Perceptions of Nursing and Midwifery

Nurses Don't Just Work in Hospitals? by Zoe Carciente

My mother was a nurse and as a young child I thought nurses only worked in a hospital, until my mum became a school nurse, then I thought that nurses could either work in a hospital or as a school nurse.  I can only imagine that most of my school friends held the same opinion as me.

Now, over thirty years later, there doesn’t seem to be much difference in how school children view the roles of nurses. I have held conversations with some of the children at the primary school I am volunteering at and the recurring questions I have is whether I am going to work at that school as the school nurse, or will I work in a hospital, not one child has asked if there are other fields within nursing where I would like to work. When I questioned the children as to what else nurses do, I was met with silence. I asked the children if a nurse could run a ward (one answer was only under the direction of a doctor), or if a nurse could be a manager, an educator, a CEO, specialise in a chosen field, work in politics, the children looked amazed that there is more to nursing than what they initially thought.

It was during this conversation that I realised I have a job to do, I need to help change the opinions of school children, starting with the primary school I am currently volunteering at. I find presenting in front of a large group of people a challenge, an area that I’ve always found difficult, but to help change the perception school children have of nurses, I have challenged myself to be more outspoken and talk to school children about the future they can have if they choose to apply to university to study nursing.

I have already taken action, I have put forward a request to the school where I am volunteering to speak to the children during one of their assemblies, if I can plant a seed in just one person, I know I would have made a positive difference. Opening up the channels of conversation between nurses, student nurses and school children is an important part of the process to help change the perception of the scope of a nurse’s professional journey.

The daughter and son of this student nurse are becoming aware of the different channels a Registered Nurse can take and I hope they will become advocates for nurses and discuss with their friends at school the opportunities available within the nursing profession.


What inspired you to write this blog?

Speaking to primary school children, hearing first hand what they thought nurses did, made me realise that as a student nurse, I am in a position to help educate these children. 

What is your role?

Second year Student Nurse (Child) and a CapitalNurse Student Nurse Ambassador

What are your nursing and/or midwifery qualifications?

Second year Student Nurse (Child) 

edited on Nov 14, 2018 by Zoe Carciente
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