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For immediate release
November 13, 2009

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

Dr. Lung Love's Labors Lost...on Nurses

November 13, 2009 -- Real nurses are objecting to "naughty nurse" imagery in a major new media campaign to increase awareness of lung cancer by the Washington, DC charity Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA).

Launched at the start of November for Lung Cancer Awareness Month, the LCA campaign is built on a rap video called "Waitin' Room Service" that features the fictional "Dr. Lung Love." The lyrics highlight the threat lung cancer poses to women.

The LCA video parodies rapper Pitbull's recent video for "Hotel Room Service," which featured attractive young women in lingerie. The LCA video substitutes scrubs-clad "nurses" who offer special attention to Dr. Lung Love, caressing him and dancing suggestively with him. In one lyric, he says that the "nurse just left," so he'll "love your lungs tonight.

"The underlying message is that masterful physicians handle important health matters, while cute nurse helpmates provide, well, waitin' room service," said Sandy Summers, executive director of The Truth About Nursing, a Baltimore-based advocacy group, and co-author of Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All at Risk.

"We applaud the effort to increase awareness of lung cancer, and we get that the video is meant to be funny and edgy, to engage a certain audience," Summers said. "But even jokes affect what people think, or else LCA would not have made this video the centerpiece of its awareness campaign."

The naughty nurse and handmaiden stereotypes have plagued real nurses for decades, undermining their claims to adequate resources for nursing practice, education and research, Summers argued. She said that the LCA video is a special insult to the skilled oncology nurses who actually provide much of the care cancer patients receive.

In fact, LCA has promised the Oncology Nursing Society that it will "replace" the Lung Love music video, according to the ONS site. But so far, Summers notes, all LCA has done is to slightly de-emphasize the music video, which is still posted prominently at lunglove.com, in favor of a mock video personals ad featuring Lung Love.

The Truth About Nursing started a campaign a week ago to end LCA's use of the naughty nurse imagery, and Summers said many supporters have contacted LCA president Laurie Fenton Ambrose about it. But so far Ambrose has failed to respond to letters and phone calls.

Summers expressed surprise that a major health group would stand behind imagery that was so clearly damaging to key health care partners. "It's not clear to us that LCA understands what's wrong with the video," Summers said. "Do they respect nurses?"

The Truth About Nursing, a movement founded in 2001, is an international non-profit organization based in Baltimore 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.

To see the LCA's campaign and our analysis of it, please go to truthaboutnursing.org/news/2009/nov/02_lunglove.html

See the Truth's about us pages.

For more information, please contact:

Sandy Summers, MSN, MPH, RN
Executive Director
The Truth About Nursing
203 Churchwardens Rd.
Baltimore, Maryland, 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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