News on Nursing in the Media
September 7, 2007 -- Above is the complete dialogue of nurse characters in the May 15 episode of Fox's "House," an episode that will be rebroadcast on September 11. These few lines reflect the hospital drama's portrayal of nurses in bedside care, a vision of physician handmaidens with little technical knowledge who perform menial assistive tasks but panic in an emergency, relying on physicians to supply all thinking, expertise, and courage. The episode reinforces this vision with a few of the House character's typical expressions of contempt for nurses and nursing, as always delivered without challenge from the other characters or the show as a whole. One priceless moment finds House informing two nurses, without irony, that a patient the nurses can see is having a pronounced full-body seizure is in fact "having a seizure." The episode, Leonard Dick's "The Jerk," drew 21.6 million U.S. viewers on May 15. more, including 8 new film clips...
June 8, 2007 -- Today the Jamaica Plain Gazette (Boston, Mass) published a good profile of nurse Michael O'Connor, an AIDS care specialist who works for the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP). The piece was written by BHCHP "media coordinator" Vicki Ritterband, rather than an independent reporter. Even so, it is a straightforward, informative account of what O'Connor actually does, and the challenges of caring for those who face AIDS and homelessness, often together with mental illness, addiction, and/or other chronic problems. Readers learn about the diverse roles O'Connor plays, including teaching and advocating. And he gets significant opportunities to convey his expertise through quotes. We thank Ms. Ritterband and the Jamaica Plain Gazette. more...
Please consider the wide variety of things we can do to help resolve the nursing shortage, and meet the challenges of 21st Century health care, by increasing public understanding of nursing. Here are just a few:
Encourage others to get involved by:
Read From Silence to Voice, which is nursing's manual on how to speak out about the life-saving work that nurses do. It is important for the health of our profession that you tell everyone you know about the value of your work.
Doing a presentation on nursing's image? Get some film clips here.
Monitor the media and alert us to noteworthy portrayals of nursing. Set your DVR, TiVo or DVD recorder to record every time you watch television. If you see a nursing portrayal you'd like us to consider covering, let us know.
Start a health radio show, like HealthStyles with Diana Mason & Barbara Glickstein. Do health minutes and work to become a local health correspondent for television and radio news programs, like television commentator and author Pat Carroll.
Start a Nurse Shadowing Program for medical students and interns at your hospital or school. We must educate physicians as to the nature of nursing work so they can play a more positive role in creating nursing-related media, and so we can develop more collaborative relationships, which lead to better patient outcomes. See a sketch of a nurse shadowing program at Dartmouth.
Letter-writing campaigns--please write a letter for each of our campaigns.
Last but not least, please become a member of the Center. We need your financial support to make our work happen. Thank you!
The Center promotes better understanding of nursing, so nurses can do their work. But just like nurses, we need financial support to do our work. The long-term sustainability of the Center depends on it. If you appreciate our work, would you be able to chip in to help us continue? Our current situation requires that key staff donate many hundreds of hours to the Center every year, at great cost to themselves and their families. Please do your part to help us out. Thank you!
The Center's global media monitoring, analysis and advocacy is a huge challenge. It takes extensive research, writing, communication, and Internet efforts. We must pay for office equipment, supplies, transportation, Internet products, insurance, postage and telephone costs. Our office is donated by our staff. And our staff can undertake only a small part of the work that needs to be done to improve nursing's image.
So we urge you to make a donation to help us continue and expand our work. Just click here to learn about the great gifts you can receive for joining or renewing your Center membership, including our cool t-shirts and the Archie McPhee nurse action figure! It's quick and easy! And because the Center is a 501(c)(3) charity, your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.
Thank you for all of your support over the past year. You are the reason we've had a real impact on public understanding of nursing worldwide. Together, we can strengthen nursing, and give patients the kind of health care they deserve in 2007 and beyond!
Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH
The Truth About Nursing
203 Churchwardens Rd.
Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21212-2937
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