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News on Nurses in the Media
October - December 2004


Tsunami victims need our help

Thai nurses photoDecember 29, 2004 -- Nurses seeing the devastation following the tsunamis that struck Asia on Dec. 26 may yearn to help. Below are resources to help all of us do our part. Thank you.
          Donate
          Raise money
          Volunteer
          Encourage wealthy nations to donate more


Nursing Diaries photoWall St. Journal logo2nd Annual Golden Lamp Awards: The Center for Nursing Advocacy ranks best and worst media
portrayals of nursing for 2004

December 28, 2004 -- The Center for Nursing
Guardian logoSalon logoAdvocacy has issued its list of the best and worst media portrayals of the nursing profession that it has seen during 2004. The list highlights a variety of depictions of nursing--from television to the print media, from Dallas to South Africa--that the Center believes deserve recognition, for better or worse. more...


BBC finances soap opera about nursing students (!) to send Cambodians health messages

MSNBC logoDecember 21, 2004 -- Today MSNBC posted an unsigned AP item about a new 60-episode Cambodian television soap opera created by British soap guru Matthew Robinson and funded by the BBC World Service Trust in order to educate Cambodians about disease, especially HIV/AIDS. "Taste of Life" ("Roscheath Chiveth" in Khmer), which the piece calls Cambodia's "first soap opera," reportedly "follows five student nurses and a student doctor as they move through a nursing college, the local pub and 'Friendship Hospital.'" more...


Dr. Phil expresses appreciation for nurses and their image problems on the air, still struggles with apology and stereotypes

Dr. Phil photoDecember 20, 2004 -- Today Dr. Phil made an on-air statement about his Nov. 18 comment that he has seen many "cute little nurses" who are out to "seduce and marry" physicians "because that's their ticket out of having to work as a nurse." We salute Dr. Phil for expressing appreciation for nurses, including praise for their training, hard work, and judgment, and especially for his recognition of the importance of the nursing image problem. We note that he did not acknowledge the full import of his earlier comments or the reaction from thousands of nurses, nor make the apology those nurses had requested. We are also concerned that a few of his comments today--notably his remark that monitoring machines can't replace the "loving, nurturing care" of nurses--could reinforce maternal and angel stereotypes. Even so, we are encouraged by his effort, which is unusual for a popular Hollywood figure, and we look forward to the show he has promised to devote to an examination of the nursing media image problem in the near future. more...

Yes Nurse logo
Yes Nurse! No Nurse!

December 20, 2004 -- This zany 2002 movie is now making its way through some U.S. theaters. Based on a popular 1960's Dutch television series, the musical film tells the story of the formidable Nurse Klivia and her "rest home" full of cute adult misfits. The Center found the film's admittedly limited vision of nursing to be fairly good, despite some troubling aspects. see the full review


Sydney Morning Herald: "Doctors resist forensic role for nurses"

Sydney Morning Herald logoDecember 13, 2004 -- Today the Sydney Morning Herald ran a piece by Ruth Pollard about the "turf war" between physicians and the New South Wales (NSW) government over a plan to train nurses to collect and present forensic evidence from sexual assault victims. Pollard's article follows one by Miranda Wood the day before, "Nurses to train as sexual assault experts," which provides more detail as to the reasons for the government's initiative. Both pieces also provide an interesting look at some unsupported physician attitudes about the quality of nursing care. more...


TV Guide's "'Nurse Skank' Strikes Again" inspires Center to announce Soap Nurse Sweepstakes!

TV Guide logoDecember 12, 2004 -- Michael Logan's "On Soaps" column in this week's TV Guide is about Sarah Brown's portrayal of "needy, man-hungry nurse" Julia Larrabee on CBS' daytime drama "As the World Turns." This got us wondering about the extent to which soap operas have ever featured nurse characters that do NOT foster harmful stereotypes. As a result, we are announcing a special contest: whoever can supply to us the most examples of non-stereotypical U.S. soap opera nurse characters by January 15, 2005, will win a non-stereotypical Nurse Action Figure! Please see the discussion and contest details in our full write-up. more...


Who dares tell me to place a used syringe in the proper bag? I will crush you like a tiny bug! M'wa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Times of India logoDecember 10, 2004 -- Today's Times of India carried a short unsigned piece, "Doctors, nurses clash at NRS hospital," about the fallout after a nurse pointed out to a junior physician that he had failed to place a used syringe in the proper receptacle at a local hospital. This "simple lesson in hospital hygiene" apparently motivated offended junior physicians to "start a fight" with the nurses. Police were reportedly called in to restore order. more...


The "nurses for cars" deal

Guardian logoLiberation logoDecember 9, 2004 -- Today the Guardian carried John Carvel's piece reporting that the U.K. government has vowed to close a loophole that had allowed hospitals and care homes to "poach" nurses from developing nations by offering them temporary contracts. Meanwhile, on December 6 the French newspaper Liberation ran Michel Temman's piece "Tokyo échange autos contre infirmières," which reports that Japan has agreed to expand the ability of Filipino nurses to work in Japan in exchange for the Philippines' agreement to ease restrictions on the importation of Japanese cars. more...


Take Action!
Center urges HHS to modify name of "Take a Loved One to the Doctor" campaign

Closing the Health Gap logoDecember 7, 2004 -- The Center has launched a campaign to persuade the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to change the name of its annual "Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day" campaign to one that would not exclude Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), including Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Midwives, Nurse Psychotherapists and Clinical Nurse Specialists. Over 100,000 APRNs provide high quality, cost-effective primary care in the U.S. today, with a special focus on the very minority populations the "Loved One" campaign targets. We believe this modest name change would enhance the campaign's effect on these populations, and at the same time address the public image problem that is a critical factor in the nursing shortage. Since the "Loved One" campaigns began in 2002, a number of nurses have tried to persuade HHS to modify the name, without success. Click here to see more and to send our instant letter. We're counting on your help!


True Colours

New Zealand Herald logoDecember 7, 2004 -- Phillippa Stevenson's column in today's New Zealand Herald pays tribute to palliative care nurse Cynthia Ward, founder and manager of True Colours, a new health service that "aims to support families at and from the moment their child is diagnosed with a chronic, serious or life-threatening illness." more...


Nurses power legendary South African clinic

South Africa Star logoDecember 6, 2004 -- Today South Africa's Star published a very good piece by Kerry Cullinan about the extraordinary challenges faced by the Alexandra Clinic in providing basic care to an overcrowded township that was prominent during the long struggle against apartheid. The piece focuses heavily on the work of veteran nurses at the clinic, and includes a number of good quotes from them. more...


The Job You Need. Making Widgets. Apply Within.

Baltimore Sun logoDecember 5, 2004 -- Today's Baltimore Sun editorial, "Good Jobs Available" recites much of the usual data relevant to the dimensions of and potential solutions to the US nursing shortage, and appears to be intended to attract potential nurses to the profession. The editorial makes a rational economic case for nursing as a job choice, but it is amazingly dry and myopic--starting with that inspirational headline. It ignores the real challenges and non-material rewards of nursing, and misses central aspects of why we have a global shortage and what it will take to fix it. Yet it may appeal to some potential nurses that many similar pieces will not. more...


Hungry Ghosts

Medical Investigation logo December 3, 2004 -- Tonight's episode of NBC's "Medical Investigation," Mark Dodson's "The Unclean," finally puts a small focus on nurses--as serial-killing angels of death! Break out the champagne! Though the episode does indicate that not all nurses are Charles Cullens, its vision of nursing is largely of the "yes doctor" handmaiden school, as the nurse characters seem mainly concerned with fetching physicians or things for physicians. On balance, the episode is yet another regressive blow to the nursing profession from Hollywood. more...

 


"The Nurse with the Purse"

by Nurse Seuss

Sam TaggartDecember 2, 2004 -- Tonight's episode of NBC's "ER," physician Joe Sachs' "A Shot in the Dark," did not feature much work by the show's nursing characters. But it did show lots of exciting, important nursing--performed by the physician characters. From educating patients to helping families with life-changing care decisions, from discharge planning to meeting critical patients in the ambulance bay--whenever the show's shortage of major nurse characters threatened to leave patient needs unmet, physician characters stepped in, taking the responsibility, credit and blame. See our take off on "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back"...


Dr. Phil responds to nurses

Dr. Phil photoNovember 30, 2004 -- Dr. Phil has responded following more than 1300 letters in five days from nurses incensed by his recent on-air statement that he had seen "lots of cute little nurses" who wish to "seduce and marry" physicians as their "ticket out" of nursing. The show's initial response, from its Director of Media Relations, is not a personal apology from Dr. Phil himself, but it was created in consultation with Dr. Phil. The statement argues that Dr. Phil's comments were meant to apply only to the individuals on the specific episode of the show. However persuasive that proposition may be, the full statement clearly reflects appreciation for nursing, and it assures nurses that Dr. Phil had no intention to disrespect them. More importantly, the Director of Media Relations has assured the Center that Dr. Phil himself has vowed to tape a statement on the matter next week which will be broadcast on the show at some point over the next few weeks. This Director has also stated to us that Dr. Phil has promised to do an entire show on the nursing profession and its media image problem, probably in January 2005. As a result of these laudable measures, the Center is suspending its campaign. We urge all concerned to stay tuned to our site and the Dr. Phil show for new developments. more...


Thank you!
San Jose Mercury News: "Nurses increasingly help solve sexual assaults"

Mercury News logoNovember 28, 2004 -- A very good piece by Sean Webby in today's San Jose Mercury News describes the growing role of skilled forensic nurses in caring for Santa Clara County sexual assault victims and gathering evidence that can help convict or exonerate suspects. more...and please thank this journalist...


BBC: One in three UK nurses suffers violence each year

BBC logoNovember 27, 2004 -- Today the BBC's UK edition posted an unsigned story about a recent study finding that one in three UK nurses experiences "some form of physical attack" each year, and that many others suffer verbal abuse. The study, based on a University of Nottingham survey of 202 nurses, also found that nurses were not given adequate support in dealing with violent patients. more...


People's Daily: China's nurses in short supply

People's Daily logoNovember 24, 2004 -- Today China's People's Daily ran a short unsigned piece about the dearth of nurses in China, using relevant statistical data and several quotes from Zhang Guixia, the secretary general of the China Nurses Association. According to the piece, China's rate of about one nurse for every thousand people makes it "third last in the world on this measure." Experts reportedly state that it is "urgent" to enact corrective legislation and to improve nurses' economic status. more...


Take care of yourself!

SVU photoNovember 23, 2004 -- Tonight's episode of NBC's "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit," Marjorie David's "Doubt," featured a "sexual assault nurse" character examining a rape victim in its first few scenes. We commend "SVU" for recognizing that forensic nurses exist and showing a little of their work. Sadly, though the episode resisted the urge to show a physician directing the action, it instead gave the impression that one of its two main detective characters was doing so. In real life, the forensic nurse would have directed and provided all the critical care and forensic work, and the police probably would not even have been present. But here, the nurse character came off as an awkward and insensitive assistant, as the detective explained what was going on, took photos, and provided the only real emotional support the patient received.more...


Dr. Phil photo Kicking Dr. Phil's ass to the curb

November 18, 2004 -- Hello, and thank you. (Applause.) Thank you so much. Today we have with us Dr. Phil McGraw, a clinical psychologist for over 25 years. A man with a successful, nationally syndicated daily television show. And a man who earlier today suggested on the air that the health care system is full of "cute little nurses" who are out to "seduce and marry" physicians "because that's their ticket out of having to work as a nurse." more...


Take Action!
The Hottie with the Lamp

Nurse Naughty photoNovember 19, 2004 -- You might think that the "naughty nurse" thing might finally be playing itself out in our collective erotic unconscious. But judging from the variety of "naughty nurse" apparel still being sold by lingerie retailers, that is not the case. One notable example is "Three Wishes Lingerie," whose online selection includes outfits labeled "Naughty Nurse," "Nurse Naughty," "Night Shift Nurse," and our favorite, "Head Nurse." Linking such apparel so closely to the profession--to even the fantasy idea that working nurses are sexually available to physicians and patients--reinforces long-standing stereotypes. Those stereotypes continue to discourage practicing and potential nurses, foster sexual violence in the workplace and contribute to a general atmosphere of disrespect, all of which works against the profession in a time of crisis. more...


Smoking may be hazardous to your health

November 19, 2004 -- Today the Guardian (U.K.) ran an interesting story by Debbie Andalo, "Nurses can turn down home visits to smokers." It describes recent moves by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and the Pennine National Health Service (NHS) acute hospitals trust to ensure a smoke-free environment for nurses and other health workers who visit patients at home. more...


A Tale of Two ED's

November 18, 2004 -- It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Tonight's episode of NBC's "ER," Lydia Woodward's "White Guy, Dark Hair," was in some ways a surprisingly good showcase for the show's sole major nurse character Sam Taggart. The Taggart character actually provided autonomous nursing care, teaching and advocacy to a critically injured rape victim. Sadly, these unusually positive elements were undermined by significant physician-centric elements that the show just can't seem to get past--almost as if the episode featured two different ED's. It would not have taken much revision to fix most of the problems here, but as usual, it probably would have taken meaningful nursing advice on the script. more...


Everybody lies

House photoNovember 16, 2004 -- Tonight's series premiere of Fox's "House," written by David Shore, takes a firm stand against one thing: lying. Specifically, the lies patients tell physicians, but also the lies of physicians themselves. In fact, "everybody lies." Only one physician tells it like it is: the brilliant, caustic Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), a master diagnostician who tries to avoid patients, even as he guides his diverse "CSI"-like team of "genius doctors" toward the elusive truths of life-threatening mystery diseases at a Princeton hospital. Unfortunately, the show's key premise is itself a damaging lie: that a team composed entirely of physicians would rove the hospital providing all significant care to desperately ill patients, as the few nurses and other professionals stand silently in the background or simply disappear. In fact, in a kind of extreme irony, the mystery disease that nearly eludes all the genius physicians and kills the first episode's main patient (tapeworm) could have been discovered by a skilled nurse's standard evaluation of the patient's stool--yes, the bedpan. With six out of six major characters as physicians, this may be the most physician-centric new TV show of the last decade. There is talent, wit and intelligent (if reactionary) life in "House," but the show's early promise only underlines the disservice it does to nursing. more...


In the criminal justice system, there are...Forensic Nurses

November 16, 2004 -- On November 23, NBC's "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" will reportedly air an episode ("Doubt") that actually features a forensic nurse examiner (FNE) character. An FNE (also known as a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE)) is one of the nurses who increasingly direct initial care for sexual assault victims in major metro areas like New York, but who have rarely appeared in prime time network dramas. We understand that, due to the initiative and strong support of series star Mariska Hargitay, two FNE's provided extensive technical assistance to the show's producers and actors on this episode. Of course, the final product will reflect dramatic choices by the producers, but the Center urges all to tune in on Tuesday, November 23 at 10/9 p.m. for what may be a more significant and accurate portrayal of vital nursing work than is commonly seen in prime time. more...


Center's "ER" campaign recognized with 2004 AAN Media Award

AAN logoNovember 13, 2004 -- Tonight the American Academy of Nursing presented one of its 2004 Media Awards to the Center for our ongoing campaign to improve the portrayal of nursing on NBC's influential "ER." While the Center hopes the campaign has had some impact on "ER," the show has a very long way to go. Join our "ER" campaign. The other three 2004 Media Award winners were: Johnson & Johnson's Campaign for Nursing's Future; University of Pennsylvania scholars Rogers, Hwang, Scott, Aiken and Dinges for their study of nurses' working hours and patient safety; and Penn's Barbara Bates Center for the nursing uniform exhibition "RN Past, Present and Future." more...


Terminator 4?

November 10, 2004 -- Today the Burbank Leader and Glendale News-Press ran Jackson Bell's story about the response of Los Angeles area hospitals and nurses to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal to delay the January 2005 implementation of the state nurse staffing law's 1-to-5 medical-surgical nurse-patient ratio requirement till 2008. The piece, headlined "Opinions differ on nursing ratio plan," is a short, fairly balanced reaction piece, with comment from a nursing union leader opposed to the proposal, though it could have explained more clearly that research shows nurse short-staffing increases patient mortality. more...


Killers, tea and sympathy

November 2004 -- Two very different items in this month's Reader's Digest focus on nurses: Max Alexander's generally fair cover story on serial killer Charles Cullen ("The Killer Nurse"), and an excellent one-page item in the Health section by Hanne Dina Bernstein, RN, about her seemingly simple but life-saving care for a leukemia patient ("Tea and Sympathy"). more...


Reality Alert! "Lifeline: The Nursing Diaries" shows actual work of nurses

November 7, 2004 -- Today the Discovery Health Channel premiered the first of three one-hour episodes of "Lifeline: The Nursing Diaries," a new documentary that follows the work of nurses at two prominent hospitals, Massachusetts General and New York-Presbyterian. Based on the first episode, this is an engaging documentary that shows autonomous nursing actions that the media (e.g. NBC's "ER") commonly ignores or assigns to physicians, including life-saving interventions, patient education and family support. We urge all members of the reality-based community to watch the show over the next two weeks. more...

 

 

pepper sauce hot sandwich cartoonMy Life As a Dog

or

Bad Nurse, No Donut

November 4, 2004 -- Tonight's episode of NBC's "ER," physician Lisa Zwerling's "An Intern's Guide to the Galaxy," was in most respects a standard one. It focused on the training of new physicians, showing physicians doing tasks that nurses do in real life, and suggesting that nurses are peripheral to important ED care. But one thing really caught our attention: the episode's lighthearted but repeated suggestion that an intern might purchase more responsive work from nurses by periodically feeding them sweets, as if nurses worked for physicians and their patient care was akin to the tricks a dog might perform for treats. The silliness of this plotline is matched only by its contempt for nursing. Woof! Woof! more...


Scripture Scrubs

Scripture Scrubs printNovember 2004 -- Recently television stations in Texas and Louisiana have run very positive coverage about a new nurse-run Texas operation called "Scripture Scrubs," which creates and sells scrubs covered with short quotations from the Bible (e.g. "Hope in the Lord, Psalm 146-5"). The coverage did not address whether such garments could be viewed as proselytizing by health care professionals, which could interfere with patients' rights to have their own spiritual beliefs taken into account and adversely affect care in a diverse society. We are also concerned that the association of nursing with certain religious imagery could reinforce stereotypes that nurses are loving and compassionate servants, rather than highly skilled professionals. more...


Dear Dr. Vegas: Nevada NPs are still prescribing Schedule II substances, and you're not

October 29, 2004 -- Tonight's episode of CBS' "Dr. Vegas," Lance Gentile's "Limits," features nurse practitioner Alice Doherty. Unfortunately, the episode presents Doherty as merely a skilled assistant to the show's physician character Billy Grant, who must rescue her from a mistake brought on by her inability to handle her unrequited love for...physician Billy Grant. more...


Maybe I wrote in invisible ink

October 29, 2004 -- On October 20, the Columbia University School of Nursing issued a press release about its striking plan to provide universal health care coverage to all Americans at an estimated annual cost of about $2,000 per person. As of today, the only major press coverage of this important proposal of which the Center is aware is Laura Gilchrest's fair but short piece "Universal health care plan proposed," which was posted on the CBS Marketwatch web site just a few hours after the press release appeared. more...


Sleepy interns and journalists

October 28, 2004 -- Today news outlets carried stories about findings that physician interns working the standard 24-hour shifts made one third more errors than those working 16-hour shifts, according to an important new study of cardiac and medical ICU's at a Harvard-affiliated hospital. The stories carried by three major national news organizations--the Associated Press, Reuters, and The Washington Post--illustrate the wide range of treatment nursing can receive from the elite press as to what is essentially the same story, apparently depending on the journalists involved. more...


The aesthetic and the anaesthetic

October 28, 2004 -- The November issue of Vogue includes an excerpt from the Center's letter in response to the inaccurate assertion, attributed to a Hollywood plastic surgeon in the June issue, that the use of nurse anesthetists is "unsafe." While Vogue could go farther to make amends for publishing this comment without any support or balancing quote, the Center commends the magazine for publishing part of our description of the vital contributions of nurse anesthetists. more...


Shock jocks, billboards, porn stars, and nurses

Mancow billboard Blink 182 photoOctober 28, 2004 -- Popular syndicated radio shock jock Mancow Muller is currently appearing on Chicago area billboards in satirical photos mimicking rock album covers, including that of blink-182's "Enema of the State," in which porn star Janine appears as a somewhat threatening "naughty nurse." Following multiple discussions with the Center, the Chicago radio station at which Mancow is based, Q101, agreed to phase out the Mancow/Janine billboards over the next two-three weeks and run others from the existing series for the remaining six months of its ad campaign. more...


Bring that petty martinet back here

October 28, 2004 -- Tonight NBC will show an "ER" episode originally broadcast in January that offers an intense but largely physician-centric vision of a modern NICU. The Center, whose original analysis of the episode was entitled "Physician-Intensive Care Unit," suggests that anyone who has not seen the episode tune in for an interesting vision of nursing being performed by physicians and medical students, and of a classic battleaxe nurse who seems more interested in enforcing rules than helping patients. see our original review...


Open Heart

October 24, 2004 -- Tonight the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) will broadcast "Open Heart," a new feature film based on real events involving nurses who were instrumental in ending "lethal abuses" in a cardiac surgery unit. These events were described in detail in Buresh & Gordon's From Silence to Voice as an example of nurses' patient advocacy. The Center urges all supporters with access to CBC programming to watch this film, which we understand will be broadcast at 8 p.m., as it may be a significant one for the nursing image. see the film's web site


Snake eyes

October 15, 2004 -- If only it had stayed in Vegas. Unfortunately, tonight's episode of CBS' "Dr. Vegas," entitled "Dead Man Live Bet" and written by Jack Orman and Jill Goldsmith, was seen by over eight million viewers nationwide. It presented those viewers with the state-of-the-art Hollywood nursing stereotype: the nurse as a skilled, romantically available physician assistant without autonomous responsibility for patients. more...


Physicians do the nursing, while male nurses get their pink on

October 14, 2004 -- In tonight's episode of NBC's "ER," physician characters spend significant time providing important care that nurses do in real life, but can't do on "ER" because the one major nurse character is consumed with personal issues, and every other major character is a physician. In this episode, entitled "Try Carter" and written by R. Scott Gemmill, that means that nearly 17 million impressionable viewers were told once again that nurses are marginal and physicians do everything of significance in the ED. Well, not quite everything: the only male characters we saw wearing pink patterned scrubs or breastfeeding were nurses. more...


Family presence and nursing presence

October 12, 2004 -- Today the Wall Street Journal published a lengthy unsigned article on family presence during major hospital procedures that recognized that nurses had been most active on the issue and that featured good quotes from several nursing experts. Unfortunately, even this otherwise commendable piece was undermined by powerful elements that clearly told readers that physicians provided all of the meaningful underlying care, suggesting that the nurses were merely knowledgeable about how observing the care affected family members. more...


Child explains the NICU team: physicians save lives! nurses hold hands!

October 2004 -- An article in this month's Child magazine, Gloria Hochman's "A Celebration of Survival," describes a joyous reunion of 300 NICU alumni aged 1-12 at Philadelphia's Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. In some ways the story is a fairly good look at what families endure when a newborn has a severe problem, and at the ever-increasing options for recovery. Unfortunately, the piece clearly suggests that physicians alone are responsible for saving lives, an inaccurate message that is especially disheartening to see applied to the highly nurse-intensive NICU. more...


Professional recognition and wet snowballs

October 12, 2004 -- Today the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published several substantial pieces about current issues relating to nursing uniforms and the nursing image generally. They include the very good lead article "Concerns over patient confusion spawn a small movement back to one-color uniforms" by Virginia Linn, and Ms. Linn's "Nursing advocate bringing message of profession's value here," a profile of the Center and its director Sandy Summers as she arrives to take part in an Oncology Nurses Association media summit this week. more...


Excellent Wall Street Journal article highlights potential importance of nurse practitioners to future of health care

October 11, 2004 -- Today the Wall Street Journal ran an extraordinarily good piece by Andrew Blackman exploring the increasingly important role nurse practitioners (NP's) play in primary care and other areas. The lengthy article, which focuses on a group of New York City NP's, is entitled "Is There a Doctor in the House? Perhaps not, as nurse practitioners take on many of the roles long played by physicians." How good is Blackman's piece? Let us count the ways. more...


Massage Parlor Pulls Down Naughty Nurse Billboards

October 10, 2004 -- In response to a single phone call from the Center, a Dallas massage parlor that had displayed two seductive nurse billboards on a popular freeway agreed to remove them. We applaud the Swedish Institute for Physical Health for its rapid response in removing the damaging nursing images (too fast for us to even snap a photo!) and for working with us to help improve nursing's image. more...


Reuters: "Home Nurse Visits Improve Newborn Health"

October 7, 2004 -- Today a Reuters piece by Anthony J. Brown, MD, reported that a new study published in the October issue of the journal Pediatrics found that home health nurse visits a few days after a woman gives birth reduce "the number of newborns being readmitted to the hospital with jaundice or dehydration--and it saves money." The article is a fairly good, if short, summary of the key findings of this study, which underlines the importance of home health nurses in an era of shorter hospital stays and widespread hospital nurse short-staffing, both of which may reduce patients' access to vital nursing care that can prevent such problems. We commend Dr. Ian Paul of the Penn State Children's Hospital and his colleagues for performing the study, and Dr. Brown for reporting on it. more...


Damaged

October 7, 2004 -- Tonight's episode of NBC's "ER," written by David Zable, focuses on the transition of new ED intern Abby Lockhart from her prior role as an ED nurse, which leads to tension with the other ED nurses. The episode sheds some light on the nurse-physician relationship, with the show's veteran minor nurse characters playing unusually large roles. Unfortunately, the episode is highly physician-centric, and it reinforces the notion that hospital nurses report to physicians. Given "ER"'s proven influence on millions of viewers, we see it as a big problem. more...


Is the patch right for you?

October 6, 2004 -- Today the Kansas City Star ran a good piece by Lisa Gutierrez, headed "Uniform prescription," about the long history of the nursing uniform and the ongoing debate as to what suits the profession today. The lengthy article, which included significant comment from American Journal of Nursing editor-in-chief Diana Mason, explored the pros and cons of scrubs, traditional whites, and the new "RN" patch. more...


Male Nurse Action Figures and the pink pearlized heart shaped messages of faith and love

male nurse action figure Miss Piggy nurse heart-filled messages of faith and loveOctober 5, 2004 -- Nurse "figurine" products (including a Hamilton Collection "Miss Piggy" nurse advertised in Woman's Day magazine) and publicity surrounding the 2004 Cherokee Uniforms "Inspired Comfort Awards" (including a Baltimore Sun piece) show that even companies trying to honor nurses often use images that reflect regressive angel and maternal stereotypes. The result is continued reinforcement for the damaging notion that nurses are noble, selfless, sweet, tender, loving, wonderful, devoted, cuddly, gentle, delicate, adorable saints--or perhaps a kind of Registered Mom-- rather than skilled male and female professionals who use their experience and years of college-level science training to save lives. Fortunately, at least one company, Archie McPhee, is now marketing a "Male Nurse Action Figure" that counters the above stereotypes. more...


Another day, another barrage of physician-centrism from the Old Gray Lady

October 5, 2004 -- Three articles published today in the New York Times health section illustrate some key aspects of the elite media's continuing reinforcement of the public view that physicians direct or provide all significant health care. In each of these pieces, nurses are barely mentioned, even though they surely played critical roles in each scenario described. Readers should not assume from our selection of today's Times articles that this is anything unusual; the same thing happens every day, in media organs all over the United States. This is merely a ready example. more...


The "dirty" job: confronting stereotypes in Malaysia

October 3, 2004 -- An unsigned piece in today's Malaysia Star tells the story of one new nursing graduate's determination to join the profession, but also reflects the popular notions about nursing that she and her fellow graduates will now confront. more...

 


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