There aren’t many examples of nurses in the media. Most television shows focus on the physician’s role in the hospital. And recent events have demonstrated that there are still people out there that have misconceptions of who nurses are and what they do. When people do think of nurses, the images are usually far from the truth…
- We are all sex Goddesses (or Gods). Have you seen a nurse lately!?!? Our scrubs are baggy, they aren’t low-cut and clinging to our bodies. A combination of stress and eating at odd hours of the day have made (most of) us gain a few pounds. For the female nurses out there, we may or may not have on makeup, depending on what part of the shift it is. If it’s the beginning of our shift, our hair and makeup might all be in place… but by the end of our shift our makeup is usually well on its way toward melting off. We may be too tired to have sex when we get home, much less think about it while we’re working. We aren’t licking needles in suggestive ways or holding our stethoscopes like make-shift handcuffs. We are efficient, we are task-oriented, and we will get the job done… but kinky is not the job we’re thinking about when we have on our uniform!
- We’re all female. This is so.not.true. Male nurses are everywhere, doing everything from assisting women in labor in OB, to triaging trauma patients in the ER, to putting lines in the tiniest of babies in the NICU. Male nurses are strong (like the rest of us). Ever heard of Tom Ahrens or Jonathan Elliott Asbridge? Probably not. But you probably have heard of Florence Nightingale. In England, nurses used to be called “sisters.” I’m sure all of this in some way or another has influenced our view of nursing as a female profession. But we are grateful for our male counterparts!
We’re subservient. Um, have you ever met a nurse? We are full of opinions, and we aren’t afraid to let you know what we think… that is, after all, part of our job! No one controls anything about us, especially what’s in our heads. We own our thoughts, and we are constantly analyzing data and critically thinking. It’s part of the gig. We do not blindly follow orders and cower at the thought of confrontation. We are driven by what’s best for our patients and our profession, and that gives strength to our voices. Many times, people view nurses as dependent on the providers they work for. This, however, could not be further from the truth. We work for our patients, and all of our thoughts and actions are independent of providers, or they’re collaborative. Nurses do not blindly carry out commands. We question orders, we question processes, and we question outcomes.