Question Description

The nursing profession may be viewed in several different ways. One factor that shows the nursing profession being viewed by the general public relates to television shows or movies and how those programs display nurses. One example of a television show, such as Grey’s Anatomy,shows doctors being heavily involved in patient care and doesn’t have any nurses as the main characters when in fact nurses spend more time with the patients than the doctors do. This creates an impression of doctors being the backbone of health care while nurses only follow doctors orders. These shows create a negative view towards nurses. One episode of Grey’s Anatomy involved one of the nurses sleeping around, and this nurse gave a sexually transmitted disease to one of the doctors. There are rumors that nurses and doctors sleep together in the hospital and most of those views come from television shows or movies and creates that negative image of nurses.

Another main factor of how nurses may be viewed comes from patient experience. Nurses could be as kind, caring and compassionate especially if a patient has been hospitalized and had a good experience. If the opposite occurred, and a patient had a bad experience with several nurses then that could perceive nurses as rude, inpatient, or thoughtless. Those factors of being treated excellent or being treated poorly or even in the middle can influence the general public. When patients who discharge with their family involvement, and had a positive or negative experience, then they all may tell about their time to others and overall can give the general public different views about nurses. When having no personal experiences with nurses, and then hearing others’ personal experiences then that creates an impression on those informed. Nurses need to always be kind, caring and compassionate towards their patients otherwise nurses will be viewed negatively. A major way to educate the general public regarding what nurses do is to be open and honest with patients regarding the job of a nurse. Hearing from a nurse about what the job entitles gives the best information directly from the source.

Another major way to educate the general public on the professional nurses’ role and scope of nursing within a changing health care system would be creating an educational video to display the message. “Nurses should work harder to communicate their professionalism to the public. Social media like the Internet and YouTube can be used to show the public what they really do,” (TenHoeve, Jansen, Roodbol, 2014). Social media has grown over the years, and would be one of the best systems to use to educate the public. Many of the public remain unknown of what nurses truly do, and when their only resource is television shows or movies then the public can’t expand their knowledge. There needs to be a change and that involves nurses taking initiative for themselves. “To improve their public image and to obtain a stronger position in healthcare organizations, nurses need to increase their visibility. This could be realized by ongoing education and a challenging work environment that encourages nurses to stand up for themselves,” (TenHoeve, Jansen, Roodbol, 2014). To increase nurses’ visibility, social media can be used as a positive platform to expand the public’s knowledge.

TenHoeve, Y., Jansen, G., Roodbol, P. (2014). The nursing profession: public image, self-concept and professional identity. A discussion paper. US National Library of Medicine.70(2):295-309. doi: 10.1111/jan.12177. Retrieved form

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