I know, the title is a sweeping generalization, and there are good cops and bad nurses. But think about the general reputations of the professions.
Nurses have a responsibility to help their patients. The whole principle of the health professions is to do no harm — they are literally working to serve people.
Cops have abandoned the whole “serve and protect” notion. Their operating principle is to punish the bad guys; their clients are assumed to be scumbags. If you find yourself in the back of a police car, “innocent until proven guilty” is thrown out the window…you’re not there for your safety, you’re there because a cop decided you were a bad guy.
It doesn’t have to be that way, but it is. We’ve been watching the police get increasingly militarized, SWAT teams turned into ideals, the ascendancy of broken windows policing, which makes every citizen a criminal. You don’t join the police because you want to help people, you join because you want to bust heads.
Here’s a stark example: a policeman roughs up a nurse because she refused to violate policy and patient autonomy by drawing blood from an unconscious person for a drug test. There’s a rule that you don’t draw blood for someone else in the absence of consent or a court warrant, or if the subject isn’t under arrest for a crime. None of those conditions applied. In fact, the unconscious person was an injured bystander in a crime, and wasn’t even under suspicion. But that police officer wanted his blood, and wasn’t going to tolerate a nurse disobeying his order.
Watch. What the fuck is wrong with our police?