Newsweek quote of Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nursing Puts Us All at Risk
March 9, 2009 -- This week's Newsweek includes an excellent "Health Matters" article by senior editor Jerry Adler headlined "The Nurse Will See You Now." Adler's focus is how the care his son received for years after his birth with a malformed jaw, which included more than 40 significant surgeries, showed Adler how critical nurses are to health care. Adler writes that "over the years we saw firsthand the truth behind a new book, Saving Lives, by Sandy Summers and Harry Jacobs Summers: that nurses, in fact, perform much of the direct patient care that the media, especially hospital shows on television, routinely attribute to the much more glamorous profession of doctor." Adler notes that many collaborative professions do not receive their due from the popular media, "but Saving Lives has a serious point, that the devaluation of nursing--both by overlooking nurses' contributions to positive outcomes for patients, and more subtly by emphasizing their devotion, compassion and self-sacrifice over their lifesaving skills--discourages students from the field and contributes to a critical nursing shortage." Adler even "tests" and confirms our thesis with an examination of the physician-centric anthology of interesting cases in surgeon Sherwin Nuland's The Soul of Medicine. Adler closes with a "small tribute to the nurses who kept my son alive for so long" in the recovery room, ICU, and pediatric floor after his many surgeries, most at the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery at New York University (we might add that OR nurses kept his son alive during the surgeries). We thank Adler for his perceptive and heartfelt article. See the article "The Nurse Will See You Now," by Senior Editor Jerry Adler in the March 9, 2009 edition of Newsweek.