News on Nursing in the Media
June 30, 2009 -- Tonight's episode of TNT's HawthoRNe again presented the lead character as an authoritative chief nursing officer who fights for patients and families. Hawthorne tries to solve problems in creative ways, notably in using hospital systems to give a grieving man time to say goodbye to his brain-dead mother before her life support is disconnected. The new nurse Kelly, who is very meek, does manage to show some skills and to solve an important health care mystery, determining the surprising cause of an infant patient's ingestion of a toxic substance. And nurse Ray forcefully explains to a patient that he is a trained professional, though not until he has spent an entire shift letting her treat him like a servant. And his speech about nursing does show that he is still a wannabe physician. Indeed, the show seems to focus on nursing weakness, and what nurses lack the authority to do. Perhaps the most striking problem is that the episode finally makes clear that Hawthorne reports to the chief of surgery. This plays out in a horrific scene in which the hospital CEO criticizes the chief surgeon for failing to control "this nurse," i.e., Hawthorne, who stands by, essentially silent. This wrongly suggests that nurses, no matter how senior, automatically report to physicians, and by extension, that nursing is merely a subset of medicine. The episode, "Yielding," was written by Sarah Thorp. more...and please speak to the producers.
April 6, 2009 -- Recent press articles have told the stories of people in different parts of the world who mix nursing and art in ways that may serve both fields. On March 10, the Yuma Sun (Arizona) posted Geovana Ruano's profile of the experienced Mexican nurse and poet Beda Laura Domínguez, "A poet in search of love." And today, the Philippine Daily Inquirer posted Tony Maghirang's "Double life: Rapper wants to be a nurse," a portrait of a popular rapper who, despite having a stage name based on a gun, is in his third year of nursing school. Although the Yuma Sun piece does not have much about nursing, both profiles say that their subjects have incorporated aspects of nursing into their art, potentially conveying information about the profession in an engaging way and suggesting to the public that nurses are articulate observers of the human condition. more...
We will post an analysis of President Obama's speech involving nursing in a later news alert. In the meantime, please see the video of his speech on YouTube.
July 16, 2009 -- The book Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All At Risk will receive the 2009 International Award for Nursing Excellence in Public Print Media from Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursing, at the group's biennial convention this fall.
Your copy of Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All at Risk is now available on Kindle. Click here to begin reading.
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Our new book Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All at Risk uses striking examples and an irreverent style to explore nursing stereotypes from TV shows to the news media. We hope every nurse will read it and consider the role the media plays in nursing today--and how we can improve the profession's public image. But the book also explains nursing in compelling terms to the public and decision-makers. We want as many non-nurses as possible to read it. Here are some ideas to spread the word about nursing and the media:
Media images of health care--like the ones on ABC's popular "Grey's Anatomy"--have an important effect on the nursing profession. Many nurses and nursing students feel frustrated when influential media products undervalue nurses. But how can we change what the media tells the public about nursing? Sandy Summers has led high-profile efforts to promote more accurate and robust depictions of nursing since 2001. She has shared her insights in dynamic presentations to groups across North America. She empowers nurses and teaches them how to shape their image into one that reflects the profession's true value. When nurses get the respect they deserve, they will attract more resources for nursing practice, education, and research, so we can resolve the nursing shortage. Sign Sandy up for your next conference, nurses' week celebration, or gala event! Click here for more details.
We have created two provocative new flyers, and if you like them, please help us distribute them as widely as possible. The "Not What They Say I Am" flyer sends a message that many media depictions of nurses are not accurate and that nurses object to them, in part because they undermine nurses' claims to adequate resources. This is a key message of the Truth About Nursing, and one explored in detail in our new book Saving Lives. The ironic "Hooray for Hollywood" flyer sends the message that, in our view, there has been little for nurses to cheer about in recent Hollywood depictions of their work. Popular TV shows like "House" and "Grey's Anatomy" have repeatedly offered inaccurate and damaging images of nursing, and we hope the flyer will cause those who see it to reconsider those images. The small print on the flyers directs people to our book and The Truth's website to learn more. see the full posters and links for downloading and or request flyers be sent to you...
The Truth About Nursing is a Maryland non-profit corporation. We will soon apply to the IRS for 501(c)(3) charitable organization status. If we receive 501(c)(3) status, then donations we receive (minus the fair market value of the book or any other member gift) will be tax-deductible as allowed by law.
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Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH
The Truth About Nursing
203 Churchwardens Rd.
Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21212-2937
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