Thursday, February 23, 2012

Am I "snygga" enough for this nursing job???

Haha...I just learned my first Swedish word - 'snygga' -- meaning 'somewhere between hot and good looking'!

I came across this gem from a Swedish paper (how do I find these articles on the web???)

Seriously, I can see already that this nurse stereotype business is going to be a pet peeve of mine in my new career.  This sexual stereotype and the 'all nurses do is bring bedpans' role are already sore points with me, and I'm not even in the field yet. 

Just a few weeks ago, I got asked by an older (male!) family member, when we were talking about my nursing school exams, if I was qualified to hand out bedpans yet.  Nice.  Really.Nice.

If all I wanted to do was hand out bedpans, I would not be spending so much time and effort on BScN courses such as neuro-anatomy and clinical microbiology.  I would have just taken the 6 week Personal Support Worker course, and be done with school, and maybe even kept my professional day job in communications.  And frankly, when the time comes that you need to be handed a bedpan, you could be grateful that somebody is there doing that for you, who may actually want to be there, and who cares about your needs, be it RN or PSW.

I'm not saying I'm above giving a bedpan, I'm not.  I fully expect to do that, probably lots of that in clinicals, but as an RN I'll also be able to do so much more than that. 

I will end up working in either Labour & Delivery, or the Intensive Care Unit.  I've been through L&D three times, so I know the degree of professionalism and knowledge the nurses must have in that unit, and I've spent much time as a volunteer in the ICU, so I also know just how much knowledge is required for RN's to have there (our family MD, who knows me quite well, was actually also suggesting ICU as a option for me, given that it requires nurses to have a high degree of diagnostic ability - thanks for the compliment!).  And who knows, but at this stage, I'm even seriously planning to complete my Nurse Practitioner degree.

Definitely more than just 'bedpans' and 'sponge baths' in my future.

Anyhow, if anyone from my work is still reading my blog, if I don't show up for work on May 1, as planned, now you know where I'll be, and I promise to send you all a postcard from Sweden!!!

(P.S.  OK, reality check, I'm probably not "TV-series hot" enough to qualify, especially by Swedish standards!  LOL!!!  I'll show up at my desk job on May 1, as planned.....)


Swedish hospital seeks new 'hot' nurses

Published: 20 Feb 12 16:01 CET |
A hospital in Stockholm has published a job advertisement trying to attract nurses who are both qualified and "TV-series hot" in what has been explained as an "attempt to catch people’s attention".
"We're looking to recruit competent nurses above all, but we wanted to stick out a bit with our advertising campaign, and we managed to do that," said nursing manager Jörgen Andersson of the Stockholm South General (Södersjukhuset) to The Local.

The advert read:

“You will be motivated, professional, and have a sense of humour. And of course, you will be TV-series hot or a Söder hipster. Throw in a nurse's education and you are welcome to seek a summer job at Södersjukhuset’s emergency department."

“We want people to be curious and have a little imagination,” said the head nurse Elisabeth Gauffin about the campaign to the Metro newspaper.

The internet advert has now clarified that the term "TV-seriesnygga" and "Söder hipster" were phrases directly borrowed from a quote from daily Dagens Nyheter's Sunday supplement, where a satisfied customer had praised the service of the hospital using the same words.

The Swedish word “snygg” (or “snygga” in this case) can be translated as somewhere between hot and good looking.

However, Andersson doesn’t believe that the advert could be interpreted as exclusionary.

"We think that people understand that it was written to catch people’s attention, there's been no negative feedback,” he said.

The positions are advertised to fill the vacation cover for the summer of 2012, with the opportunity of permanent employment thereafter.

The ad did not specify if a photo must be attached with the application, but Andersson says it would make no difference.

"Of course, being good looking is no requirement at all. We put out an ad looking for interest and we got a great response. We want a nurse who is qualified and good at their job, regardless of looks," he told The Local.
Oliver Gee (

Here is a link to the article, from the Swedish paper:


  1. Nurses today, if they were to be transported back in time a few decades, would have more medical depth than most doctors of that past era. I think that with so many citizens getting exposure to RNs via direct care or in the context of a family member's care, people know that nurses are the front-line among medical professionals. (ER, Gray's Anatomy, even Scrubs, re-inforce that reality).

    One other thought: the Swedish nursing manager quoted was a man, and nothing in the article referred to gender (unless there are no snygga male nurses). So, it may not necessarily reflect a stereotype at all, just superficiality on the part of the media/marketing world!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Brian.

      That is so true about the evolution, over a relatively short period of time, of the professionalism and scope of nursing practice. I can see a difference between nursing today, and what it was when I was a teenager, volunteering in hopsitals. But regarding Gray's Anatomy, really? I always struggle to see nurses working at that hospital...seems to me to be mostly doctors working there...

      Excellent point about gender, (or lack thereof!) being mentioned. I missed that completely, and was showing my bias/presumption that female nurses were being targeted. Shame on me! That was both surprising and eye-opening to me, about my perception of the article. Thank you.

      I must admit that from an advertising/communications perspective, the advertising campaign certainly worked, in that it got people talking about it.


      P.S. And I should add, that yes, there definitely are many 'snygga' male nurses out there too. ;)