Most professions have at least one stereotype or illusion that come along with it; for example, most people assume construction workers are men, and only women work in day care centers. Sometimes these myths have a certain level of truth behind them, and other times they are completely ridiculous.
Well, if you’re a nurse, you’ll know that people have tons of assumptions about you’re job. Here are 6 of the most common nursing myths that need to be debunked (right now!):
Myth 1. Nurses do whatever the doctor tells them to do.
Let’s get one thing straight, nurses do not work FOR physicians, we work WITH physicians. Despite every portrayal of the career on television, doctors actually depend a lot on nurses’ observations and knowledge when they’re not with a patient. Most movies and TV shows render nurses to be a mere servant for a physician who is yelling commands, but let’s be honest, we all know that isn’t true.
Myth 2. Nurses didn’t make the cut for medical school.
It never fails that that one family member will ask “why you didn’t just become a doctor” over a holiday dinner. Calmly explain that a nurse and a physician are two completely different careers, and you take two very different paths to become educated for these careers. And if you’re feeling feisty, don’t be afraid to point out that that remark can be rude and off putting.
Myth 3. All nurses are women.
Like, really? It is 2016 and this myth should’ve died YEARS ago. Despite being a female dominated field, male nurses are becoming more and more prevalent, especially in certain specialties. About 1/8 of registered nurses are male, whereas 41 percent of nurse anesthetists are men. So, there you have it… not all nurses are women.
Myth 4. The whole “naughty nurse” thing has got to go.
I’m not sure where this came from, but when I think nurse, I don’t think of a scantily dressed, busty woman with bright red lipstick. I think of an extremely tired individual who is working his or her third 12 hour shift in a row, who’s too busy saving lives to worry about what their hair looks like… but you know, that’s just me. Drop the sexual connotation, and please, help wipe out this myth and never wear a scandalous nurse costume.
Myth 5. Nurses are maids there to wait on the patient.
No. Despite what many patients believe, nurses are not their to wait on you hand and foot. Part of our mission is to keep you as comfortable as possible (and alive), but we are not your maids. Most patients don’t need to call in their nurse every five minutes. Furthermore, please remember that at any given time, your nurse is taking care of 4 to 7 other patients, not just you.
Myth 6. Nursing positions are easy to get.
A national nursing shortage makes it seem like you might be able to get a job really easily, but the nursing field is actually extremely competitive. Students typically need to test into nursing programs, which is no easy feat. Furthermore, you can’t simply get a degree in nursing and become a registered nurse without completing and passing the necessary licensure exams. AND THEN, you can start your job search. If you make it this far, your future is promising, because nursing jobs are expected to increase by almost 30 percent within the next decade!
Let’s spread the word to get these myths out of nursing, so people can remember nurses for what they really are: compassionate, intelligent, hardworking, dedicated, resourceful heroes.