In this article you will read on Call Me A Nurse, I am Not A Doctor

Call Me A Nurse, I am Not A Doctor

I am perturbed to realise that in this era of scientific and evidence based nursing some of my colleagues in this country feel ashamed to be identified and called “Nurses”. It looks to me like they tend to feel embarrassed and insecure when they are called nurses by the general public. This reaction tends to be a lot more common among male nurses here.

My question then is: What do you want to be called if not a nurse?

Every professional is proud to be identified and recognised by a particular name. A doctor wants to be called a doctor, so also lab scientist, pharmacist or a lawyer, then why are we shying away from ours.
Some of our patients call us doctors because of the fear that they couldn’t get a better attention if they call us a nurse. I am not exaggerating. I am talking out of experience. Could this be a form of inferiority complex? If so this feeling of insecurity is within you. I will rather say your problem is self esteem disturbance. You know what that means, of course you do. You need to promote your self esteem and become assertive in your behavior. By doing so you will feel at ease when you are addressed as a nurse, you will surely earn your deserved respect from others as well as feel secure to be called a nurse.
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According to Warren [1991] self esteem breaks down into two components;

  1. The ability to say that “I am important, I matter,
  2.  the ability to say “I am competent, I have something to offer to others and the world. Self esteem is very closely related to other components of self- concept.

Just as with body image and personal identity, the development of self esteem is largely influenced by the perceptions of how one is viewed by significant others. It is only when you accept your profession then others will accord the required respect to you.

Some steps were designed in order to help you inculcate the concept of self-concept within you. These steps are;

Concept of moral self: The aspect of personal identity that evaluates who the individual says he or she is. Say you are nurse and people will see the nurse in you.
Concept of self consistency: This is the component personal identity that strives to maintain a stable self image [Even if the self-image is negative].
Concept of self-ideal or self expectancy: This relates to an individual’s perception of what he or she wants to be, to do or to become, i.e. the perception one has of the expectations of others.
Therefore considering the points illustrated above you will be able to have a feeling of control over your life situation and the ability to claim some measures of influence over behaviors of others. With positive self esteem you will feel loved, respected by others within the health team as well as by your patients and the public.
As a nurse your actions should reflect a set of personal, moral and ethical values. Positive self esteem develops out of one’s ability to perform successfully or achieve self expectations and the expectations of others. Consistently set limits for your actions, Know your limitations as a nurse. Please be proud to be addressed as a nurse. No one deserves to be called a nurse except you. Nursing is not just the skill, it is an attitude, it is a faith, and it is a calling..
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University of Maiduguri, Department of nursing science.

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Abdullahi Suleiman a Certified Registered Nurse based in Nigeria, an Entrepreneur and Also a Blogger, passionate about Community Development and Cosmetic Nursing

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