Did you know that today Nurses account for nearly 50% of the global health workers? Yet how many people do we know from around us who aspire to be nurses? The common answer to this question would be; not many.
The nursing profession has been looked down upon for ages and the bigotry against the nursing staff continues to date. Whilst there are many negatives associated with this profession that we will discuss in this article, there are many positives that are often overlooked such as the sense of pride and accomplishment one feels after successfully assisting in the recovery of a patient.
Also, the job security of registered nurses is projected to increase 9% from 2020 to 2030 according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, which is around average as any other occupation. But what factors are actually pulling down the profession and making it lose its charm and value? Keep reading to find out!
What Are The Factors That Are Making The Profession of Nursing Lose Its Charm?
#1 Gender Segregation
One of the main factors that are making the nursing profession lose its charm is the fact that despite the conversation of gender equality and women taking over and proving themselves in male-dominated professions and occupations, to this day Nursing is considered to be a “woman’s” profession.
This gender segregation in the modern-day and age still manages to impact the way people perceive the nursing staff in society and often consider it a disgrace if their child, especially their son aspired to be a nurse in the future.
Another contributing factor to this might also be that often lower-paying jobs are associated with women, whereas the higher-paying jobs such as doctors, surgeons, lawyers, etc are often male-dominated professions. This brings us to our second factor, scroll below!
#2 Nurses are Underpaid
In comparison to other health care workers, Nurses are underpaid for their services and taken for granted. Despite their hard work, education, experience, and skills they aren’t paid enough or equal to what is required of them on a day-to-day basis.
This often leads to dissatisfaction because despite their efforts and hard work they are undervalued and marginalized amongst the professionals of the healthcare industry.
At the end of the day no matter how gratified or proud you feel of your achievements, it is very likely that the underpayment in the nursing profession forces people to hold other healthcare professions such as Doctors in higher regard and prefer them over nursing.
#3 Nurses are Under-valued:
Another reason why the nursing profession is losing its charm is that despite their hard work and efforts it is often felt that they are underappreciated and undervalued.
Nurses often feel marginalized amongst other healthcare professionals. Their contributions are often looked down upon and they are not credited for their medical advice, despite the efforts they put in.
Doesn’t seem fair, does it?
#4 Nurses are Underappreciated
Not only are Nurses underappreciated by the people in the healthcare industry, but their efforts also go unrecognized amongst patients. They spend hours caring for many patients daily but that doesn’t ensure that they are treated with respect and patients are grateful for their dedication.
Several times they have to treat patients that are unpleasant and difficult to work with, further adding to the stress they experience during their job.
Though the job may be emotionally rewarding due to some patients expressing their gratitude and being friendly. Sometimes, the negative aspects like the difficult patients and constantly being looked down upon when giving any health advice, and your dedication not being acknowledged can take a toll on the nursing staff.
This ultimately results in demotivation and the profession turning from a passion project to a constant inconvenience.
#5 Nurses are Unrewarded
Like any other health professional, nurses go through years of rigorous training and medical education but they are still considered to be below other medical health professionals in the hierarchy.
They are still considered to be the lesser important medical health professionals which at times may seem unrewarding to nurses. Because they studied and trained in the medical field for years their efforts are not considered to be at par with other health professionals.
#6 Lack of Career Progression
The workplace journey of the nursing staff is limited which can result in dissatisfaction with the job. In a study carried out by Parker et al (2011) around 85% of nurses did not have a career pathway in their organization. Although this may discourage people from taking up the profession and cause them to be dissatisfied with their job, it has been stated that only 12.8% of nurses see the lack of career advancement as a reason to leave nursing.
Despite there being a lack of career advancement there is still room for improvement as nurses may look into moving within nursing to further their careers by taking up more specialized training and courses. Which would help them progress in their field.
Over the years there has been a reduction in the perception that career advancement within the profession is limited.
#7 Nurses Have To Work Consistently for Long Hours
Unlike medical health professionals, nurses are required to spend long hours in hospitals catering to the patients’ needs. At times, they are even required to work on holidays, further limiting their family time and resting hours.
The long grueling hours and demands of the job can impact the mental and physical health of the nurses as it also restricts the number of sick leaves they take during the duration of their job. Resulting in the job being more demanding and dissatisfying to the nurses accompanied by lesser pay.
#8 Nurses Have a Physically Demanding Job
Nurses are expected to be on their feet during the entirety of the time they are present in the hospital. They are trusted to monitor and administer the treatments advised by the doctors to their patients, which increases the mental and physical pressure on nurses.
Often at times, nurses are also required to lift and physically help patients like for eg. helping them move from the bed to the bathroom, which can also result in work-related injuries.
This adds to the physical demands of the job which in turn negatively affects the charm of the profession.
#9 Higher Rate of Workplace Hazards
Working daily at the hospital comes with the risk of being exposed to all kinds of patients who suffer from a variety of diseases that can be contagious. Due to coming in close contact with patients daily, nurses are more than likely to contract diseases and be exposed to different kinds of germs, which can result in health problems.
Like in recent times of the pandemic, the health workers, especially the nursing staff have suffered the most.
#10 Lack of Safety
Lastly, nurses are required to work at odd hours in a day where at times they may be going home after a 12-hour shift at 1 o’clock in the night. It is exhausting to even think about trying to find transportation at such a time in the night which is also accompanied by the fear of getting home safely, particularly if you are a female.
These odd working hours and the lack of a proper system of transportation offered by the hospital itself add to the challenges of the job.
Therefore there should be proper arrangements made for the transportation of the nursing staff to facilitate them and make their jobs easier for them by offering them the security and support they require.
In short, there are many reasons why the nursing profession may be losing its charm. Many of these reasons are due to the lack of acknowledgment, empathy, and the profession being undervalued by the people in society. It is time we took a step forward and brought a change in the way we think and value health workers, whether they are doctors or nurses.
It is time we stopped the discrimination carried out against people based on their profession, and help change the perception of the nursing profession as a gender-neutral profession. With continuous efforts, we can soon cancel out this issue that’s growing every day all around us.