It is well documented that the Media, particularly Hollywood, is one of avenues in which the general public has become familiar with the role of nurses. This is proven based on many healthcare episodes on televisions, theatres, and the news coverage. The media often times negatively influences the public image of nursing by repeatedly broadcasting news coverage of nurses that have made mistakes on the job. Unfortunately, on these occasions, those mistakes have led to detrimental consequences for patients. A good example of the Hollywood Media that has negatively influenced the public image is the fictional portrayals of nurses that HBO showed Nurse Jackie as a drug addicted nurse who steals drugs from the facility she works and uses the stolen drugs to support her habit. It is very rare to see news coverage of hard working proficient nurses who effectively perform their jobs treating patients and ...view middle of the document...
There has not been alot done by media to inform the public on nurses’ role and their responsibilities which include critical thinking, decision making, and skillful management of risk; rather media has focused on the emotional aspect of nursing. (Creasia & Friberg, 2011).
According to Orem “In the early 60’s, nurses were depicted as subordinate to physicians in the films and on television. For example, in TV shows such as Dr. Kildare and Ben Casey, nurses were shown delivering messages to the doctors, carrying trays and doing minimal skill level tasks. Throughout the show, the doctors were condescending towards the nurses, and constantly portrayed as superior.”
In 1962 a revolutionary TV Show came along; and for the first time, nurses were depicted in a positive realistic light as objective, articulate, disciplined, and concerned with professional development of themselves and colleagues. These TV Shows demonstrated the existence of nursing standards and organization as a respectable profession.
One of the options to inform the public about the nurses’ role is educational seminar and literature dissemination; the second option is for nurses to be professional while taking care of their patients. These options are crucial for nurses to do themselves instead of relying on the media because some patients have the negative impression implanted in them by the media and as such want to verify if the information provided by the media is true or not. As a nursing professional, I have nursed a male patient who was hash and mean to me with negative and unprofessional words due to the information he received from the media. As a long time practicing nursing professional who cares for her patients, I utilized the opportunity to reeducate this patient on the perspective of nurses and their role in the healthcare system contrary to what the media says.
Creasia, J.L., and Friberge, EE. (2011). Conceptual Foundations: The Bridge to Professional Nursing Practice. 5th Edition. St Louis, MO; Elsevier and Mosby
Kalisch, P.A. & Kalisch, B.J. (1987). The Changing Image of the Nurse. Menlo Park, CA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company.