For the 15th year in a row, respondents to a Gallup poll ranked nursing as the most trusted profession in the United States.
For the survey, released last month, 1,028 respondents 18 years or older were asked to rate 22 professions, including health care and non-health care professions, based on perceived honesty and ethical standards.
Eighty-four percent of respondents rated nurses' honesty and ethical standards as high or very high, the poll showed. Pharmacists ranked second at 67 percent.
In addition, 65 percent of respondents rated doctors' honesty and ethical standards as high or very high, and 59 percent rated dentists' honesty and ethical standards as high or very high.
"Healthy majorities of the American public continue to show a willingness to trust the honesty and ethical standards of health care providers,” Jim Norman writes for Gallup.
However, not all health care professionals scored higher than 50 percent by the poll's metric. According to the poll, honesty and ethical standards were considered high or very high among:
- Chiropractors, by 38 percent of respondents; and
- Psychiatrists, by 38 percent of respondents.
Other professionals in the health care industry saw lower scores, with:
- 12 percent of respondents rating HMO managers' honesty and ethical standards as high or very high; and
- 11 percent rating insurance salespersons' honesty and ethical standards as high or very high.
Overall, the poll found only six of the 22 professions evaluated scored higher than 50 percent by the survey's metric, revealing that "Americans do not, by and large, rate the honesty and ethical standards of American professions highly,” Norman writes.
Pamela Cipriano, president of the American Nurses Association, said, "Whether nurses are by the bedside or in the board room, we continue to be a trusted resource and a vital part of our nation's health care system. This poll reflects the trust the public has in us, and we'll continue to work hard to keep that trust." She added, "Trust plays an important role in the relationship between nurses and the patients we serve" (Mongan, McKnight's, 12/20/16; Lightman, McClatchy DC, 12/19/16; American Nurses Association release, 12/19/16).
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