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May 16, 1981 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1981-05-16

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Nurses discuss
their profession

The Michigan Daily-Saturday, May 16, 1981-Page 7

(Continued from Page 3)
over, except in smaller, private
hospitals where tradition still prevails.
Most nurses now report an improving
relationship with doctors.
Nevertheless, in spite of even the best
doctor-nurse relations, one nurse said
there remains a definite social class
distinction between the two, especially
in the case of older doctors and nurses.
She claimed young doctors in their first
year out of medical school, supposedly
known for their "delicate egos," and
women doctors who consider them-
selves more successful than their nur-
sing counterparts have the worst
reputations for condescending behavior'
toward nurses.
Many nurses agree that public at-
titudes toward nurses depend largely
upon whether or not a person has been
hospitalized recently.
"I have to do a lot of 'patient
education' off the job," says junior nur-
sing student Cheryl Ebling. She said
many people really do not understand
the nursing profession, but that the nur-
ses' recent strike at the University
"helped to bring the nurses' problems
-into the limelight." She said she hopes
it will be a "small step" in the right
Many hope the strike has helped
more people to see nurses as
professionals, nurse Vicki Swarthout
said. Many nurses say they sense an in-
r? r

creasingly supportive public as the
problems of nursing become more
The structure of nursing is changing.
Nurses today are expected to be better
educated, but along with additional
education comes the problem of "too
many chiefs and not enough Indians,"
one nurse said. "Nobody wants to take
care of patients anymore. Everybody
wants to be a teacher or ad-
ministrator," she said. "Somebody's
got to stay and take care of the patien-
But, despite what they say are poor
working conditions and frequently un-
fair treatment, a number of nurses do
not decide to leave the profession. Most
of them point to the tremendous
satisfaction of helping others as the real
attraction of nursing.
According to one nurse, "You feel
good because you do save lives-a
feeling very few people have. It's worth
it because of what I do for the patients;
I get a lot of positive reinforcement
from them. It's an ego trip!"
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