Changing how the world thinks about nursing

Join our Facebook group

News on Nurses in the Media
June 2005 Archives


Virginia physician: "Does ill-tempered doctor really deserve adoration?"

June 26, 2005 -- Today the Free Lance-Star of Fredericksburg (Virginia) ran an interesting op-ed by primary care physician Patrick Neustatter questioning whether a "curmudgeon doctor," like the lead character on Fox's hot new television drama "House," is really what patients want. The piece uses "House" as a vehicle to explore how the media distorts the reality of health care, with potentially serious real world results, including the unjustified glorification of certain types of physicians. To this end the op-ed relies in part on the Center's own analysis of the physician-centric show. more...


Could 600,000 nurses help Make Poverty History?

June 24, 2005 -- Today the Daily Mail (U.K.) ran a short, unsigned piece about the Royal College of Nursing's support for the Make Poverty History campaign. The RCN reportedly stressed the link between ill health and poverty, and it called for the G8 to help developing nations train and retain their health staff, in order to stem the "exodus" that has crippled many health systems, especially in Africa. The RCN reportedly has plans for rallies in London and Edinburgh in connection with the G8 Summit at Gleneagles (Scotland) in early July. more...


The Paper Bag Princesses

June 24, 2005 -- Today the web site Hindu Business Line (Madras, India) ran a generally fair piece by Sreedevi Jacob about the recent trend of female nurses from the Indian state of Kerala migrating to the U.S. or the U.K., rather than the Gulf nations that were once their main destination for good jobs. Unfortunately, the Women's Feature Service piece reports, these nurses are finding a distinct "shortage of bridegrooms" among their male Kerala counterparts in the new nations. This is because those "highly skilled professionals" do not want wives with the traditional stigma of being nurses, who are felt to do "the dirty job of touching 'unknown' men." more...


"What are doctors?!"

June 23, 2005 -- Tonight's episode of the popular television game show "Jeopardy!" featured the following clue: "The Golden Lamp Awards are bestowed for the best portrayals of these health professionals in the media." Of course, the Center gives these awards annually to recognize good (and bad) portrayals of nursing. Although we might have preferred a clue that communicated more of the substance of nursing, the way the clue played out on the show struck us as a great illustration of the attitudes that are the very object of our work. Upon the reading of the clue, one of the three contestants--a medical student--quickly, almost gleefully, answered: "What are doctors?!" more...


Our Nurses, Ourselves

June 2005 -- The Center has learned that Nancy King Reame, MSN, Ph.D., FAAN, a prominent professor of nursing and research scientist, has been selected as host and spokesperson for "Pregnancy and Newborn Plus," a "new subscription video service on iVillage.com aimed at getting information out to Pregnant Women and New Moms." Professor Reame, a women's health expert at the University of Michigan, notes that she recently completed four days of shooting involving over 30 segments, though of course what is actually used will be up to the producers at iVillage and Hatrack Productions in New York. Professor Reame learned about this position as a result of a Center news alert in April. more...


Jeopardy! to air clue on nursing on June 23 in response to Center campaign

June 23, 2005 -- An editorial supervisor for the widely syndicated television show Jeopardy! has informed the Center that the show has included a clue on nursing "in a category called AWARDS in Single Jeopardy!" on the show to be aired on June 23, 2005. The popular show promised in September 2004 to air a nursing-related clue in the future, following the concerns of many nurses about a clue aired on September 7, 2004 implying that nurse practitioners do nothing more than tend to minor ailments. The Center thanks Jeopardy! for following up on its promise--and we urge everyone to tune in for the clue! more...


Enemy of the People

June 22, 2005 -- Recent press articles across the globe have focused on the case of Jayant Patel, the surgeon whose work at a hospital in Bundaberg, Queensland (Australia), including reported links to the deaths of 87 patients, earned him the nickname "Dr. Death." These pieces include a lengthy story in the June 19 New York Times by Raymond Bonner, "Deaths and a Doctor's Past Transfix Australians," which focuses on the testimony of ICU head nurse Toni Ellen Hoffman about her relentless efforts to protect patients from Patel. Other notable stories--whose headlines alone paint quite a picture--include "Patel 'laughed' at nurses' complaints" in today's The Age (Melbourne), "Dr. Death told nurses he was germ-free" in yesterday's New Zealand Herald, and Meraiah Foley's AP piece "Nurse: Surgeon Had 100 Pct. Complication Rate" in yesterday's Guardian. The pieces show that nurses have clinical expertise, and that at least some are willing to use it to protect their patients from powerful physicians. Sadly, this is not the only recent case in which it has been reported that a physician was recruited to a hospital that was desperate to have him, nurses soon began to issue dire warnings about the physician's incompetence, those in power closed ranks and the nurses were scapegoated, mocked or ignored, while patients continued to develop serious complications and even die in large numbers. Does this mean nursing's focus on "patient advocacy" is pretty much an illusion, as some have suggested? more...


Saintly saints and the canonizers who canonize them

June 19, 2005 -- Stop us if you've heard this one before, but it seems that some people think of nurses as saints. Today's issue of The Age (Melbourne) included Brian Courtis' lengthy, somewhat tongue-in-cheek profile of local actress Georgie Parker, and her television character, nursing unit manager Terri Sullivan, as she departs the popular Australian drama "All Saints." The Channel Seven show has reportedly focused on the lives of nurses at a suburban Sydney hospital for the past seven years. Between Courtis' writing and the reported plotlines of the show itself, we found so many examples of the damaging "angel" stereotype of nursing that we wondered if we had wandered into the middle of a canonization proceeding. Despite one good passage suggesting that television's heroic health care worker narrative may not be doing society any favors at a time of real-world cost-cutting--including nurse short-staffing (!)--most of the piece reinforces the stereotypes that have contributed to the current health care crisis. more...


At the Canadian Museum of Civilization: angels, heroes and the first female army officers in the world

June 18, 2005 -- Today the Ottawa Citizen ran a generally good piece by Shannon Proudfoot about the "first national exhibit on nursing" which is now open at the Canadian Museum of Civilization near Ottawa. The exhibit, "A Caring Profession: Centuries of Nursing in Canada," runs through September 2006. It reportedly explores the history, contributions and diversity of Canadian nurses, from the French Augustine nuns who arrived in the 17th Century to modern nurses, who now face a "quiet crisis." Ms. Proudfoot's piece also includes input from Center executive director Sandy Summers about the traditional stereotypes of nursing--images that the exhibit could help to counter. more...


Software operates as journalist!

June 17, 2005 -- Today the New York Daily News ran a piece by Robert Schapiro about a new software program that "operates as a journalist" by taking press releases and turning them into instant news stories...oh, we're sorry, that's absurd, isn't it? No major metropolitan newspaper would suggest that some piece of technology could perform the broad range of high-level, judgment-intensive human tasks involved in professional journalism. No, Mr. Schapiro's piece actually reported that the surgical robot Penelope had "operat[ed] as a surgical nurse" in a routine operation at New York-Presbyterian Hospital the day before. Despite at least making clear that the robot is "not meant to replace" scrub nurses, the piece still suggests that Penelope is pretty much doing their job by handing surgeons instruments. That is wrong. OR nurses perform a wide range of critical surgical functions that require advanced scientific training, including monitoring surgical practice, sterile technique, and the patient's condition, intervening in the case of an emergency, and advocating for the patient generally. Nurses use critical thinking to save lives. more...


Modern health care overrun by privileged, arrogant snobs...what's up with those nurses?

June 12, 2005 -- Today the New York Times ran a very long piece by Isabel Wilkerson about the struggle of Chicago single mother Angela Whitiker to escape a life of poverty, drugs and violence through a new career in nursing. It's not the usual media depiction, which might suggest that nursing is for those who want to "help people," or even an attractive job option in the midst of today's shortage. No, here nursing is about enduring endless class conflict to make big money. Ms. Whitaker had to put up with the contempt of "snob[bish]" middle-class nursing students who already "knew everything." Now she has a hard, "messy" job with "uppity" fellow nurses, demanding physicians, nursing assistants who "resent her place of privilege," and family members who expect advice on conditions like edema and diabetes, as if she were a physician or something. There is no indication that nursing provides any benefit to patients, or to nurses themselves (except the paycheck). We appreciate the piece's lack of nursing romanticism, and its unusual view of how nursing seems to those near the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder. But we also feel that its vision of nurses as snotty, marginally skilled, mercenary clock punchers is a bit unbalanced. more...


Dear Applicant: We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted into our nursing program! Your diploma is enclosed.

June 12, 2005 -- Today the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel ran a fairly good piece by Joel Dresang about how a partnership of public and private Wisconsin entities plans to use a federal grant to address the critical nursing faculty shortage, which is an important element of the overall nursing shortage. The piece provides a good description of the project, and it highlights some important aspects of the faculty shortage. It might have included some perspective as to potential drawbacks to efforts to address the nursing shortage by aggressive streamlining of nursing education, rather than dealing with the factors that are actually driving the shortage, including poor working conditions and a widespread lack of clinical resources and real respect. more...


Cloudbreak: Fijian nursing students master community health wave

June 11, 2005 -- A short unsigned piece posted on the Fiji Times Online today reported that a group of local nursing students had improved the health of a small village in the South Pacific island nation by initiating improvements in the village water and waste disposal systems. The story is an interesting look at a community health nursing intervention in a surfing resort setting where the developed and developing worlds seem to meet. more...

See range of archive dates

See current news page

 

See our archives of news and action:

<<<More recent (2005 July) ------------------------------ (2005 May) Previous >>>

See range of archive dates

See current news page

to top

 

‚Äč