What Nurses Know and Must Communicate to the Public – Care Example

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"What Nurses Know and Must Communicate to the Public" is a perfect example of a paper on care. I had recently gone to a hospital on an official visit and I was quite taken aback when we were introduced to the patients by just our name, without a surname, title, or professional designation like a nurse. Later, I found that the badges were worn by nurses also did not inform about their status or role. The event forced me to take up the activity of writing a reflective journal. I strongly believe that nursing professional is a vital aspect of the healthcare industry where nurses play a very important role.

As a professional, the construction of social identity provides people with a distinct self that represents professional competencies. In the case of the nursing profession, it equips the nurses with inherent clinical skills and competencies that inculcate confidence amongst the patients. This is a very crucial aspect that needs to be showcased to ensure patients and their family members as well as work colleagues and people in general, understand the importance of nurses and their role in the healthcare industry. In the article, ‘ From silence to voice: what nurses know and must communicate to the public’ , Buresh and Gordon have raised the very pertinent issue of nurses using professional identity within the workplace.

  They believe that it is very important for nurses to present themselves as ‘ experts and equals in the healthcare setting’ and should assert the same publicly not only by introduction but also by behavior. They also inform that some nurses just prefer to use a first name rather than their full name or last name because of threats from some patients or their family members.

Reflective practices are important because they help us to look at issues and events with new perspectives. It has helped me to realize that violence is not a common occurrence. We must assert ourselves in the workplace and face threats by informing the authorities and taking precautions by working in groups in cases where violence is anticipated. The article is hugely helpful and gives critical insight into the importance of the professional identity of nurses within the health industry.

The article is easy to connect with our work and life experience. Nurses are constantly sending subtle and sometimes, not so subtle messages of their role when they interact with the public vis-à -vis patients, patients’ families, physicians, health workers, administrators, colleagues, etc. on a daily basis.   Hence, they must use their title of a nurse or use RN on their name badge as a public declaration of their clinical knowledge and their competence. Whether they later revert to their first name with patients or physicians is not so important as their first introduction which sends out a signal of professional commitment and responsibility. The activity has significantly impacted my perspective on the importance of the nursing profession.

It is not subservient to any other profession including medicine. Nurses, doctors, and other healthcare specialists are all professionals with skills and competencies that are unique to their profession and therefore each is entitled to the same respect from everyone. Introducing oneself as a nurse not only sends an important message of professional competency but also highlights the importance of the same.

Moreover, nurses must also exhibit the importance of the same through their appearance, language, and behavior. This helps to build a unique nurse-patient relationship based on trust and mutual respect that expedites recovery.


Buresh, Bernice and Gordon, Suzanne (2006) From silence to voice: what nurses know and must communicate to the public. London: ILR Press.
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