Nursing & Care

Abstract

Health Professionals’ Perceptions of the Status and Image of Nursing

Mohammad Khatib, R.N., Ph.D and Salam Hadid, R.N., Ph.D

Background: The image of nursing as a profession can be defined as its perception in the eyes of the nursing staff, the multidisciplinary team, the patients and their families. The perception of professionalism in nursing can influence the profession in several ways. Cooperation between nursing and other health professionals includes direct and open communication when most functions are performed by a multidisciplinary team. This collaboration affects the well-being of patients, and the satisfaction of medical and para-medical staff. This study examines the status and image of the nursing profession in the eyes of medical and para-medical professionals and the relationship between selected characteristics of these professionals and their perceptions of nursing.

Method: The study was a quantitative, descriptive study, based on data collected from 234 interviewees working in different health care settings who filled in a structured questionnaire and took part in a face-to-face interview. 

Findings: Attitudes of health care professionals to the nursing profession are generally positive. However there is still reluctance to acknowledge the contribution of academic studies to professional development. 

Conclusion: Despite the general consensus among health professionals about the importance of professionalization of nursing, the role of nursing personnel is still seen as focused mainly on the satisfaction of the physical needs of patients and far less as involved in treatment decision-making processes, organizational policy and health promotion.