Anyone can be a victim of stereotyping and nurses are not excused. In this fast-paced modern era, we have witnessed how the nursing profession has evolved simultaneously with modern advancements in science and technology. However, culture is deeply ingrained in an individual that certain misconceptions of people about the nursing profession have persisted over the years. Another factor is the fact that not all people have a first hand experience and accurate idea of what nursing is all about. It’s not just about being clad of that clean, white uniform and working in a graveyard shift; nursing and nurses are more than what meets the eye. And if you’re curious enough, here are the top 5 stubborn misconceptions about the Nursing profession:
1. “Ang nurse ay tagabigay LANG ng gamot at taglinis LANG ng poopoo”
Though a well-trained nurse will never contest the fact that she administers due medications and clean a patient’s ass, these are just tiny details of her overwhelming list of roles and responsibilities. There’s nothing wrong with that assumption but in reality, nurses didn’t study for four long years and survive a grueling board exam just to give meds and remove soiled linens for the rest of her entire career. Nurses are more than that.
2. “Ang nurse ay alalay LANG ng doktor”
This is probably one of the most obstinate (and degrading) misconceptions existing today. The picture of a silent nurse walking side-by-side with a doctor during patient rounds is often misconstrued. Nurses are often viewed as passive robots who just accept doctor’s orders and do it without any questions or clarifications. But as a vital part of the health care team, nurses are in the forefront of direct patient care and interaction. Nurses have high levels of analytical and critical thinking skills and they use these to make sure that they are doing the right things at the right person and at the right time. Nursing is an independent profession with its own body of knowledge and ethical standards that’s why they have the right to interact with the doctors in case they want to correct something or provide some valuable suggestions regarding patient care. The patient is actually their boss, not the MDs.
3. “Ang nurse ay palaging ALL-AROUND at MULTI-PURPOSE”
If you need anything, feel free to ask a nurse but make sure that you’re in the right time and asking for the right things. Nurses are usually busy attending to their daily tasks so never assume that they are always on the go to assist you whenever you are having issues with your television, water dispenser, faucet, radio, air conditioner, or soiled flooring. Remember, nurses can help you with those things but NOT ALL THE TIME. There are other hospital employees who are experts with those concerns.
4. “Lahat ng naka-white uniform at naka-scrub suit ay mga nurses”
My sister is a radiologic technologist (rad teach) while my brother is a medical technologist (med tech). Both of them work in the hospital and more often than not, unknowing people call them “nurse” just because they wear white uniforms or scrub suits like the traditional nurses they’ve been accustomed to. For the record, nurses nowadays have transformed already from the nurse who wears white dress and white nursing cap to various non-traditional looks of today. But you can’t blame other health care professionals if they wear the same things. At the end of the day, what they all care about is the patient’s safety and immediate recovery.
5. “Kahit sino pwedeng maging nurse”
Though there’s a truism to the idea that almost all people can get a nursing degree/title if given the right amount of time, intelligence, and money, there is still a fine line that separates a genuine nurse to a nurse who were just forced to be one. Everyone can be an RN but not all have the heart to serve and keep a life long career such as Nursing. It’s not enough that you have the ‘brains’ to have an edge in this profession because in reality, Nursing has three essential components: Knowledge (K), Skills (S), and Attitude (A). Nursing is a “calling” and this truth alone makes this profession perfect for the ‘chosen ones’.
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