January 06, 2020

The Image of a Nurse as Perceived by the Society: A Call of Reformation for Professional Building- By Isikadi Precious

nurses image among the society

It is indeed a sad thing that nursing which is one of the oldest profession and since inception a noble profession have become a profession to be made mockery of, it is despondent to know that a nurse, who as a professional in the healthcare system was envied by her counterpart have in no doubt become a laughing tool not only in the eyes of other healthcare professionals but also in the sight of the society. This is because nurses have failed to carry themselves with integrity and maintain the status quo of which the profession was built and to work and maintain the nurse code of conducts that guides the behavior of the nurse and the practice of nursing.

Devaluation of nurses by demeaning or comical images only extends nursing shortages and further discourages young and talented people from entering the nursing profession.

The focus of this article is “reduced nursing policy development” inclusive of “nurse negative behavior” as an underlying explanation for poor image perception of nurses by the society and with few suggestions of possible solutions in which the image of nursing can become congruent with the actual role, the nurse play in our today society.

The image of a nurse in our today society is likened to a cloth that was washed neatly, then hung to dry, and after some period of time falls down into a pit of dirty water on the ground. The nursing profession has been a respected profession highly esteemed by the society in the early days and the image and standards of nursing was carried with dignity. It is high time we come to our senses as nurses and ask ourselves both moral and professional questions, the time has drawn near for we nurses to become an agent of change in the society, we should ask ourselves questions like; is this the kind of respect I will like to have in the society?, is this the kind of impart I will like to make in the society?

The negative images of nurses such in the 2018 film “Corrupt Nurses” that was depicted in the Nollywood are still in prevalence. But such erroneous portrayals of nurses in the name of entertainment show negative depictions of nurses. And nurses ought to educate the society about who a nurse is to prevent professional devalue, but nurses have failed in doing so.

The nursing profession was highly respected by the society in the early days of the profession and the image and standards of nursing was carried with dignity by our founding mother Florence Nightingale popularly known as the lady with the lamp for the undeniable role played in the treatment of wounded soldiers during the Crimea war. Florence Nightingale started and pioneered modern nursing and today the international nurses day is celebrated in honor of her birth and the nightingale pledge which is taken by fresh nurse graduates as a pledge to uphold the integrity of the profession and not forgetting the nightingale medal award which is the highest award given to individuals who have contributed immensely to the growth of the nursing profession. All these happened because Florence Nightingale held tight the good name of the profession and thus was respected and because of this the society viewed nursing as a great and noble profession. 

What are you going to be remembered for? Will other professionals because of your behavior value, respect and honor the nursing profession? Will the society talk good about the image of the profession because of your professional standards? Or will the society know you as that nurse that wears a dirty uniform? Or because of your bad behavior and poor nurse-patient interaction will the image of the profession be belittled? Or will the people that live around you know you as that nurse that wears a short and tight uniform? Because this has become something that have lived in the minds of individuals, and the society have carried it long ago because this is what the social media tells them, this is what the movie industry shows them, Hollywood, Nollywood and other digital platform have made the society to see nurses as an undisciplined profession, all in the name of entertainment. Or do we think this is not leaving an impression in the mind of the society? It is high time we correct the impression about nurses and take nursing to greater heights; it is high time we do a check on our behavior, our attitudes, and our professional norms. It is time we pick up the NMC code of conducts, the ICN nurses code of conducts and look at it to help put us in remembrance of our professional culture, how we ought to act among our patients and colleagues.

How can the society understand the role of the nurse? How can nurses increase and promote their professional image? It is no longer a new thing that the society questions the role of nurses in the clinical setting, the nurse is perceived by the society as healthcare personnel who only administer injection, and it is also seen as physician servants. These have in one way or the other devalued the professional image of nurses.

The America Nurses Association (ANA) has displayed the professional role of a nurse in the statement “Nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations.

How then can nurses increase their self worth and make the society to hold them in high esteem? 

These are some of the suggested ways to increase the professional image of nurses amongst society; (2) are mentioned bellow, they are as follows 

Patient interactions: like the popular adage ”That first impression lasts long” it is required of a nurse that the first minute that a patient meets you, you should be ready to display professional maturity, respect, listen and if need be encourage the patient. Don’t rush the patient allow the patient to trust and confide in you, and show confidence in him or her.

Professional interaction with the public: it is the responsibility of the nurse to always pass the right information about nursing to the public, the nurse should always be ready any time he or she is asked about what nursing is all about, to educate them about who a nurse is, the education needed to be a nurse and the role of the nurse in the society. We should all remember that the change starts with us and we should always be ready and always respond professionally anytime anywhere it is required of us.

These highlighted steps will play a significant role in the nursing profession in creating and propagating a future image. Therefore every nurse should continue to display professional role-modeling and provide public enlightenment on what the role of the nurse is to empower the professional image of nursing.

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Founder/CEO Isikadi Precious Media Inc. Africa's leading Media Tech company with digital media Superbrand focused on Health, Nursing Updates, News, Entertainment, and Inspiration.

1 comment:

  1. I like your article, it is superb, I salute u. Yes evreveryth u said in that write is pure truth but, may I add that even though we succeed in remoulding our attitude or behaviour persay, the image of nurses and nursing profession will still be something else as long as auxiliaries are concern. I am currently sacked fromy working place, after setting of eye clinic for the hospital in a hospital down here in Imo State, and an auxiliary was fixed there to replace me. The hospital is one of thise that train auxiliaries using us nurses (and it's compulsory) if u refuse, u are sacked. Infact people with inside and out side call the hospital a brothel in disguise. Yes, the way doctors (including the MD) sleep with these auxillary giving ng them wings to deal with us the professionals and the rate at which the professional are sacked is skyrocketting. I have even wriiten to nurse on air but no response. My dear,to me first of all we have to write a challenging article against our ogas in COUNCIL that place is the heart beat of profession but they are not functional at all except in dealing with us that are coming up and increasing licensing fees. If they don't fight for us, they are not with us.