News on Nursing in the Media
March 31, 2011 -- The popular restaurant chain Hooters recently declared March 17 "National Hooky Day," in honor of the start of the U.S. men's college basketball tournament. The company's website promotion features photos of naughty nurse "Ashleigh," who wants to send you a "Doctor's Note" so you can take the day off work to recover from "Basketball Fever" and enjoy a free appetizer. "Ashleigh" herself signs the note, but don't get too excited about her expertise; the only professional qualities on display here involve the model's body. By contrast, the little cartoon owl "physician" who appears in the ad is a male who appears full clothed, with a white coat and tie. However, Ashleigh does display an impressive ability to manage this "basketball fever" in the campaign's 30-second television commercial. In that one, the naughty nurse quickly diagnoses and treats basketball fever (with the free appetizer) for broadcasting legend Dick Vitale, who then bellows: "Hooters! It's the cure, baby!" This kind of imagery impedes nurses' efforts to persuade the public that nursing is a modern profession for educated women and men, rather than a sex joke that has been repeated thousands of times. Let's ask Hooters to stop contributing to a work environment that encourages real nurses to play hooky. Thanks, baby! See the commercial and please join our letter-writing campaign!
August 16, 2010 -- Some Hollywood shows have been careful not to mock men in nursing, making clear that the usual gay and effeminate stereotypes are unfounded or marks of simple bigotry. Not TNT's new hit drama Rizzoli & Isles. The show is about an odd couple of Boston crime fighters: the swaggering, deep-voiced homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and her super-smart, girly-girl medical examiner friend Maura Isles. In tonight's episode, Isles sets Rizzoli up with a handsome man named Jorge whom Isles says is in "medicine." To Rizzoli's chagrin, he turns out to be a nurse, and a man who is determined to play a stereotypically female role in the relationship and to be a "stay-at-home daddy"--all of which is the target of an episode's worth of jeering from Rizzoli, despite Isles's half-hearted pleas that maybe a nice, supportive guy is what the somewhat abrasive detective needs. The episode pauses to mock nursing as only "technically" a part of "medicine," but it's more concerned with exploring gender roles. The characters investigate the murder of a woman outside a lesbian bar. We are invited to compare same-sex relationships to the Rizzoli-Isles friendship, including its possible romantic overtones, and to Rizzoli's doomed relation with Jorge, which Isles finally ends by telling him that Rizzoli actually is a lesbian. But whatever nuance the episode has does not extend to its contempt for Jorge. He is a nasty caricature of a traditional woman -- submissive, touchy-feely, chirpy, picky, smothering. (Well, maybe we can only say that he's female; Rizzoli also compares him to her cute little dog and to a hamster.) The plotline thus suggests that male nurses are not real men. Rizzoli's traditionally male traits draw affectionate ribbing, but they are a source of power and a force for good. She is a flawed hero. By contrast, Jorge is foolish and annoying, and his work is dismissed. The episode, "I Kissed a Girl," was written by Alison Cross. The show was "developed" by Janet Tamaro, based on books by Tess Gerritsen. more...
Guest review by Janice Reynolds, RN, BSN
March 31, 2011 -- Most nurses provide palliative care, whether we work in acute care or end-of-life care, because we manage the symptoms of critically ill people who may die. But moral distress, anger, and misinformation can abound when we forget that others do not necessarily share our sense of ethics and morality. There are those who see our goal not as quality of life, but quantity of life. Reading this book really opened my eyes and increased my understanding of those who oppose quality-focused end-of-life care. I recommend the book not only because of the subject matter, but because of psychiatrist Lewis Cohen's recognition of nurses as equals who practice at the forefront of end-of-life care. more...
March 31, 2011 -- Register now for The Truth About Nursing's conference in New Orleans, April 15-17, 2011, "Empowering Nurses and Improving Care Through Better Understanding of Nursing," at the beautiful Marriott Renaissance Arts Hotel, located in the heart of this fabulous city! Speakers will include Kathleen Bartholomew, Donna Cardillo, Sandy Summers, journalist Hope Keller, Penny Kaye Jensen, President of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and a representative of Rutgers University's 2012 Project, who will tell us how to get more nurses into politics! Other topics include enhancing public understanding of nursing through the media, educating decision-makers and physician colleagues about nursing, effective strategies to improve working relationships, and practical steps toward achieving nursing empowerment. This work is critical in helping the nursing profession get the respect and resources that it deserves and that patients need. Twelve continuing education hours are anticipated. Exciting events include a welcome cocktail reception and a Riverboat Jazz Dinner Cruise on the Mississippi. Come enjoy the food and culture of the Crescent City as you explore how to move nursing forward! Register Now!
Truth About Nursing and Saving Lives media appearances
February 2011 -- The January/February issue of National Nurse, the publication of National Nurses United, including a staff report that focused on efforts of nurses affiliated with the national union to inform and entertain the public through the nurses' own media. The lengthy piece included expert comment from Truth executive director Sandy Summers. see the article...
March 2011 -- This month Canadian Nurse, the publication of the Canadian Nurses Association, covered the 2010 Truth About Nursing Awards in an article entitled Nurses in the media: And the winners are…
March 14, 2011 -- Today the website Nursezone alerted its readers to the Truth's April conference in New Orleans. see the article...
March 2011 -- This month the website TeachStreet added the Truth About Nursing as a featured blogger. see the site...
March 31, 2011 -- The 2010 edition of Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All at Risk now sells for $10 as a paperback from Amazon or Barnes & Noble! Plus, the Apple iBook and B&N Nook editions are priced at less than $5! The 2010 edition of Saving Lives has a new foreword by bestselling nurse author Echo Heron. And it is revised and expanded, discussing Nurse Jackie and other new shows, and featuring updated information throughout. You can also get an author-signed paperback copy when you become a member of the Truth or renew your membership for $30 (click here!). Please help support the Truth's effort to change how the world thinks about nursing today. These affordably-priced editions make great gifts for colleagues, students, or even to help family and friends understand the value of what nurses do. All royalties for the multiple award-winning book go directly to support non-profit nursing advocacy work. Thank you!
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.
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The Truth About Nursing is an international non-profit organization based in Baltimore that seeks to help the public understand the central role nurses play in health care. The Truth promotes more accurate media portrayals of nurses and greater use of nurses as expert sources. The group is led by Sandy Summers, co-author of Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All At Risk.
Thank you for supporting the Truth About Nursing's work!
Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH
Founder and Executive Director
The Truth About Nursing
203 Churchwardens Rd.
Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21212-2937
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