News on Nursing in the Media
October 3, 2005 -- Today, in response to a Center campaign, the Gillette Company said that it will pull a "naughty nurse" television ad for TAG Body Spray, though it may take a week for the ad to leave the air. More than 600 Center supporters wrote to Gillette executives to protest the ad (at right), which featured a provocatively dressed "nurse" who developed "highly contagious lusty-nurse fever" and climbed into bed with a male patient wearing the product. We are pleased that the ad will be removed, and we thank Gillette for responding to nurses' concerns. However, we understand that the company has made no plans to repair the damage done by the ad perpetuating this damaging stereotype. So we ask supporters to thank Gillette, but also to urge the Fortune 500 company to take concrete steps to make amends to the nursing profession. more...
September 23, 2005 -- Tonight's series premiere of the NBC fertility clinic drama "Inconceivable," written by Oliver Goldstick and Marco Pennette, presented one of the worst images of nursing to hit prime time in years. The one fairly major nurse character, the frivolous, sex-wielding Patrice LoCicero (Joelle Carter), spent the episode seducing the lead male physician, clinging as he pulled away, then betraying him in a way that was both insidious and pathetic. Elsewhere, while the other major characters faced major work issues, walk-on nurse characters snapped photos of new parents, discussed lunch plans, and commented cheerfully that a man who had chosen one of the clinic's naughty nurse porn movies to help him produce a sperm sample would take awhile, as he had chosen one with "a plot." (Maybe he should have just watched "Inconceivable.") The episode's ratings were poor, but it still drew more than six million viewers. And if they had no reason to regard nurses as unskilled twits or sexually degraded, back-stabbing vixens before the episode, they sure do now. more...
September 29, 2005 -- Tonight BBC America will begin showing the intense U.K. drama "Bodies," which reportedly focuses on how one large hospital's staff reacts to health care errors, especially the dangerous incompetence of a powerful OB/GYN physician. Sound familiar? The show's "ripped from the headlines" quality may owe something to the recent scandals over hospitals' failure to act in the face of the alleged deadly incompetence of surgeons in Australia and Canada, despite nurses' warnings. "Bodies" has been compared to the early "ER" for its edgy refusal to hug or learn. Although its key characters seem to be physicians, the show does appear to include two--two!--nurses among its seven main characters. more...
September 10, 2005 -- Today Kathimerini, "Greece's International English Language Newspaper," posted a short item on its web site by Thansasis Ouzounisiana about a protest by a Greek nurses' union over short-staffing. The piece carries a photo of nurses from the Panhellenic Union of Nursing Staff during a "sit-in protest at a 24-hour strike" held in connection with the nation's largest trade fair in the city of Thessaloniki. more...
September 4, 2005 -- Today the Daily Mail (U.K.) ran a short unsigned piece reporting that the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) had petitioned the government for a full and immediate ban on smoking in enclosed public places. A potential ban is pending, but the RCN opposes the Government's proposed 2008 implementation date as well as a proposed exemption for pubs that do not serve food. RCN General Secretary Beverly Malone argues that whether a pub serves food is irrelevant to the "devastating effects of passive smoking," noting that "[e]ach day around 30 people die from second hand smoke in the U.K.," and that there is "no justification for this situation to continue a moment longer." The piece, which includes no response from the government, highlights aggressive public health advocacy by nurses. more...
September 28, 2005 -- Today the San Jose Mercury News ran a persuasive op-ed piece by Suzanne Gordon, "America's shortage of nurses gets no help from Hollywood." The piece argues that popular entertainment products like ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" present a highly distorted vision in which physicians provide all meaningful health care and nurses are peripheral handmaidens. Gordon, who serves on the Center's advisory panel, stresses that research shows these products are a major influence on how the public views nursing, and thus a big factor in the crisis that threatens to leave the U.S. short hundreds of thousands of nurses--just as the retiring baby boomers will depend on nurses to save and improve their lives. more...
September 9, 2005 -- Today many press organs ran a harrowing piece by Associated Press "medical writer" Marilynn Marchione about the plight of New Orleans hospitals after Hurricane Katrina. The Yahoo! headline, which was typical, was: "Doctors Emerging as Heroes of Katrina." Consistent with this headline, the AP piece depicts physicians as having done virtually everything of note for the patients at Charity, University and Tulane hospitals in New Orleans during the worst hours of the Katrina aftermath. Apart from a passing reference to RN's and EMT's, and one sentence about a Pennsylvania paramedic, the piece is all physicians all the time, with many references to what "doctors" did, and multiple quotes and/or description of no less than eight named physicians and a medical student. Not one nurse is mentioned. The lengthy piece is practically a primer on the ways a press account can deify physicians and scrub out all references to non-physicians in the delivery of care to hospital patients. more...
September/October 2005 -- The editor of the American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, Margaret Comerford Freda, EdD, RN, CHES, FAAN, wrote a flattering editorial about the Center's work entitled "Another Hero for All of Us." See the editorial...
October 4, 2005 -- Associated Press health writer Marilynn Marchione has asked the Center to refer nurses who could serve as expert sources regarding the nursing homes that were inadequately evacuated during Hurricane Katrina. If you are a nurse and you have expertise in evacuations, disaster preparation or nursing homes in general, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can refer you for an interview with Marilynn Marchione. Thank you. If you have expertise in other areas, please register your information in our nurse expert database so that we will have you on file should other opportunities come up. Thank you.
When we work together, we have the power to change the nursing image, as you have seen from our success with Gillette. The Center gladly takes the lead on these campaigns, but for every fight we take on, we turn down about ten. We cannot do all we need to while funded on a shoestring budget. Over 90% of our labor comes from committed volunteers and our overhead is next to nothing. We need your support so that we are able to bring you news on nursing in the media and campaigns to improve the nursing image. Please become a member today so that the Center can continue fighting to improve public understanding of nursing and to tell the world that nurses save lives and improve patient outcomes daily. Our member supported organization is supported solely by your generosity. And your tax-deductible donation will earn you cool free gifts (pictured below)
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Thank you for helping us to improve nursing's media image. Please circulate our news alerts to your colleagues or post them on a bulletin board at work or school if you can, to help empower other nurses and/or students, and encourage them to take a leading role in working to educate the world about the value of nursing. Thank you.
Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH,
Executive Director, The Truth About Nursing
203 Churchwardens Rd.
Baltimore, MD USA 21212-2937
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