There are many, many myths out there when it comes to nurses and the nursing profession. It is important for the general public and future nurses, to understand that most of these myths are not true. I have either encountered people projecting these myths on to me or have fallen for them myself. So here are 7 myths about nurses I have compiled that is important for you to know!
Nurses really want to be doctors
If I had a nickel for every time someone has said things to my colleagues and I like, “You’re so smart! Why are you not a doctor?”, or “I bet you wish you would have been a doctor!” Most of the time it is meant as a backward compliment, but it is strange that this myth persists. Most nurses went into nursing to become, well nurses! There are some who go on to become doctors or nurse practitioners, and that is fantastic! Nurses can move on to become practitioners in their profession. Most nurse practitioners actually have a Ph.D.! They work as colleagues with physicians to meet patient care needs. There are many reasons why we chose to be nurses instead of doctors. Nurses spend more time with the patients, they have the opportunity to develop bonds with clients, and there are many opportunities in nursing! Nursing is a professional organization and professional career, that we are glad to be a part of. These are just a few of the reasons that this myth is not true.
Nurses just clean up…poop
I get this from family and random people ALOT. They seem to think a nurses job is cleaning up after people and that’s where it ends. Yes, we do clean up poop, but there is so much more to nursing. We administer medications, work with the doctor and multiple other departments, take off orders, start IV’s, draw labs, and the list goes on. Those are just some of the technical things we do. We are also strong patient advocates! Patients open up to us and we are able to try our best to get what the patient wants/needs. We cry with patients and family, sing, and dance! You never know what each new day will bring in nursing.
Nurses have the best schedule, they are off 4 days a week
Ah, yes! This was what I was most looking forward too! But those 3 day work weeks come with a price dearie! (That is my Rumpelstiltskin impression). Most of those 3 shifts will become a 14-hour shift. Then there is management calling you asking you to come in on your day off. If it was a hard, stressful shift, then 1 of those days off will probably be used for recovery! I do miss the 9-5 a little. I wouldn’t know what I would do with myself if my shift ended in 8-9 hours. It would probably seem lightning fast.
Nursing school is easy
It really baffles me that people still look at nursing as an easy degree. Nursing is usually up there in the top 10 hardest bachelors degrees. Not only is nursing school challenging, but you have to fight just to get into the nursing program. Many times there are entrance exam, point systems based on grades, and recommendations. Then they only take so many applicants! After you get in the program it doesn’t slow down or get any easier until the end. You have the BOARDS.
Learning is over once you graduate
Be prepared to graduate nursing and feel like you still know nothing. You will learn a lot more on the job. This is common because nursing is constantly evolving. For this reasons, healthcare providers have to be up to date on their evidence-based practices. There will always be new skills or medication to learn. When you sign up for nursing, you sign up to continue growing and learning all your professional career!
Nurses are the physician’s gopher
Okay, there are some days you are going to feel like the physician’s gopher. The truth of the matter is, we are all in this together and we are colleagues. If there are a lot of procedures that are done at the bedside on your floor, then you might have to set up the doctors supplies. That doesn’t mean you’re a gopher. You’re a team player! They have multiple people they are seeing on multiple floors. It would probably take them forever just to locate the supplies they need on your floor. Most doctors truly appreciate nurses and are great team players! When we all work together there are better outcomes for the patients and work is much more tolerable!
Nursing is a women’s job
This is one myth that stills hangs around, but it is slowly going away, I hope. I have worked with many nurses male and female! Every nurse is unique and brings different skills to the table. I think that it is great that our profession is expanding more and is open to both male and female. I’m not sure why people think nursing is a women’s job? It is a stereotype that is being broken, thanks to many wonderful male nurses!
These are the 7 myths about nurses that I have encountered! I am sure there is more. Feel free to discuss in the comments below! What nursing myths have you busted or even found to be true?