From administering medication to educating patients on physical therapy strategies, your decision to enter a career in the health care industry means that you will play a meaningful role in saving lives. With a career in nursing, it can even go beyond basic patient care.
However, so often the role of the nurse is misunderstood. It’s important to get rid of the false stigmas of what the profession will be as you think about going into the field. Read on to see a glimpse of three common misconceptions about the nursing profession.
MYTH #1: THE PROFESSION IS ONLY FOR WOMEN.
While it is a profession dominated by women, nursing is not only for females. In recent years, the percentage of males in nursing has risen and, in some states, men have even started to outnumber women.
With its flexible schedule and daily challenges and successes, the job can be rewarding for both women and men.
MYTH #2: NURSES ARE NOT RELATIONAL.
As a nurse, you constantly build relationships with patients and their family and friends. Doing the job does not mean you leave your compassion and empathy at the door.
Paulette Heitmeyer, chief nursing officer at Marina Del Rey Hospital in California, believes compassion is the “essence of nursing.” In the article entitled Nurses’ Compassionate Care Affects Patient Outcomes, author Debra Wood incorporated this quote from Heitmeyer:
Compassion allows a patient to feel cared for, respected and trust that the nurse has his or her best interest in mind. When patients feel that a nurse truly cares, they begin to allow you in, offering the small details that may lead to a diagnosis, or information that could help you better care for him or her.
MYTH #3: NURSES ONLY WORK HOSPITALS.
As an aspiring nurse, you may think you will never see beyond the four hospital walls. However, nursing can be a versatile career that reaches beyond traditional hospital settings. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics places only 61 percent of nurses in state, local and private hospital care.
There is much more to the profession than working alongside doctors. With opportunities in clinics, schools, nursing homes and more, you will be able to find the place that is right for you.
As a nurse, you will also have ability to obtain a master’s or doctoral degree. With a higher degree, you can take advantage of more job opportunities, increase your income and specialize in a particular area of the field. In addition, an advanced degree helps qualify you to educate others entering the field.
Don’t let the myths about your future career steer you away from entering a field where your strength in showing empathy toward others gives you the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.