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Others' views of nurses

Posted
by Fraggle Fraggle (Member)

:angryfire I'm just discovering this now, as a student. I currently work in another field and no one has any experience with nurses, but they are reasonable college-educated people. So, I've just started my ADN program, have a good education behind me from when I was a few years younger, and am a pretty sharp employee (humble, too! :chuckle )

Now I hear:

It takes two years to become a nurse!? (yeah, more with pre-reqs!)

You are still in school? How long does it take to learn that stuff? (I dunno. It took you 4 years for your degree and you're always asking me for help.)

Nurses have to get degrees? (duh! and it's difficult too!)

You're so smart. Are you sure you want to go be a nurse?

So, are you learning how to take notes for doctors?

Don't you just want to hose those people down? (well, no I want to help them. Because I'm not a jerk, like you. Wait until you're 85 and incontinent.)

Regarding getting a MSN: Why wouldn't you just become a doctor? (i don't know. Why don't you become a lawyer? What? That's not your field, you say? )

jenrninmi, MSN, RN

Specializes in L&D. Has 11 years experience.

No, I really haven't come across the ignorance really. The people I know seem to understand what nurses do and the education it takes to be one. The one thing I DO seem to have to explain to quite a few people is that there is more than one way to become an RN. A lot of people around my area had no idea that you don't need a BSN. I have to admit, until I came to this board a year ago, I didn't realize that the diploma school or ADN were as good an education as a BSN. I've learned that a lot of the ADN schools are more difficult to be admitted to, and that diploma schools have LOTS of clinical hours. My program has a lot of clinical hours as far as nursing programs go, so I'm happy with that.

UM Review RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Utilization Management.

Don't you just want to hose those people down? (well, no I want to help them. Because I'm not a jerk, like you. Wait until you're 85 and incontinent.)

With an answer like that, I'm sure you're going to be a fantastic nurse!! Welcome!

You've stumbled onto one of the most perplexing problems of nursing--the general public really has no idea of what we do. But they need to know, because what we do is very important.

The book, "From Silence to Voice," should really be on every student's must-read list for the best information about how this situation happened and how to fix it.

Here's the website:

http://www.silencetovoice.com/

lil' girl, LPN

Specializes in LTC. Has 4 years experience.

How odd, most people that know that I am in nursing school are delighted for me and very supportive, and think I MUST be smart. They never ask the questions that you are talking about. Maybe some people don't have any manners or maybe they just don't know any better, or maybe they are jealous. I would try to come back with a really intelligent reply that is way OVER their head.

Altra, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency & Trauma/Adult ICU.

I hear ya, Fraggle ...

Some people will look down on this profession as messy, dirty, etc. etc. - whatever unpleasant label they choose. In the corporate world, no one dies, cries, bleeds or has pain.

You have to be able to brush it off and have pride in the meaningful profession you have chosen. Don't lose sleep over trying to convince them of the error of their thinking. ;)

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 27 years experience.

Even after being a nurse for 12 years, people still say to me:

"Oh I could never be a nurse - its too messy."

"How do you think amid all that noise?" (I work in the ER).

And my absolute favorie of all time:

"Is it like that TV show, ER?"

Curious1alwys, BSN, RN

Has 9 years experience.

I can relate to getting these questions. The only people that I have run into that think I am making a noble choice was the workers in my doctors office. Everyone else thinks I am crazy. Go figure. Remember, many people try to make themselves feel better by putting others down. In your examples it is just cleverly disguised!LOL!

I got so discouraged listening to people's (those outside and inside the profession) negative opinions that I eventually just decided NOT to listen or ask anymore. I have made my mind up that I just need to find out for myself, form my own opinion. If I let them get to me, I will never make it past Block 1. It is all in your mind! If I hate it, which is possible, I drop out and move to plan B, whatever that may be. Atleast I will know FOR SURE that it was not right for me!!

Janice

wonderbee, BSN, RN

Specializes in critical care; community health; psych.

From outsiders, I hear mostly respectful comments about the profession and about the educational path it takes to get there. I guess the one thing that gets me is when I hear the medical assistants in physician's offices referred to as nurses. The patients do it and so do the staff and the physicians in the offices. The patients really do think they are nurses. There was a thread on this a while back so forgive me for resurrecting this issue here.

I've had patients ask about nurses education.

I explained the different degrees. The response I sometimes get is, "wow you'd think nurses would need more than a two year nursing program."

My girlfriend's husband was losing his job. She was thinking of going to school--I suggested becoming a nurse. She said, "No thanks I don't like vomit and putting patients on the bedpan." It made me curious if she thinks that's all my job is. I didn't look further into her thought of nursing because I love what I do--and yes once in a while I remove a patient off the bedpan!!!

Even educated people can be ignorant. I guess we are all ignorant about something. You will encounter all types of prejudice when dealing with the public. I think you are learning that being a nurse means you have to project a professional image all the time because you never know who is watching you. Your attitude will go a long way in educating others!

Fraggle, please see my post in instructors make up words. I am sorry, but I have to agree with all the people outside the profession and the MDs. I believe most nurses do not present as educated and all the other education comments people expressed to you were correct. Generally, not the most difficult degree to obtain intellectually, it is all the incorrect rubbish that is time consuming and is churning out uneducated nursing people.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

How odd' date=' most people that know that I am in nursing school are delighted for me and very supportive, and think I MUST be smart. [/quote']

Me too. I've received nothing but positive comments and admiration from anyone who finds out I'm studying to become a nurse. In our community, nursing is a very respected profession.

All_Smiles_RN

Specializes in Cardiology.

Fraggle, please see my post in instructors make up words. I am sorry, but I have to agree with all the people outside the profession and the MDs. I believe most nurses do not present as educated and all the other education comments people expressed to you were correct. Generally, not the most difficult degree to obtain intellectually, it is all the incorrect rubbish that is time consuming and is churning out uneducated nursing people.

Speaking of sounding uneducated... :uhoh3:

luv2yoga

Specializes in Psych. Has 7 years experience.

Interesting, what I get is the horror story of why I/my spouse/my child/my sister/etc. withdrew from the nursing program. I don't think this is really all that common, but I've gotten several stories from people about how everything was going swimmingly and then the student had an absolutely horrific clinical experience with a horrible patient - usually it's gross, too - -- and that's when they said "this is not for me" and quit. The latest one was that a woman in her last semester of school went to visit an elderly patient at her home (which surprizes me, do we do that in clinicals?) and found absolute filth and disgusting smelly wounds relating directly to neglect. You know...feces and cockroaches...and worse...she went directly back to school and quit that very day.

The implication being that I must not know what I'm getting into, I guess!? I disagree...I'm not thinking this will be a bed of roses or anything like TV shows. I've worked as a volunteer at the ER so I see some reality. Not all of it (of course). Why do they feel the need to share this? Maybe it's just a story to tell, and I'm making too much out of it.

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