. I felt offended ( and maybe I am strange thinking this way), but what I saw was "Nursing" as a monkey business. I said something to some people, but the Award stayed, actually got a little monkey sister, as they handed out soo many "APE's".

    Yesterday. after 3 years they have finally removed the 2 monkeys. I had to personally thank the lady, who had actually only taken them out to make a Nursing History display. While I tried to explain my disgust with these apes, and why I felt offended as a Nurse her eyes got wider, she looked at me, and told me, you know what, I have never thought about it this way.
    I hope the dang things will stay in the closet forever, not to see daylight again - would make my Nurses Week this year...

    My point... if even the hospital administration portraits a nurse as a monkey (wondering what would happen if we would have a similar display/ "Award" for physicians for example)... do I have to be surprised about any "rap" Nurses may get?
  13. by   Plagueis
    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.
    I also think that while nursing is a respected occupation, there's still the public misperception that nurses don't need to know a lot to practice nursing, and that all they do is "hold hands and change bedpans." (Quoted from one of my friends.) I remember the movie Meet the Parents, and how Ben Stiller's character, who was a nurse, was ridiculed by his fiance's family because he was a "wimpy" nurse, and that he must not have been "smart enough" to go to medical school. I have also heard people say that nurses are people who are too afraid to go to medical school, and that women should aim "higher" and become doctors and engineers. These stereotypes, despite the fact that there is respect for nurses, hurt nursing by implying that nurses don't have any medical or techincal knowledge, nursing school is easy, and that all nurses do is hug patients, change bedpans, and put bandaids on people.

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