By Andrea Higham
Nurses know all about teachable moments — the ideal time at which learning becomes possible for patients and healthy behaviors can be reinforced. After all, patient education and the critical-thinking skills it requires are among the most important elements of nursing care. You often seize these moments — when acceptance begins to show in the eyes of a middle-aged patient newly diagnosed with diabetes, when the mother or father of a newborn hesitantly braves the NICU for the first time or when the teenager with asthma mentions that maybe this inhaler thing isn’t so bad after all.
Those important teaching skills can be extended to help the general public better understand the complex and vital role nurses play in the delivery of quality healthcare.
For more than a decade, Gallup polls have revealed that Americans consider nursing to be the most trusted U.S. profession. A national online survey of the public’s views of nursing, commissioned by Johnson & Johnson and conducted from Sept. 25 to Sept. 27, echoes those findings. For 85% of the 1,005 respondents surveyed, nurses earned the highest trust among several professions, including physicians, firefighters, police officers and social workers. A majority of survey participants indicated our country needs more nurses and believed nurses should play a larger role in healthcare delivery.
Despite findings like these, nurses also know misconceptions about their profession prevail among some members of the public at-large.
Teachable moments can arise with the general public as much as individual patients. In the near future, the campaign will hold a press briefing to help spark dialogue about nurses and the vital role they play in the health and wellness of individuals and entire communities. We’ll provide facts about the profession, and we’ll share stories that demonstrate the unique blend of passion, empathy, dedication and clinical expertise that is part of nurses’ everyday practice.
The campaign will continue its long-standing commitment to nursing with our resource-rich website, national campaigns and support of continuing education for nurses. We’ll keep seeking opportunities and partnerships that raise awareness of nurses’ multidimensional roles and responsibilities.
You can help. Join the conversation and serve as an ambassador for the nursing profession within your community — in schools and public venues and with community leaders and government officials. Turn to our website, DiscoverNursing.com, to share our documentary, “Nurses: Their Vital Role in Transforming Healthcare,” and find other free resources.
Help support the next generation of nurses by participating in the Johnson & Johnson Donate a Photo program, a fun and easy way to raise funds for nursing scholarships.
It’s your moment. Seize it.
Andrea Higham is director of the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future.