Perceptions of Nursing and Midwifery

The Lady with the Pie Chart

I was once asked by a medical colleague why someone as smart as myself did not study medicine when I was clearly able. I responded by saying that I was happy being a nurse and had no intention in studying medicine. This displays the continued perception that doctors are smarter than nurses and we need to challenge this stereotype. We need to position more nurses in the media to challenge this image and be proud to show that our profession is amazing and smart! Florence was an incredible statistician as well as a nurse, so perhaps we need to start promoting some of the roles the public are unware of i.e. those in research and other settings (in addition to traditional roles).  

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edited on Jan 27, 2018 by Jamie Waterall

Wendy Nicholson 10 months ago

Thanks Jamie - I have never seen myself in comparison with a doctor - we all bring a different skill set and knowledge base - I think Florence taught us about influencing through evidence, compassionate leadership

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Jamie Waterall 10 months ago

Totally agree Wendy and I had not seen this being an issue but clearly my medical colleague did and I think he is not the only person to think this way. In fact, I had a similar challenging discussion again today, with someone suggesting that Drs are more superior and senior to nurses, so perhaps this is a challenge. Keen to hear what others think.

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Wendy Nicholson 10 months ago

I guess I have been fortunate to work in respectful teams! It's what we bring to the care journey rather than our job titles

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Joanne Bosanquet MBE 10 months ago

I'm not intending to repeat the twitter discussions but I have had constant commentary throughout my professional life on my academic achievements. Every time I got a degree, my dad would ask me why I don't become a Dr?
Last year I was awarded an honorary doctorate. My acceptance speech more or less mirrored Baroness Scotland's, the university Chancellor. We both talked passionately about nursing leadership at every level and the need to professionalise further and be a community activist. My dad sat at the front and cried. 30 year after I started as a student nurse, he finally got it! I'll try and post the acceptance speech. It's the most proud I've ever been of myself. The world is our oyster if we believe enough.

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Zara Head 10 months ago

I have never felt compared to my GP colleagues, the roles are very different and mutually supportive. I do think the public view of our profession has changed in my 30 years and we are mostly seen as a profession in our own right. I genuinely love being a nurse

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(Account removed) 10 months ago

Smart is an interesting social phenomenon and very subjective. The issue is our understanding of power and structures that encourage and values binory opposites rather both and/or ways of knowing and connecting. We need everyone to support nursing and care in the community and embrace this opportunity to decide how to challenge prevailing dominant perceptions of nursing as well as showcase the range of options open to the nursing profession in the public sector.

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elizabeth frampton 10 months ago

When I started my nursing training in 1962 at Sheffiel dPre-nursing school I was one of many young girls who did not have the chance to go to University and so the only options were things like shop work, nursing or office work. I am a gregarious, caring, empathetic person and wanted to help people .These days if I was 17 again and doing my A levels for University I would not be doing nursing I would be either doing Medicine or Medical Science. I believe there is a role for nurses if they aspire to being Nurse practitioners or Nurse Specialists, but being a "dogbody" for doctors to order about is not my forte!. Nurses do not seem to get the dignity and respect they so richly deserve. I am now a patient and am having regular treatment for AF,but have noticed that the nurses are the ones running around and caring for patient needs,whilst the Junior doctors just sit at desks and give nurse orders for treatment. This was especially true when I had the misfortune to be in A&E on a trolley in the corridor in early New Year, I saw the Doctor for about 5 mins and 5 hrs watching nurses save lives! Once on a ward the same was true!

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Sue Haines 10 months ago

Agree and I too and have heard this and not that long ago, I have also heard stories from current student nurses of similar advice being given with some schools. The invisibility of nursing careers and the general lack of awareness and understanding of the diversity of roles that nursing offers, is a real challenge that we need to take action on nationally.

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Lynnette Leman 7 months ago

Status label added: 6. Inspiring & supportive Lead

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