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5
Things You Didn't Know About Being a Nurse

Nursing is a valuable and vital profession, but it's not for the faint of heart.

Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Professions, like people, are prone to stereotyping. You can't possibly understand the intricacies of every career field, so your mind simply grabs and assimilates pieces of history, pop culture and anecdotal information to arrive at an answer to questions like, "What is an astronaut, a lawyer ... a nurse?" Pretty soon your assumptions about a given field become accepted facts -- even though they are neither accepted in that industry nor truly factual.

The stereotypes some people hold about being a nurse can come from what they know from history about Florence Nightingale, even though the profession has changed over the years. The book and film "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" offered a power-hungry and domineering perspective on nursing through the portrayal of the stoic Nurse Ratched. Face-to-face encounters with nurses during hospital stays also are insufficient because a nurse comes to you; you don't follow him around to see all the things he does throughout the course of her day.

So, discard those white orthopedic shoes and the image of a matronly bed-pan-changer. Here are a few things about nurses you weren't aware of.

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