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How My Understanding of the Nursing Profession has Changed Over Time

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The image of nursing has been changing over time. For instance, before being admitted as a student I had plenty ideas of what it was to be a nurse. Ultimately, those ideas faded, and the sheer reality settled upon those preconceived ideas. People tend to picture nurses in many ways. For instance, they might see nurses as angels; or as the stereotype of “sexy nurse”, and although it does not apply to male nurses, it can sometimes be seen. For male nurses, the stereotyping can be even worse, and many colleagues are depicted as effeminate, or less manly (Johnson, 2015).
With the time, many of those stereotypes have fallen behind, and people regard nurses as what they really are: Health professionals dedicated to saving lives, and maintaining health. In the same way, my image of the profession has changed after being in the profession. I know this might sound counter-intuitive, but since I started studying and having a hands-on knowledge of what is to be a nurse, my image of the profession changed completely (Egenes, 2009). In the same way, many things have changed, and the media has also improved our image in the media, and the image of “naughty nurse” has been steadily disappearing from the media (Cohen, 2007).
The profession has seen many changes in the past fifty years, and we have seen many improvements in the profession. Those days when nurses were merely helpers or assistants to doctors are over. As I said before, nurses are now professionals in their own right, most of the times nurses have a better overall idea of the patient’s overall situation that the doctors might not have.

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That makes nurses incredibly valuable and appreciated. In complete honesty, I think that the popular culture is guilty of the perception of nurses and their work. But if the trend reverses as it has been doing, we will be able to be seen as we really are, hard-working professionals that really like what they do, and the shortage of people in professions related to nursing, will diminish (Mee, 2006).
References
Cohen, S. (2007, May 11). The Image of Nursing – American Nurse Today. Retrieved from http://www.americannursetoday.com/the-image-of-nursing/
Egenes, K. (2009). “History of Nursing.” Issues and Trends in Nursing: Essential Knowledge for Today and Tomorrow. Jones & Bartlett Learning. Print.
Johnson, S. (2015). “How Has Nursing Changed and What Does the Future Hold?” The Guardian 17. Web. <http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2015/mar/17/how-has-nursing-changed-and-what-does-the-future-hold>.
Mee, C. (2006). Painting a Portrait: How You Can Shape Nursing’s Image. Retrieved from http://www.nsna.org/Portals/0/Skins/NSNA/pdf/Imprint_NovDec06_Feat_C_Mee.pdf

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