A recent Gallup poll found that nurses remain the most trusted profession in their annual U.S. poll at 83% (“High/Very high” trust). Closest behind the nurses are pharmacists/druggists at 66%, just a point above medical doctors at 65%.
Why am I reporting this? The Gallup headline for their own results is, “U.S. Clergy, Bankers See New Lows in Honesty/Ethics Ratings“. Of course, their take on the story is that, surprise surprise, people trust bankers even less than before. Now you’ll tell me car sales people are lower on the list now, too? Oh, yep, there they are, 7% dropped to 6% this year.
I found the story about the nurses more interesting and wanted someone, somewhere to do a story on that tidbit. Here it is.
Naturally, the story angle about the drop in trust of bankers is what other articles picked up, including one from the New York Times that was referenced from this story about Darth Vader ringing the NYSE bell. The Times article did mention “(t)o be fair, the perceived integrity of most other professional groups that Gallup asked about — including clergy, lawyers and pharmacists — has also been falling in the last year. Police officers are the only group that seems to have enjoyed a significant increase in public esteem.”
But really, the part that jumped out at me was the fact that trust for nurses is 20% higher than for police officers, and a full 14 points higher than the nearest ranked profession. I doubt the drop in trust from 84% to 83% is very important, comparatively.
Oh, I see one reason, there is a trend here. In 2008 Gallup wrote, “Nurses Shine, Bankers Slump in Ethics Ratings,” which followed up the 2007 report, “Nurses Top for Ethics and Honesty.” Nurses have been at the top of the list since they were added in 1999, with the exception of 2001 when firefighters took the top spot. I’m wondering if the real story is, while Gallup is providing a good service in keeping track of this information, they really don’t have much to say about it otherwise. A rise or fall in a few percentage points in a single year could indicate many different things.
I will give them one thing – the banking profession’s fall from 41% in 2005 to 19% now, that definitely shows something is afoot.