News on Nursing in the Media
July 11, 2007 -- Today the BBC reported that the Libyan Supreme Court had upheld the death sentences imposed on five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian physician for allegedly infecting hundreds of Libyan children with HIV. However, a group of interested parties, including the children's families, the Libyan government, and the European Union, has reportedly reached a final agreement as to financial compensation for the families. The BBC reports that this agreement will be among the factors considered by Libya's High Judicial Council--which can overrule the Supreme Court--when it meets to decide whether to "confirm, annul or amend the death penalty verdicts." Human rights groups and health experts have long argued that there is no persuasive evidence that the health workers committed any crime, but that the tragic infections were instead the result of poor conditions at the hospital. Please write to the Libyan government and politely request that the Council order the release of the nurses and physician. The Council reportedly meets on Monday, July 16. Please see our action page on the Benghazi Six and join our letter-writing campaign!
June 13, 2007 -- On June 1, syndicated radio host Stephanie Miller and sidekick Jim Ward discussed the immigration legislation pending in Congress. One caller suggested that a provision easing restrictions on the entry of foreign nurses would undermine unions. Miller linked this to how "the middle American worker in America is getting squeezed." But she could not resist several gratuitous "naughty nurse" remarks. One comment about "naughty Scandinavian nurses" managed to suggest that those nurses are sluts and to trivialize the real issues related to the growing migration of nurses from poor nations to developed ones, which has devastated fragile health systems in the poor nations. Truth executive director Sandy Summers wrote a letter asking Miller to avoid reinforcing tired stereotypes that are a key factor in why many nurses--and their patients--are "getting squeezed." Today, Miller mockingly read much of the letter on the air, while she and her cohorts cackling at the very idea that Miller's remarks could cause any harm. Summers called the show, and to their credit, the producers briefly let Summers try to explain the effects of such stereotyping. Miller apologized, though without much apparent sincerity. She and her sidekicks stayed with their position that any nurses who objected to the naughty nurse just had no "sense of humor," though after four decades of such brainless imagery, that would seem to be a better description of anyone who does find it funny. One of Miller's cohorts did allow that Summers had made "some very good points." But the overall reactions of the show and some listeners highlight the challenges nurses face in overcoming the naughty nurse image. more...
March 27, 2007 -- National press stories this month have highlighted the key role that nurse leaders can play in the U.S. Army's health care system. Today, National Public Radio ran a "Leading Ladies" profile, "Clara Adams-Ender: Army Achiever." The main feature is Cheryl Corley's positive 12-minute interview with retired General Adams-Ender, who headed the Army Nurse Corps from 1987-1991. Gen. Adams-Ender discusses her career and relevant issues, including the recently reported problems at Walter Reed Medical Center, where she once ran the department of nursing. Another nurse leader emerged in The Washington Post 's mid-March reports about Walter Reed. General Gale Pollock was appointed acting surgeon general of the Army--the first non-physician to hold that post--after Gen. Kevin Kiley resigned in the wake of criticism over his handling of conditions at Walter Reed. Gen. Pollock seemed to get off to a bit of a rocky start after the Post 's disclosure of an e-mail she sent to military colleagues railing about "media assaults." But she quickly gave the paper an interview in which she came off as more conciliatory and committed to resolving problems. None of the stories we saw said much about nursing, though the NPR piece would have been a great vehicle to do so. Gen. Adams-Ender apparently established the first neonatal ICU in Germany, though NPR fails to mention it. But both sets of stories do show the public that nurses can lead at the highest levels. more...
July 3, 2007 -- The Associated Press reported today that no charges would be filed against New Orleans nurses Lori Budo and Cheri Landry. The nurses were arrested last year for allegedly using lethal injections to kill several patients at the flooded Memorial Medical Center while waiting to be evacuated in the horrific conditions following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The AP piece says that last month the nurses were compelled to testify before a grand jury under a grant of immunity. One of their attorneys reportedly says there is "no reason" to believe they testified against their colleague, physician Anna Pou. The case against Dr. Pou has not yet been dropped. see the article ...
The California-based poetry magazine RATTLE plans to include a tribute to nursing in its Winter 2007 issue. RATTLE seeks poetry and essays by its August 1 submission deadline. Poetry: The tribute section will feature poetry written by nurses. Poems need not necessarily be written about nurses, but they must be written by nurses. Essays: RATTLE wants to publish a series of short essays on the relationship between poetry and healthcare. How does practicing nursing affect your writing? Does writing affect the way you practice nursing? Does there seem to be a relationship between healing and writing? RATTLE is also interested in essays that might profile a specific historical nurse-poet. more... and submit your entry!
Activity at the Center's chapters is starting to heat up. Please get involved with your local chapter--or if there isn't one in your area, let us know if you would like to start one! Contact us to talk about starting a chapter.
What do Center for Nursing Advocacy chapters do? We encourage meetings every month or two. At the meetings, members brainstorm and work together to improve media coverage of nursing around the world--but most especially within their home media markets. For instance, members work to get coverage for nursing achievements, events, problems, or issues facing patients or the community. And they discuss giving organized feedback to media entities for nurse-related products they have created. See more on our chapter mission and activities page.
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The Center promotes better understanding of nursing, so nurses can do their work. But just like nurses, we need financial support to do our work. The long-term sustainability of the Center depends on it. If you appreciate our work, would you be able to chip in to help us continue? Our current situation requires that key staff donate many hundreds of hours to the Center every year, at great cost to themselves and their families. Please do your part to help us out. Thank you!
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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