The Crucial Role of Nurses
A Brief Education
I attended a non-healthcare professional association meeting recently with people who are speakers, consultants, trainers, and authors from various backgrounds. When speaking to one individual who asked me who I speak to, after I identified myself as a nurse, I explained that I often presented at nursing professional association conventions and conferences.
This individual looked surprised and asked, “Oh so you mean nurses actually have their own professional associations and go to meetings?” I was a bit taken aback by this comment and after a second of silence I replied, “Yes.” They then went on to say that they had never thought of nursing as being a ‘profession.’ This time I was silent for 2 seconds, then went on to explain that nurses are autonomous, independently licensed professionals just like physicians, pharmacists, physical therapists, and so on.
Their response was, “Oh wow I never thought of it that way.” To add fuel to his unenlightened fire he added, “I could never do what nurses do, all that touching.” Knowing full well what he meant, I couldn’t help myself and responded, “Yes, we do touch a lot of lives.”
I continue to be amazed at the level of misunderstanding many have about my profession but will never stop using those opportunities to educate and enlighten people as to who we really are, what we really do, and what our true role in healthcare is.