News on Nursing in the Media
Bras 'n Stereotypes 'n Things
January 5, 2005 -- Australian nurses have succeeded in ending advertising for a "naughty nurse" outfit sold by major retailer Bras 'n Things. However, the product remains for sale in the lingerie chain's 150+ stores in Australia and New Zealand, even though the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) has reportedly called for a boycott of the stores unless the outfit is "dropped." The unsigned January 4 piece "Poster makes nurses ill" in the Herald Sun tells the basic story prior to the pulling of the ads, and gets the nurses' point across, though it also includes some condescending description of them. The Center salutes Australian nurses, especially the Australian Nursing Federation, for this campaign. Click here to read more and join us in urging Bras 'n Things to retire the naughty nurse item by sending our instant letter.
Money, yes. Smart...
February 2005 -- This month's issue of Smart Money ("The Wall Street Journal Magazine of Personal Business") includes an item by Erika Rasmusson Janes called "10 Things Your Plastic Surgeon Won't Tell You," which includes practical tips for getting aesthetic plastic surgery. Item number 4, which addresses anesthesia and appears to rely principally on "Park Avenue Plastic Surgeon" Z. Paul Lorenc (pictured here), denigrates the work of nurse-anesthetists. It effectively tells readers they should use anesthesiologists, without explicitly saying so. However, a large body of peer-reviewed research shows that the nation's masters-prepared certified nurse anesthetists provide care that is equal to or better than that of anesthesiologists. The magazine's publication of scientifically unfounded assertions without any response from a nurse anesthetist is irresponsible. Click here to read more and join us in our letter-writing campaign--it just takes one minute to send.
January 6, 2005 -- Today the New York Times ran Jane Perlez' "For Many Tsunami Survivors, Battered Bodies, Few Choices," which reports that many survivors of the recent tsunami are facing unnecessary amputation or even death because of a lack of emergency care in Aceh, Indonesia. Given the lengthy piece's almost universal descriptions of care as being provided solely by physicians, and its reliance solely on expert comment by physicians, no one could possibly come away from it thinking nurses or other health care workers are doing anything of significance in the stricken province. The piece appears on the Times' front page, above the fold. more...
December 29, 2004 -- Nurses seeing the devastation following the tsunamis that struck Asia on Dec. 26 may yearn to help. Below are resources to help all of us do our part. Thank you.
Encourage wealthy nations to donate more
By guest reviewer Suzanne Daniluk, RN.
The feature film "The Brooke Ellison Story," made for the A&E cable network, was the last project of the late Christopher Reeve. Based upon Brooke and Jean Ellison's book "Miracles Happen: One Mother, One Daughter, One Journey," it tells the story of Brooke, who became a quadriplegic in l990 at age 11 after being hit by a bus. Jean, her mother, devoted much of her life to acting as her caregiver, accompanying Brooke daily to school, all the way through her graduation from Harvard, despite the massive odds against such achievement. The film is worth seeing for the inspiring story and fine acting, despite an awful portrayal of nursing. more...
"Lifeline: The Nursing Diaries" is a three-part documentary that follows the work of nurses at two prominent hospitals, Boston's Massachusetts General and New York City's New York-Presbyterian. On the whole, it's a valuable but frustratingly uneven work. The first part, set in Boston, is possibly the best single hour of a nursing documentary that we've seen. It is an engaging work that deftly shows autonomous nursing actions that the media often ignores or assigns to physicians, including life-saving interventions, patient education and family support. But when the program moves to New York for its second and third parts, it starts to veer off track. It still gives a fairly good sense of some key aspects of nursing. But it also tends more toward the "reality show" category of health care documentaries, and indulges in some of the same handmaiden and maternal stereotypes of nursing that the first part carefully avoided. more...
New Center FAQ:
Q: You're critical of a lot of what the media does, but you also try to be fair even to media products that you think cause harm to nursing. Aren't advocacy groups supposed to argue that everything they dislike is pure evil?
A: In our experience, many advocacy and charitable groups have a consistent message: what we're describing is nothing short of a total disaster, and it can be averted only if you do what we want, whether that is a particular policy action or the donation of funds. It is unusual for such groups to admit in public that the object of their critical attention has any positive elements. We recognize that such groups have doubtless made the judgment that their audience is more likely to feel a sense of urgency if the group's communications demonize opponents and adopt a "sky is falling" approach. more...
The Center for Nursing Advocacy now has 500+ members, and we are actively seeking more members and more support. The Center works to increase public understanding of the nursing profession. When the public learns what nurses really do to save and improve lives, funding will increase for nursing education, clinical practice and research. Increased funding is a necessary step to building a stronger nursing profession. Our patients' lives depend on it. You've seen the effects of a nursing profession starved of resources: We can barely give our patients the help they need. Let's build a strong nursing profession together by teaching the world what nurses really do. Please join today.
Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH
The Truth About Nursing
203 Churchwardens Rd.
Baltimore, MD 21212-2937
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