Iconography of Nurse III: Changing to Language

Call Light (Shift to Language) photo: JParadisi 2010

     In this last photograph in the call light triptych the icon is gone, and replaced with the word nurse. Changing from pictograph to language makes clear who the patient requests when pushing the button.    

     Recently, a vendor promoting a product his company sold visited the nurses in our department.  All of us wore white lab coats over our street clothes. One of us was a man-nurse. The vendor was younger than forty. After his demonstration, he addressed our man-nurse as a pharmacist. We corrected him. He blushed while apologizing. We forgave him.   

      Is the word nurse genderless in our post-feminist generation?   

     In the preface to her book Notes on Nursing, Florence Nightingale wrote, “-in other words, every women is a nurse.”

      Not all nurses are women.


About jparadisirn

JParadisi RN, OCN emeritus, is a multidisciplinary artist with a focus in painting and writing. Her paintings and short stories have been published nationally. She has exhibited artwork in galleries throughout the Pacific Northwest. Julianna is a frequent contributor to Off The Charts, the blog of the American Journal of Nursing as a blogger and illustrator.
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