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For immediate release
January 10, 2006

Contact:
Sandy Summers
410-323-1100 or cell 443-253-3738
ssummers@truthaboutnursing.org

Nurses Find Media Image Needs Intensive Care

 

Baltimore, MD, January 10, 2007 -- The Truth About Nursing has announced its fourth "Golden Lamp Awards," the group's annual list of the best and worst media portrayals of nurses. The 2006 list includes a range of media from all over the world.

Among the "worst" award recipients were the Nobel Prize-winning Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), Italian political leader Silvio Berlusconi, nurse recruiting campaigner Johnson & Johnson, and hit Hollywood shows including ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" and Fox's "House."

"Most of the best depictions of nursing appeared in the print media," said Center Executive Director Sandy Summers, who cited specific pieces in the The Philadelphia Daily News, The New Yorker, and Bangladesh's Daily Star as being among the best. Summers also praised nursing scholars and advocates who had made an impact in the general media, and many companies, including Wynn Las Vegas, drug chain CVS, and ALR Technologies, for promptly modifying damaging images in their products or ads.

The Center noted that, as usual, many of the least accurate and most damaging depictions were in the influential television medium. Besides "Grey's Anatomy" and "House," the Center's "worst" list included episodes of NBC's "ER" and "Heroes," and HBO's "The Sopranos."

"'Grey's Anatomy' and 'House' are the worst offenders," Summers said. "These globally popular shows portray nurses as brainless servants, while heroic physicians provide all important care -- much of which nurses do in real life, like defibrillation, triage and patient education. With a nursing crisis stemming in large part from undervaluation of the profession, this is unacceptable."

On the other hand, the Center gave "Honorable Mention" awards to two episodes of NBC's "Scrubs," and to the Australian dramatic series "Remote Area Nurse." And it cited a massive TIME magazine cover story on hospital risks as being one of the worst for ignoring nursing.

Berlusconi received an "Evolutionary Dead End" award for telling the press that his own Cleveland Clinic nurses were less attractive than Italian nurses. The Truth's "worst" list also cited Médecins Sans Frontières for refusing to consider a slight name change to credit the nurses and others who do most of its work; Johnson & Johnson for recruiting commercials that reinforced handmaiden and emotional "angel" stereotypes; and Mattel for selling a doll called the "Nurse Quacktitioner," which suggested that nurse practitioners are quacks.

See our annual year-end awards in summary or full version.

We congratulate those responsible for items on the "best" and "honorable mention" lists, and it encourages continued strong efforts from them. The Truth thanks those who have made efforts to remedy their damaging portrayals of nurses. The Truth is also reaching out to those responsible for items on the "worst" list, in the hope that it can help them improve their treatment of nursing issues in 2007.

Summers noted that some of the best accounts of nursing were created by nurses themselves, or by journalists who consulted nursing experts. "This points to the importance of nurses speaking out strongly and frequently about their profession," she said. She added that this year the Truth has seen an impressive number of nurses across the world advocating in the media for their patients and themselves.

The Best

Best Media Depictions of Nursing        summary or full version

Honorable Mention                       summary or full

Best Media on How Nurses Present Themselves to the Public     summary or full

Best Efforts to Remedy Poor Media Portrayals of Nursing     summary or full

The Worst

Worst Media Depictions of Nursing          summary or full

Special "Worst Depiction" Awards            summary or full

The "Just Joking" Awards                        summary or full

The View From Above Awards                summary or full

The Evolutionary Dead-End Awards        summary or full

The Truth About Nursing, founded in 2001, is a Baltimore-based non-profit that seeks to increase public understanding of the central, front-line role nurses play in modern health care. The focus of the Truth is to promote more accurate, balanced and frequent media portrayals of nurses and increase the media's use of nurses as expert sources. See more about the Truth on our about us page.

For more information on the 2006 awards, contact:

Sandy Summers, MSN, MPH, RN
Executive Director
The Truth About Nursing
203 Churchwardens Rd.
Baltimore, MD, USA 21212-2937
office 1-410-323-1100
fax 1-410-510-1790
cell 1-443-253-3738
ssummers@truthaboutnursing.org
www.truthaboutnursing.org

 

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