Perceptions of Nursing and Midwifery

I was a young boy in a deprived mining community - Why would I want to be a nurse?...

Increase visibility and celebrate our successes!

Describe your story ...

Growing up as a young boy in a deprived mining community, nursing never really crossed my mind... That was probably because of a lack of visible nursing role models in the community. Also, it wasn't seen as an "acceptable" career for a man, with many of my friends pursuing careers in factories, construction or other pseudo-macho professions.

My only real experiences of nurses seemed to fuel my perception of a female dominated workforce, who wore uniforms and worked in a hospital... I never knew my school nurse, but why would... I was just your typical run-of-the-mill teenage boy.

I stumbled across the vast spectrum that is nursing whilst studying social work! It was here that I experienced mental health nurses, district nurses, learning disability nurses, school nurses and health visitors! I seen the fantastic work that they did and the real differences they made to communities... I was dumbfounded, I never knew that nursing was so diverse and fun! Maybe if I had of known this in my teenage years I would've pursued nursing sooner!

Even during my time at university my knowledge of nursing was limited! Despite collaborative modules between my course and other health and social care courses...

Education is key to highlighting future career choices and promoting professions... My career day consisted of 6 stalls in a breezy sports hall - Army, Navy, Teaching, Plumbing, and I can't remember the other two, but it's funny how these things stick out in your memory.

Now as a fully-fledged and proud nurse I aim to promote our diverse and rewarding services to all, those of any age... I take exceptional pride in role modelling in schools and tackling some of the misconceptions of nursing. At my Sunday league football club I am our first aid master, at my son's gymnastics class I am a nurse, walking through the supermarket... I am a nurse. The best way to highlight and showcase what we do is by making people aware of our existence, be that through social media, role modelling, or general chit-chat on the public transport - Every opportunity for communication is an opportunity to raise awareness and promote our profession.

For too long we have chosen to not really celebrate our successes as it is just "what we do"... The day-to-day is the norm for us, improving health is what we do. In times of austerity and cuts to nursing services it is now time to get away form the modest nursing image, we are leaders! Let's showcase our talents and inspire future generations of nurses! 

 

Lynnette Leman 6 months ago

Status label added: 5. Valuing diversity

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