Yes, I believe that way nurses are portrayed in the media has an impact on how patients see nurses as authoritative people. Nurses have been portrayed as kind and industrious in TV shows, movies, and ads, but not as powerful and autonomous. I believe that until last year, when nurses were thrust into the spotlight as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, the nursing profession was not portrayed as a prestigious vocation. One myth I came across was that nurses are physicians’ love interests (Huston, 2014). This stereotype of nurses having affairs with doctors persists to this day, as evidenced by medical dramas such as Grey’s Anatomy and House. This type of portrayal may have a negative impact on how our patients perceive and treat nurses. As a prospective nurse, some ways I can affect the public perception of nursing are to present myself professionally and to continue sharing with others what nurses actually do and how they contribute to a patient’s overall outcome.
It will be tough to change how nurses are viewed because misconceptions about them are already embedded in society. However, there are other approaches to promote nursing’s true image. This was clearly seen in the past year, when nurses were honored and praised for their unselfish efforts. Nurses, as I have stated, should act as ambassadors for one another. No one knows what a nurse does, except another nurse. As a result, it’s critical that we project confidence and pride in our chosen job.
Cleary, M., Dean, S., Sayers, J. M., & Jackson, D. (2018). Nursing and stereotypes. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 39(2), 192–194. https://doi.org/10.1080/01612840.2017.1402626