News on Nursing in the Media
November 2012 –The new documentary The Waiting Room follows patients and staff in the overcrowded emergency room at Highland Hospital, which serves the poor and working class of Oakland, California. Working with footage shot over just 24 hours, director Peter Nicks takes a good look at how the United States cares for its underinsured residents. The result is a quiet but compelling indictment of our dysfunctional health financing system. We see Highland's staff try, with skill and patience, to help emergency patients with ailments from gunshot wounds to chronic back pain, although what many of them really need is good primary care. The patients are resilient, but most have to wait a long time, and they are often frustrated, even agitated. Some just seem lost. The film gives physicians more attention than other care givers. And there are only a few glimpses of direct care nurses, even though emergency departments typically have as many nurses as physicians. Five of the eight health workers identified on the film's website are physicians. There is also one social worker, one nursing assistant, and one registered nurse. She is a charge nurse who appears in several scenes, always at her computer, expertly managing a long list of patients, determining who can be moved and when, who can be discharged and when. Sadly, the film never identifies her as a nurse, so viewers may not realize she is one. Yet some may well see the nursing assistant as a nurse. She manages patients in the waiting room itself, taking vital signs, collecting and dispensing information, and displaying diverse interpersonal skills. Of course, these are just guesses about how viewers will see the providers; some theaters showing the film call this charismatic nurse's aide a "feisty head receptionist." In any case, she and one of the resident physicians form the moral core of the movie. For most viewers, the vision of nursing that emerges from this odd mix of likely misimpressions will probably be fairly good, but not great. The film's overall merit is clearer. As millions of people are still "waiting" for a more inclusive and effective health care system, everyone with a stake in that system--that is, everyone--should see this movie. see the full review ...The Waiting Room opens on Friday, November 30, 2012 in Washington DC, Boston, and Sacramento, and in many other places in the coming weeks. See a full list of venues here.
March 8, 2012 -- Today the Kansas City Community News site posted a good story by Linda Friedel about a study done at the University of Kansas Hospital showing that, when a clinician sits at the bedside rather than standing, patients are more satisfied and actually believe that the clinician has spent more time with them. The researchers reportedly followed Paul Arnold, MD, as he made 120 consultations of two minutes or less using both methods. Patients perceived that Arnold had spent far longer with them when he sat, even as much as 15 minutes. The piece explains that Jennifer Moran, RN, BSN, CNRN, a clinical nurse educator at the hospital, collected data, and Joan K. McMahon, MSA, BSN, CRRN, Spinal Cord Program Coordinator, supervised the study. The report includes good quotes from those two, as well as from Arnold, who says that he was known as a fast rounder, but now he sits with patients and tries to take a little more time. The article provides a good look at nursing research into how the care environment affects patients, which is a classic focus of the profession. Whether a clinician sits or stands may not seem critical, but it can make a difference in patients' outlook and so presumably in their outcomes. In fact, the piece might have spent a little time on that link, perhaps citing other studies about the effect of patient attitudes on recovery. And the piece might have asked whether patients would benefit even more if clinicians actually spent more time talking to them. The piece does give the nurse researchers most of the quotes, includes their job titles and educational credentials, and of course, tells readers that they are nurses--which is not something we can take for granted in reports about nursing research. We thank Ms. Friedel and the Kansas City Community News. more...
Jon refusing to talk
November 29, 2012 -- Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, has so far received nearly 700 signatures on our petition to ask the show to make amends for its October 24, 2012 show. In that episode, Stewart mocked school nurses as being about kickball and tummy aches and stated on air that U.S. military medics should be allowed to practice as nurses despite lacking education to do so. To date, Stewart is refusing to take our calls nor does he have a plan to make amends to nursing. see our full review ... and please join the letter-writing campaign and see the film clips!
November 29, 2012 -- The electronic version of the paperback edition of Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All at Risk now sells for $7 from Kindle! The B&N Nook and Apple iBook are also available for $10. The hardback and paperback editions of Saving Lives are currently sold out as we are in a transition to a new publisher. All royalties for the multiple award-winning book go directly to support our nursing advocacy work. Thank you!
November 29, 2012 -- Tell colleagues and patients the truth! Our "I Am Your Registered Nurse" poster presents nurses as autonomous professionals on whom patients can rely. The poster explains that nurses are modern science professionals who protect and advocate for patients and empowers nurses to meet those challenges. Designed for the bedside, the poster comforts patients by educating them about the care environment and assuring them that nurses are there to fend for them.
Or consider the Truth's "Can Short Dresses Cause Short Staffing?" poster. This one takes humorous aim at the naughty nurse image that continues to haunt advertisements and other media, especially those aimed at males. The poster connects the naughty nurse image with the broader undervaluation that leads to gross underfunding of nursing education, research, and practice, ultimately threatening patients.
We'll send you up to 20 posters free to hang at your school or workplace. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us how many you'd like and where to send them. If you'd like more, they are just 50 cents each! Thank you!
Truth executive director Sandy Summers will deliver the keynote speech at the California School Nurses Organization's upcoming 63rd Annual Conference, to be held at San Diego's Town & Country Resort. Sandy will speak on Saturday, February 9, 2013. See you there!
Check out the Truth's movie "Nursing: Isn't That Sweet?!" It's all about what happens when nurse Wendy encounters her old high school classmate Jim at a restaurant, many years later--after the two have taken their lives in very different directions! Can Wendy and Jim make a new connection? Or will things get a little ugly? Made using xtranormal software for Halloween 2011, the short video explores some chilling stereotypes that still infect public understanding of nursing. And for a different take on nursing stereotypes, check out the Truth's classic 2005 report "Nursing: Who Knew?" about a groundbreaking study in which leading researchers discover nurses' real contributions for the first time! See the video!
Many nursing professors rely on the extensive and varied materials on the Truth's website to help their students engage with critical issues nurses will face in the future, from their public image to key aspects of nursing education, practice, and advocacy. Since 2001, we have explored and analyzed how the global media and society in general has seen the nursing profession. Join your colleagues and use this material to help plan your curriculum! See the full list...
Media images of health care--like the ones on ABC's popular Grey's Anatomy-- have an important effect on the nursing profession. Many nurses and nursing students feel frustrated when influential media products undervalue nurses. But how can we change what the media tells the public about nursing? Sandy Summers has led high-profile efforts to promote more accurate and robust depictions of nursing since 2001. She has shared her insights in dynamic presentations to groups across North America. She empowers nurses and teaches them how to shape their image into one that reflects the profession's true value. When nurses get the respect they deserve, they will attract more resources for nursing practice, education, and research, so we can resolve the nursing shortage. Sign Sandy up for your next conference, nurses' week celebration, or gala event! Click here for more details.
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The Truth About Nursing is an international non-profit organization based in Baltimore that seeks to help the public understand the central role nurses play in health care. The Truth promotes more accurate media portrayals of nurses and greater use of nurses as expert sources. The group is led by Sandy Summers, co-author of Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All At Risk.
Thank you for supporting the Truth About Nursing's work!
Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH
Founder and Executive Director
The Truth About Nursing
203 Churchwardens Rd.
Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21212-2937
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