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Shadowy angels

I’m always intrigued by the popular view of nurses as Angels. I wonder where this image comes from-and why, in 2010, it still persists? I wonder if it is some kind of Jungian archetype-the all bountiful mother. Or a fantasised Breast with an endless supply of milk. And a Breast that is always ready to give and give endlessly and selflessly. But I also suspeci it might be a defence against some feelings of hatred. Being a patient is never easy. It is always associated with dependency and need- both challenges to our dreams of omnipotence. And who else sees it but the angelic-nurse-mother? Who else but this figure both gives and witholds ? And re-awakens therby all our childhood fantasies of love and hate? Much safer to turn nurses into idealised Madonnas whom we can make into Angels!
But what also intrigues me is how -and where-nurses are able to express their hatred? Their hatred of the patient who doesn’t get better-who dies, despite their best interventions. Or the patient who seems to be always pressing the nurse call button- regardless of how busy the ward might be. Or indeed their hatred of nursing organisations like the NMC who seem to act as an aggressive Rottweiler-always snarling and slavering at nurses.
So perhaps it’s time we sought out a different image of nurses. (How about a woman with a lamp?)

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One thought on “Shadowy angels

  1. I’ve always hatwd the “you nurses are such ‘special people’ ” misconception myself. We simply do the job we have aptitude for. Horses for courses.

    I like to think I’m a pretty good nurse. I’d have made a rubbish electrician though. So guess which path I chose.

    Perhaps we shoukd work to get rid of the silly comparisons and icons altogether.

    Like

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