Advice and development

Making video diaries let me dispel some myths about nursing

When nursing student Dann Gooding was approached by the BBC to record video selfies while on placement, he used the opportunity to dispel some of the myths about nursing and talk about what a great profession it is

When nursing student Dann Gooding was approached by the BBC to record video selfies while on placement, he used the opportunity to dispel some of the myths about nursing and talk about what a great profession it is

Picture: iStock

While on my first clinical placement in my final year of training, I received an email from a BBC producer asking if I would record three or four short video selfies about my experiences on the ward.

This was to coincide with an investigation by the BBC about nurse recruitment and retention in England. Based on figures released by NHS Digital, the investigation found that over 33,000 nurses left the profession last year, more than half of whom were under the age of 40.

After checking with my mentor and the ward sister that this would be okay, I contacted the press offices at the hospital and my university to let them know.

Nursing and medicine

In line with the brief I was given for the videos – which was to explore the profession as a whole – I decided to talk about why I came into nursing, men in nursing, and how nursing and medicine differ. I also talked about the children I was caring for, though was of course careful to maintain patient confidentiality.

Through the videos I wanted to dispel some of the common misconceptions about nursing, show the varied roles and opportunities the profession has to offer, and make clear that nurses are not there simply as ‘handmaidens’ for doctors.


Watch: Dann Gooding's video diary


I started off by talking about the low number of men in nursing, which is around one in 10, and how misconceptions about the profession can contribute to this.

Heads, hands and hearts

Nursing and medicine are two separate professions which both work to save lives. But there still seems to be a deep-rooted view in British society that nursing is secondary to medicine. That stigma undermines the nursing profession and it needs to go.

For me, nursing is more varied and fully patient-focused – doctors work with their heads and hands, nurses work with their heads, hands and hearts.

Highlighting the distinction between the two professions is vital so that people can be enlightened and see nursing for what it really is – a complex profession that mixes biology, pharmacology, psychology and sociology with law, politics and philosophy.

Myths and stereotypes

Training nurses to graduate level provides us with the skills we need to become safe, autonomous practitioners, with research showing that educating nurses to degree level reduces patient mortality.

But with nurse numbers dropping at an alarming rate it is vital that nursing students speak out about what a great profession it is. This will also help encourage more men to enter nursing, and dispel some of the myths and stereotypes around men and nursing.

This experience taught me a lot, mostly about how much I care about my profession. Until you are called on to talk about your position as a nursing student, you do not realise how much you know and how much you love it.


Dann Gooding is a children’s nursing student at London South Bank University and an RCN student information officer.

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