Correcting Misconceptions about the Nurses and The Profession

Over the years, a lot of myths about nursing have been brewing around the globe. People have regarded nursing with some mistaken notions and have never even bothered to verify the truth about what they believe in. Below are some misconceptions of the general public about nurses and the nursing profession and some insights on what nursing really is.

Nursing involves people doing menial tasks

A lot of people think that nurses’ job is only focused on administering medications and performing other menial tasks such as cleaning patients’ butts, taking vital signs and measuring urine output. Well, we don’t really deny that cleaning up after our patients have defecated. We actually do, but my dear readers, our work is not only limited to those tasks. Those are just small details of our overwhelming list of roles and responsibilities. Take for example, when measuring urine output, it is not just as simple as collecting the urine of the patient, we also have to take note on the amount, consistency, color and other characteristics. We are to note any changes and deviations on patient’s vital signs and take necessary nursing interventions in order to address the problem. We did not endure four years of burning candles in nursing school and a year of preparation for the board exam just to take vital signs. We are capable of more than just that.

A nurse is only the doctor’s assistant

We, nurses, have to disagree on this one. We are not assistants of doctors who only act on their command. We are viewed by the public as people who only follow doctor’s orders like robots without question. It is like they believe that without doctors, nurses can’t function or even know what to do. Actually, we work hand-in-hand with them as well as all the other members of the health care team.

We, as professionals like them, are required to think and act critically and collaboratively with other health-care providers to ensure that we are doing the right things correctly and at the right time. With the fast-growing convolution of health care, each member portrays a vital role in ensuring good quality of care rendered to patients. Nursing is an autonomous profession having its own body of knowledge and ethical standards. We nurses also have the right to interact with the doctors in case we want to clarify and correct something or if we have some relevant suggestions when it comes to patient care.

Only females are allowed to become nurses

No no. It is sexual stereotyping to think that only females are capable of becoming good nurses. These past few years, there has been a steady increase in the number of men joining the profession in various countries around the world.

Nurses are always the people in white

With the emergence of various health care demands, the nurse’s uniform evolved and has undergone a lot of changes, nurses nowadays have transformed already from the nurse who wears a perfectly white dress and white nursing cap to various non-traditional looks of today such as scrub suits and the like.

Anybody can be a nurse

Most say that almost all people can get a nursing degree/title provided he/she is given the right amount of time, intelligence, and money. However, that is not entirely true. Everyone can be an RN but not all have the heart to serve and keep a lifelong career such as Nursing. Remember, nursing is not a job that can be joked about. In this profession, we deal with lives. It’s not enough that you are smart to succeed in this profession. To be a successful nurse, you must possess the “KSA” or three essential components: Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude. They say, Nursing is a “calling”. This is particularly true because if you have the willingness to serve and care for people as a nurse, you can succeed in this challenging profession.

“Never judge a book by its cover” is a cliché used for like hundreds of times already. Stigma continues to surround the nursing profession with the various misconceptions that are continuously being thrown at them. However, nurses must not let these affect the quality of care they provide to their patients. Instead of sulking around the corner because of these false impressions, let us think more positively. Let us continue rendering excellent health care services to those in need, prove the people wrong and continue to be proud that we are Nurses: the modern day superheroes.


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14 thoughts on “Correcting Misconceptions about the Nurses and The Profession

  1. The only menial task are the ones we refer to as such. While there are many components to the art of nursing, we can’t overlook that everything we do for our patients is important. We don’t need defense, but confidence and a belief in who we are. You may view a sponge bath as menial, an annoyance, but a dedicated nurse will see it as giving comfort to their patient which has it’s own physical and emotional rewards. Keeping the focus on your patient will help you see there is no job too small or unimportant.

  2. Nurses themselves have contributed to projecting the profession as an exclusively female profession, or how else can one justify the so many posters and adverts that carry the images of female figures, evidenced by the images on this link.

  3. As a Dr I couldn’t agree more. I trust my staff 100% and on many occasions learnt valuable lessons not taught in textbooks. As my professor said on my first day internship. “Respect and protect your nursing colleagues as they will teach you, guide you and save your sorry ass for the rest of your career!” Best heads up ever.

  4. Each of the tasks that we do can be “caring moments.” These tasks allow the nurse to spend valuable time with the patient; and , they also offer the opportunity to assess the patient -which is critically imporant. This time can be used to provide the patient with physical and psychological support. It is also the opportune time to truly employ the nursing process. Never underestimate the importance of the seemingly small tasks.

  5. Evidence based practice doesn’t compromise on knowledge. The nurse is versed in all aspect of knowledge,the nurse knows the patient in totality(physically, psychologically,socially) & the complete science of living being.

  6. Saying anyone can be a nurse is like saying anyone can be a physician. There are entrance requirements for our professions to acquire our licenses and obtain our educations. Please refer to the practice acts of the state you live in.

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