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Agence France Presse reports on Center's "ER" campaign

December 04, 2003 -- Today the Agence France Presse reported on the Center's campaign to convince ER to portray nursing more accurately.

The article was reprinted in Le Figaro on Dec. 6, 2003.

See the article in its original French. Or see below for a rough English translation by the Center.

The series "Urgences" accused of contributing to the nursing shortage

WASHINGTON (AFP) -- The television series "Urgences" contributes to the world's nursing shortage, asserts an association of American nurses that wants to persuade the show's writers to describe the profession in a way that is "more fair."

The series "sends a profoundly misleading message, depicting nurses as peripheral assistants who report to physicians," declares Sandy Summers, director of the Center for the promotion of the nursing profession based in Baltimore (Maryland), in a recent statement. "Urgences" or "Emergency Room," better known in the United States by its acronym "ER," is distributed by the NBC television network and enjoys worldwide success. It "often shows physicians performing important acts that nurse do in real life, like defibrillation, triage and patient education," adds Sandy Summers, "while anonymous nurses form the wallpaper."

According to her, the series broadcasts a "sophisticated version of the myth of the 'maid'" that reinforces the popular perception of the relations between physicians and nurses.

The series plays a role in "the nursing shortage that threatens lives worldwide," asserts the statement.

The Center has sent a letter to the producers of "Urgences" and to top executives at the NBC network in order to correct their depiction [literally correct their aim, must be an idiom] and encourages nurses worldwide to support its campaign.

"We believe," asserts Summers, "that the series would benefit from nursing advisors who would review the scripts in order to avoid further damage."

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