God she was tight. The back of her knee, the creases of her popliteal, smoothed white under the grip of stockings. Demure frame, gold-splashed green eyes, kissable nape.
When she prepped the IV, the skin of her wrist felt delicate on the back of my hand – her eyes in mine as she comforted. How could I resist such corruptible innocence? You too would have fallen for her.
I’d meet her in a dream, close my eyes and then lose my face, fingers, palms in her hair.
I was in love and lost – entranced in love-affair.
I can’t get her out of my head, and every time I think of a nurse, I think of her.
THE SICK SEDUCTION
I hope you realize the voice above isn’t me speaking – bits of me are there, but they’ve been infused into the voices of stereotypes. I wish to make a point visceral.
Maybe I’m biased, because I’m an RN (albeit a different breed), but I think Nursing is one of the most critical professions in the world. Yes, everything is critical – but Nursing is an irreplaceable and diverse field.
So how is it that such a profession remains tainted by a fantasy? How is that the image of the “hot nurse” hangs like a ghost on Nursing?
Granted, times have changed. But our culture still doesn’t fully understand what nurses do. Even when describing a nurse who is male, he is referred to as a “male nurse”. Dude’s a nurse, man.
My hypothesis is rather simple: modern nursing was born in a female-dominated profession within a male-dominated society. That’s one heck of a pressure-cooker!
Modern medicine, meanwhile, was a male-dominated profession within a male-dominated society.
Thus, we had the perfect storm of power dynamics and cultural stereo-typecasting.
Vestigial elements of those social imbalances remain. They may be tapering off, but they stand as metaphor for the proverbial time-warp in which certain parts of Nursing are stuck.
It’s not just the sexualized image of the submissive girl next door. It’s the idea that nursing is a secondary function, an easily-replaceable cog in the irreplaceable machine of Healthcare.
This seduction has done much damage to our own health. It’s OK to fantasize all you want. But when the psychology of the fantasy infiltrates its way into perception and behavior, you have a true sickness plaguing society.
A WHOLESOME AFFAIR
I wish Healthcare communicators would help out here.
Do pro bono work or something. Don’t any of you Healthcare PR “pros” have connections in Hollywood? 😉
Can you challenge yourselves to help educate the public about nursing – and, please!, spare the over-the-top images of nurses smiling like happy idiots and being all “caring”? Care is deep and terrible – a war against entropy.
Show the rough stuff! – show the intelligence, the grit, the stress, the fall-downs & getups, the kickass, the true hotness. Show the nursing that happens away from the bedside – the bewildering spectrum of this hard endeavor. Reveal the hidden.
How hot would that make you look? Just sayin’.
It’s a shame. This isn’t really about the “image of nursing”. No, this is about the dignity of civilization.
There should be a love affair here. A love of understanding and science and art.
The reality of nurses isn’t the fantasy I described above.
The reality of nurses (the good ones) is this: they are hot, not in how they look but in what they do for the world.
We should have affairs with these hot nurses – not the sick seductive kind. We need the wholesome affair.
The one which ensures babies are born safely; children have fun; adults enjoy happy lives; and the dying break from this world into dignity.
For every time you think of a nurse, you should think of how wonderful it is to be alive and what nurses have to do with that.