The general public has different perceptions and opinions about nursing as a profession. Some of these views are stereotypical and are tainted with misinformation. However, many people perceive nursing as a noble profession that involves a high level of selflessness. They believe that a nurse’s primary role is to provide care to persons who need it without discrimination. On the other hand, people assume that nursing is a field specifically designed for women, not knowing that male nurses contribute significantly to medical practice (Dickerson, 2015).
Several factors influence how the public views nursing. Firstly, the media portrays nurses’ image and their line of work that is far from reality. Nurses are usually depicted in a flirtatious manner with pictures showing slim figures and flashy dressing. This creates a flawed expectation of how a typical nurse should appear and behave. Past experiences with nursing also inform public perception. Experience is the best teacher, and it is only through this that people can form accurate opinions. The public can be educated about a nurse’s role and the scope of nursing in numerous ways. The media can be an instrumental tool to conduct mass education about who a nurse is, the educational credentials and level of training required to qualify an individual as a nurse, and the extent of practice (Yvonne ten Hoeve, 2014).
Dickerson, P. (2015). Changing Views: Influencing How the Public Sees Nursing. ALD Publishing, From https://www.nursingald.com/articles/13112-changing-views-influencing-how-the-public-sees-nursing.
Yvonne ten Hoeve, G. J. (2014). The nursing profession: public image, self‐concept, and professional identity. A discussion paper. Journal of Advanced Nursing, https://doi.org/10.1111/jan.12177.
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