Handmaiden – the female assistant of a physician, who is usually portrayed as male. Handmaidens are depicted without an independent knowledge base of their own—knowing only a tiny subset of what physicians know and following all physician commands.
The image of a nurse as a ministering angel was promoted in the 19th century as a counter to the then image of a nurse as a dissolute drunk, exemplified by Dickens' Sarah Gamp. The model nurse in this image was moral, noble and religious, like a devout nun — chaste and abstemious — rather than an unpleasant witch. Her skills would be practical and her demeanour would be stoic and obedient. Florence Nightingale promoted this image because, at the time, the idea of having female nurses attending the British army fighting the Crimean war was controversial, being thought immoral and revolutionary.
^Christine L. Williams (1991), "Masculinity in Nursing", Gender differences at work: women and men in nontraditional occupations, University of California Press, p. 107, ISBN978-0-520-07425-5
^T. G. Mashaba, Hilla Brink (1994), Nursing education: an international perspective, p. 322, ISBN978-0-7021-2620-8, ...nurses are stereotyped as females ... stereotypes of nursing still have a hold on society
^Philip Darbyshire (2009), "Heroines, hookers and harridans: exploring popular images and representations of nurses and nursing", Contexts of Nursing, pp. 51–64, ISBN978-0-7295-3925-8
^Kay Kittrell Chitty (2005), "Influence of the Media on Nursing's Image", Professional nursing, p. 79, ISBN978-0-7216-0695-8
^ abcdefgPhilip Darbyshire, Suzanne Gordon (2005), "Exploring Popular Images and Representations of Nurses and Nursing", Professional Nursing, Springer Publishing Company, pp. 69–92, ISBN0-8261-2554-9
^Sandy Summers, Harry Jacobs Summers (2010), "The Naughtiest Nurse", Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All at Risk, Kaplan Publishing Company, pp. 143–168, ISBN978-1-607-14660-5
^Sandy Summers, Harry Jacobs Summers (2010), "You Are My Angel", Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All at Risk, Kaplan Publishing Company, pp. 193–214, ISBN978-1-607-14660-5
^Sandy Summers, Harry Jacobs Summers (2010), "Winning the Battle-Axe, Losing the War", Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All at Risk, Kaplan Publishing Company, pp. 215–230, ISBN978-1-607-14660-5
^Mary Chiarella (2002), "The nurse as a ministering angel", The legal and professional status of nursing, Elsevier Health Sciences, pp. 39–55, ISBN978-0-443-07191-1