For the 23rd year running, Nursing has taken the title for the most highly regarded profession in Australia in terms of ethics and honesty, according to Roy Morgan’s latest Professions Survey for 2017.
Health professionals have continued their domination of Australia’s most highly regarded professions survey with 94% of Australians (up 2% from 2016) rating Nurses ‘very high’ or ‘high’ for their ‘ethics and honesty’. Nurses have topped the annual survey for 23 years running since being included for the first time in 1994.
Health professionals are clustered near the top with Nurses followed by Doctors on 89% (up 3%), Pharmacists on 84% (down 2%) and Dentists on 79% (up 4%). Only School Teachers on 81% (up 4%) and Engineers on 80% (up 2%) prevent a clean sweep at the top for health-related professionals.
The profession of nursing is commonly deduced as a ‘trusted’ profession, if not the most ‘trusted’ profession – a trend that has been prevalent throughout many studies conducted worldwide (Kimmorley 2015; Morgan, 2017). We thus pose the impending question, why are nurses so trusted? Since doctors are higher up within the chain of command in the health sector and are the ones actually pursing the medical plan of care, we would reasonably assume that they would be attributed with a higher level of trust? Yet it is the nurse at the bedside who garners the most respect and trust.
Nurses are always present and are on hand to lend a smile, an extra pillow or a glass of water whenever a patient may require it. When patients begin to feel unwell or start to deteriorate, their first point of contact is often a nurse as doctors are rarely on hand to administer care on a perpetual basis. Whilst doctors are often high on the list of trusted professionals, they are never at the very top of the list.
There are many reasons why nurses are so are trusted, including:
Nurses play a key role in interpreting the medical spiel that is communicated from doctor to patient –breaking down the complex terminology in order for patients to fully grasp the situation at hand. This is why it is so important for a nurse to be present when a doctor speaks to a patient. It can also be said that many patients find it easier to relate to nurses as they emanate a sense of being ‘ordinary’, empathetic and understanding whereas doctors are often perceived as being ‘aloof’ due to their professional stance.
Nurses spend a considerable amount of time tending to patients’ everyday wants and needs and it is through this routine contact that trust is built. It could be argued that the vast majority of all patient interactions within a hospital setting are with nurses. Instinctively, we tend to trust the ones that are always there, the ones with whom we have built rapport.
Finally, nurses show they care in ways that other health professionals do not. When a patient feels cared for on all levels, it leads to a greater sense of trust. Nurses are not only counted on to provide for the medical needs of patients’, but they are also there to hold their hand.
Some of the strongest bonds are made in the darkest hours.
“As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the heart, mind, soul and body of our patients, their families and ourselves. They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
Source: Roy Morgan Research