Nursing myths versus reality

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The truth about nursing

23/03/2021 By Ian

Nursing is a woman’s job, men are doctors

This is certainly one of the most common nursing myths. Women have always stereotypically been the caregiver and the reason why can be pinned down to numerous reasons. In layman’s terms, caregiving, being affectionate and possessing nurturing qualities are female traits. These also happen to be qualities needed for being a nurse. Other reasons include during the World Wars, women stayed home to treat wounded soldiers. They also cared for their families as the men went off to fight.

Not only is this misogynistic, but it can deter men from wanting to pursue their dreams of becoming a nurse out of societal fear.

Whilst the nursing sector is still largely dominated by women, this is sought to see change. There has been a large 50% increase in prospective male university students applying to study nursing courses. “Some 2,650 men applied for nursing and midwife courses”. This impact comes following a campaign released by the NHS titled We Are The NHS1.

Nurses only work in hospitals

Not everyone with a background in nursing is employed through a hospital. This is another very common nursing myth. In fact, there’s a vast number of routes which you can go down. These include undertaking a management position of other nurses and facilities. Below are some of the possible routes:

  1. Prison
  2. Schools, colleges, and universities
  3. Armed and emergency services
  4. Cruise ships
  5. Flight nursing on planes or helicopters
  6. Nursing homes
  7. Rehabilitation nurse

One of the many benefits of choosing a career in healthcare is that jobs are normally surplus. Help is always well received, especially with the current global crisis.

Flexible versus structured hours

Stated within the contract of an NHS nurse are the hours that they expected to work each week. These hours can vary dependent upon the position applied for. E.g. some nurses are hired on a shift or night pattern and others follow the typical 9am to 5pm working day.

At the Scottish Nursing Guild, you are in full control. You tell us when you have free time and what hours you want to work. We’ll then send the shifts directly to you. It’s simple really. If you have had a long day and what you really need is time with your family and a delicious home-cooked dinner, please do exactly that. But if you feel as though you have enough in you to work a shift and give the needed care, that is also amazing.

If you take the time to look after yourself, you’re in a much better position to be able to look after others. To help you through daily life, we created a blog about the must-have apps for nurses. This highlights some of the best relaxation and fitness apps for you to download on your phone or tablet.

Due to the nursing shortage it’s easy to get a job

Simply put, no. This is a more recent nursing myth that has arisen following the events of the pandemic. To be considered and accepted as a nurse, it is imperative to have the correct experience and qualifications. Employers will also consider who you are as a person and whether you are compassionate, caring, logical, quick at thinking on your feet etc.

For those who meet the criteria, they will find that, due to the current acute demand for healthcare workers, it is easier to get a job.

Nurses are doctor’s assistants

Yes and no. Yes, because they are there to lend a helping hand to doctors. No because they too have responsibilities of their own. Within a typical day, a nurse will:

  • Manage and administer medications to patients
  • Monitor vital signs
  • Undertake routine health checks
  • Liaise with doctors to keep them informed on any updates
  • Communicate the status of a patient to family members
  • Complete paperwork and much more.
  1. https://www.england.nhs.uk/2019/02/young-male-nursing-applicants-surge-after-we-are-the-nhs-recruitment-campaign/

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