Nursing is one of the most well-known professions – yet it’s also one of the most misunderstood. Here are some of the most common myths and misconceptions about nursing – and the truths behind them.
All nurses do the same work
There are a few themes that apply to all levels of nursing: coordinating and communicating care, and advocating for and advancing the health of others. But that’s where the similarities end. There are many types of nurses, all with their own unique role in caring for patients and the community. To learn more, read The Different Types of Nurses.
Nurses only work in hospitals
Nurses work in a variety of settings – hospitals, doctors’ offices, public health departments, schools and even the legal profession. Within these settings, nurses perform a variety of duties that are not limited to caring for patients. A nurse’s career may start in a hospital, in one of many specialty areas, but the setting may change based on the interest of the nurse. The beauty of nursing is the flexibility of hours, shifts and limitless options of treatment settings.
Nurses are too busy to get to know their patients
Today, nurses are taking on more administrative duties and it can be challenging to spend as much time with patients. Nurses still find the time to get to know their patients while meeting other demands. For many nurses, getting to know their patients is one of the most rewarding aspects of the job.
Nurses only take care of patients
Patient care is a huge part of nursing. Nurses also collaborate with other disciplines within a hospital and work in nursing administration. Some nurses don’t directly care for patients and instead focus on research, quality or education. Nurses may even work in the legal field as expert witnesses.
Nurses are order takers and don’t make decisions
Part of a nurse’s job is to implement orders from a doctor. But nurses also do their own critical thinking and have a unique scope of practice. Doctors focus on the medical model, but nurses look at the whole person. For example, does a patient need additional resources to care for themselves once they are discharged from the hospital or what are the strengths of the patient that will help them reach optimum health? We look at the big picture and make decisions about care accordingly.
Only women can become nurses
Twelve percent of registered nurses are male, up 3% from 1970. That number is expected to increase another 7% by 2029.
Anyone can become a nurse
Nursing is a calling – it’s not something you go into for financial gain or because you think it’s a prestigious profession. Nursing school is demanding and takes academic and clinical acumen. The most successful nurses are the ones who want to make a difference in people’s lives and are willing to stand with individuals and families in their darkest moments to help them get back on their feet. Nursing is extremely rewarding and continues to be the ranked as the most trusted profession by Gallup polls.
Nursing is an easy job
Nursing is a rewarding profession but it can be demanding. At Edward-Elmhurst Health, we support each other and are dedicated to a team approach. If someone has a heavy load, we all pitch in to help. It’s important for healthcare workers to support each other because people who aren’t in the field don’t always understand the challenges.
Nursing at Edward-Elmhurst Health
The Edward-Elmhurst Health nursing team provides clinical expertise and collaboration that’s second to none. Our nurses are empowered to provide the best care, so patients can experience better outcomes. To learn more about nursing at Edward-Elmhurst Health, visit us online.