Why We Trust Nurses
We trust nurses.
It has consistently identified in surveys around the world that nurses are ranked as one of the most trust-worthy professions—and the most trusted in healthcare. In the USA surveys consistently point out that nurses have high or very high honesty and ethical standards. European countries ranked nurses only below firefighters based on their level of trust, and in Australia, nurses have topped an annual survey measuring trustworthiness for 23 years running. Nurses out-rank doctors, pharmacists, and paramedics in trustworthiness, though other healthcare providers are pretty high on the list too.
So why do we trust nurses so much?
A bioethicist at Boston College believes it has something to do with the way care is delivered in hospitals.
“Attending physicians often do rotations, and residents in training also cycle through, so every time the family arrives, they’re talking to a new doctor,” he said. “On the other hand, the nurses are almost always there, and they form relationships with the patients”.
Trusting someone takes time, time that unfortunately doctors don’t always get with their patients. When people are ill, they are vulnerable, and need to rely on the good will of others. The nurses are there to assist in all the little tasks that make people feel safe and taken care of. They bring food and medicine in the mornings, make sure patients are comfortable, and are the first point-of-call for the patient’s family.
Linda Groah, the executive director of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), agrees.
“Patients depend on the nurse to advocate for them. Nurses are with the patients more than any other health care professional, and the patients depend on them during one of the most vulnerable times of their lives, when they are sick or need health advice. Taking the time to answer questions and provide emotional support is essential to build and maintain the essential trust and respect with the patient and their significant others.”
In hospitals or care facilities, we spend the majority of our interactions with nurses. They provide help and solutions when we sick and hurting. Their face is what we see as a constant source of hope that we will get better. They take the time to listen to patients without judgement.
This level of care and connection can only be realized with nurses. It leads to a trust that is quite strong. Patients trust nurses to help when in need, and even when the nurse can’t fix the problem, they’re there to provide a hand or an ear to listen to us. It is said that the strongest bonds are made in the darkest of hours, and that is why we respect and trust nurses so much.
- Xie J, “Why Nurses Are the Most Trustworthy Profession in the US”, Boston (online article) https://www.boston.com/jobs/jobs-news/2014/12/23/why-nurses-are-the-most-trustworthy-profession-in-the-us
- Roy Morgan, “Roy Morgan Image of Professions Survey 2017: Health professionals continue domination with Nurses most highly regarded again; followed by Doctors and Pharmacists” Roy Morgan (online article) http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/7244-roy-morgan-image-of-professions-may-2017-201706051543
- Larson J. “Why Nurses Are Still the Most-trusted Professionals” Nursing Jobs (online article) https://www.nursingjobs.com/news-resources/why-nurses-are-still-the-most-trusted-professionals/
- McCarthy, N. “America’s Most And Least Trusted Professions” Forbes (online article) January 2018 https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2018/01/04/americas-most-and-least-trusted-professions-infographic/#18316b9165b5
- GFK Verein “Worldwide ranking: trust in professions” March 2016. https://www.gfk-verein.org/en/compact/focustopics/worldwide-ranking-trust-professions