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Public image of nursing Essay Sample

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Public image of nursing Essay Sample

The media and Hollywood in particular, represent one avenue in which the general public becomes familiar with the role of nurses. How do the media positively or negatively influence the public’s image of nursing?

The public often see nurses through images in the media. Unfortunately, the media and Hollywood, portray negative false image of nurses and doctors to the public. T.V. shows like Nurse Jackie, Grey’s Anatomy, and naughty nurse Halloween costume depicted the dark side of nursing. We have to educate and change the negative image of nurses. The media projects false image about nurses to the public. For example, the T.V. show Nurse Jackie is a medical dark mocking comedy series on television. She is a caring, proficient, and dedicated nurse, but she is also a drug addict, liar, and a thief. She is out of control, out of excuses, and out of tricks in her personal life. She works at an emergency department at All Saints Hospital in New York City. She almost kills a diabetic patient by administering the wrong dosage of insulin while she was impaired. The public does not know that insulin is one of the drugs that require double check by two licensed persons. When Jackie has to check into a rehabilitation center, she lied to her manager stating that she was going to Disneyland.

She also lied to her teenage daughter, Grace, telling her that she was working in the rehabilitation center. She stole a staff member’s coffee while she was there. In addition, other T.V. shows like Grey’s anatomy, nurses are handmaids to physicians. Do doctors and nurses work together to provide the best possible outcome for patients? In Grey’s anatomy, all the nursing tasks are performed by physicians and generally portray nurses as incompetent, unprofessional, and not too intelligent. A naughty nurse costume for Halloween is promiscuous and revealing. Low cut shirts and miniskirts transmit poor taste, appear prostitute like, and emphasize the sexual appeal of nurses to the public. A young ten year daughter of my nurse friend wanted to dress up as a naughty nurse one year. My nurse friend was furious. She felt the image was derogatory. On May 11, 2012 Nurse Zone posted symposium on nursing in the media held at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), School of Nursing. Among the leaders were UCLA professor MarySue Heilemann, Hunter College professors, longtime radio host Diana Mason, and the director of the organization Truth About Nursing, Sandy Summers. Summers emphasized the importance of changing perceptions of nursing at every level, from everyday personal interactions to the political arenas (Nurse Zone, 2012).

Nurses need to speak up more to media about what we do. We also need to educate the public about who is doing the work to protect the patient, showing the patients how to take care of themselves, and how to prevent future illness from competent compassionate nurses. In my facility, there are programs like ABC Clinic, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Stroke Support Group, and Nurse Ambassador Program to educate the public about the positive role of nurses. I am a nurse ambassador and I go to local high school every month to encourage high school students to become a nurse or become involved in the medical field. I share the passion of nursing and educate the public about the role of nusres.

The gap between image and reality plays a role in the ongoing nursing shortage, which in turn harms patients. Popular Hollywood T.V. shows, advertisements, and the news media continue to portray nurses as hollow losers, handmaids, or disposable bimbos. Nurses face a critical lack of respect which leads to physical abuse from patients. Understaffing leads to stressful situations for the nursing staff, causing delays in necessary treatments. That also contributes to a lack of respect and support from co-workers and patients. Due to the media projecting negative images of nurses, we need to take the media into our own hands. We should promote how nurses save lives, meeting the health care challenges of the 21st century.

Reference

Cresia, J., Friberg, J. Conceptual Foundations: The Bridge to Professional Nursing
Practice (VitalSoucebookshelf version). Retrieved from
http://pageburstls.elsevier.com/books/978-0323-06869-7/id/B9780323068697100054_p0605 Flahive, L. (2013, July). Nurse Jackie. New York, NY: SHOWTIME. NurseZone: Nurses and the media: A call to Action at UCLA Symposium” Retrieved from

http:// www.truthaboutnursing.org/press/coverage

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