Perceptions of Nursing and Midwifery

Blogging

Getting the voice of nurses and midwives through blogs

Please add your story below:

all nurses and midwives have a fabulous story to share and an abundance of expertise in their field; at public health England we encourage nurses and midwives to guest blog or to  write a blog with us; this is a great way of sharing expertise, giving confidence to those new to blogging and raising issues 

 

https://vivbennett.blog.gov.uk/

Zara Head 9 months ago

This is something new to me but certainly a way forward

Reply

Wendy Nicholson 9 months ago

Is it something you would consider?

Reply

Zara Head 9 months ago

Most certainly, I’ve enjoyed reading others blogs and I’d love to have a try myself. I enjoy a challenge so this may be my next one.

Reply

Wendy Nicholson 9 months ago

If you any help just shout !

Reply

Zara Head 9 months ago

Thank you Wendy, I think I’ll need all the help I can get, but we never stop learning so I’m up for the challenge

Reply

Wendy Nicholson 9 months ago

Great get in touch when you are ready!

Reply

Zara Head 9 months ago

Thank you Wendy, your support is much appreciated, I’ll have a think and plan how I’m going to start and I’ll be in touch

Reply

View all replies (6)

Lynnette Leman 7 months ago

Status label added: Decision makers

Reply

Lesley Bainbridge 5 months ago

What do nurses and midwives perceive nursing and midwifery to be? When the CNO newly formed ambassador team were asked recently they mixed their responses; answering sometimes from a professional perspective, and sometimes from the perspective of being a citizen.

When reflecting on the perception of both themselves & others as nurses and midwives, there was the expected reference to illness, and a strongly expressed frustration that media portrayal is hospital centric. There was an acknowledgement of nurses and midwives having an established hierarchy among themselves, whereby they revealed they have effectively formed their own stereotypes. This was reflected in comments such as ‘mental health nurses aren’t real nurses’; ‘learning disability nursing isn’t proper nursing’; ‘midwife, madwife - same difference’. They identified that older people’s nursing still isn’t an attractive career option and that some specialities are viewed as more prestigious. They were pretty easy about men in the professions, no longer feeling they were more likely to achieve the highest positions as in decades gone – but still saw the assumption that most of them were gay. Those working in education, policy setting and commissioning raged at the suggestion they were less than those in clinical practice, and then it dawned… nurses and midwives aren’t always nice to each other.

When reflecting on their own personal experience, most nurses and midwives appeared not to have been ‘called’ to the profession, nor did they feel like angels or a doctor’s handmaiden. They couldn’t agree whether they were well paid or badly paid, but agreed they should be paid for what they do. They refuted the assumption you can’t be both clever and caring, instead concluding they were both. The scope of nursing and midwifery and the possibility of a lifelong career bringing ‘endless’ opportunities was highly valued, but it was acknowledged that maintaining work life balance required flexibility and compromise for some. They liked caring for well people as well as those sick, and were interested in analytics, research and growing nursing and midwifery knowledge; all of which they linked to professional status. They don’t all want to be doctors or marry doctors and they cited many occasions when they have ‘helped their medical colleagues out’. They do not feel powerless as individuals or feel they work without individual identity, but concluded if the image of nursing and midwifery isn't right then the profession as a body must take up the responsibility of changing it.

Changing perceptions will be difficult, as it’s hard for nurses and midwives to say what they’ve done at work all day - whether an academic researching educationalist, a regulator, policy writer, commissioner or a clinical practitioner. We can so easily fall into the trap of simply listing tasks, and this contributes towards us being seen as ‘just’ nurses and midwives - publicly perceived as doers, not thinkers. We therefore have to be able to vocalise our knowledge, our skills and our education. This cannot be at the expense of our wisdom however, and must reflect the fact that we are artists as well as scientists, and that our profession has a rich history. We must be united, and we must galvanise ourselves as nurses and midwives to be serious about our role as ambassadors - changing not only the public view, but having a deep understanding and single voice within our own professional groups.

Changing this perception of nursing and midwifery is in the hands of nurses and midwives. If we only remember Florence Nightingale telling us to be the doctor’s handmaiden, we will miss the fact she told us hospitals must do the sick no harm and that we must be learning all our lives. If we only remember Mary Seacole describing her lack of shame at being able, as a nurse, to give a ‘woman’s help’ we will miss the fact that she told us the cure grows beside the nettle. Nursing & midwifery is a rich, rewarding career where opportunity and satisfaction are available, but as a profession our internal narrative needs to change to reflect that, or public perception never will.

Reply

Share