News on Nursing in the Media
October 26, 2006 -- Today The Boston Globe posted a poll on its web site in the wake of a successful nurses' strike at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center in Worcester. The poll appeared in the site's business section. The introductory text said that the strike was about a plan to reduce what were, according to the hospital, "excessively generous" contracts under which the "average nurse...working a 40-hour week makes $107,000 a year." The site then asked if the nurses were "right to strike," and whether "they deserve this six-figure salary for what they do." The Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) said that these descriptions of the strike issues and the average nurse pay were inaccurate. The union urged nurses to respond to the "insulting" poll by explaining that they were indeed worth that kind of money for their important work. We think the poll's most basic flaws are that it wrongly assumes that everyone knows "what [these nurses] do," and that it clearly suggests that it's nothing very important or difficult. We doubt the paper would have run such a poll about a "six-figure salary" for a given employer's lawyers, accountants, ad executives, or newspaper editors. But the idea that a nurse would make such a salary evidently suggests to the Globe that our society has its priorities all wrong. more...
February 23, 2007 -- It can take a long time for us to get to items, and we are unable to get to some items at all, because we have so few resources and we operate under severe time constraints. Please support the Center so we can respond to nursing's needs in a more timely and comprehensive way. We have so far raised 19% of our $75,000 fundraising goal. Can you please help us meet our goal? You can also get cool free gifts with your membership. Thank you!
Get your DVD copies of "Lifeline: The Nursing Diaries--The Rookies" (Part I) by filmmaker Richard Kahn. When we reviewed Part I of the documentary in Dec. 2004, we gave it 4 out of 4 stars for its nursing portrayal. From our review: "Part I gives an unusually good sense of the value of highly skilled nursing. It shows nurses working in three intensive care units at Mass. General: the cardiac surgical intensive care unit (CSICU), the neonatal ICU (NICU), and the surgical ICU (SICU). The episode shows nurses doing so many critical health tasks that the media commonly has physicians doing that it almost seems like it must have been a conscious goal of the filmmakers. However, it may simply be the natural result of taking a comprehensive look at what nurses really do. We see nurses autonomously managing patient care, detecting critical problems, formulating key interventions, explaining things to patients, families, and the viewer, and generally managing recoveries with little physician involvement." Read the full review here. Order a copy of Nursing Diaries Part I for US $10, which includes shipping. We are selling these at cost in order to get the widest possible distribution of this video. To order, please make a $10 payment here. (Non-members $15).
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Because of the lack of overall understanding worldwide, nurses must sustain a collective effort to shape media portrayals of their work. We must educate society in order to obtain more social, political and financial support. As Florence Nightingale once said:
In our imperfect state of conscience and enlightenment, publicity and the collision resulting from publicity are the best guardians of the interest of the sick.
The Center's global media monitoring, analysis and advocacy is a huge challenge. It takes extensive research, writing, communication, and Internet efforts. We must pay for office equipment, supplies, transportation, Internet products, insurance, postage and telephone costs. Our office is donated by our staff. And our staff can undertake only a small part of the work that needs to be done to improve nursing's image.
So we urge you to make a donation to help us continue and expand our work. Just click here to learn about the great gifts you can receive for joining or renewing your Center membership, including our cool t-shirts and the Archie McPhee nurse action figure! It's quick and easy! And because the Center is a 501(c)(3) charity, your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.
Thank you for all of your support over the past year. You are the reason we've had a real impact on public understanding of nursing worldwide. Together, we can strengthen nursing, and give patients the kind of health care they deserve in 2007 and beyond!
Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH
The Truth About Nursing
203 Churchwardens Rd.
Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21212-2937
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