Nurse imagery in the public eye

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    Sorry, not trying to be a thorn to AllNurses.Com ( cuz I really luv this site), but is anyone else kinda getting aggravated seeing the ad on here that invites you to take the quiz and see if you have what it takes to be a great nurse?

    Why am I annoyed? Because here we are, on a pro nurse website, seeing ads that portray nurses as servants (as if we don't encounter this enough every time we work) instead of intelligent people with exceptional analytical skills, knowledge, and a vast skill set who can save people's lives. I realize that the nurse in the picture appears to be carrying medications on her serving tray (as if any of us use trays for our meds), but couldn't the advertisers have chosen to have a picture of a nurse analyzing a 12 lead, or auscultating a patient's breath sounds?

    Hmm...I meant for this to be just a brief few comments and stop above, but now it has me wondering...what should the public image of nurse be in this day and age? I've seen TV hospital ads with the nurse compassionately touching a patient's shoulder and billboards with a nurse tenderly holding a baby and even billboards with nurses standing with doctors, inviting you to come and experience the awesome care of X facility. Come to think about it...I've seen a few times a general clip art image used where the nurse is smiling real big and once again, I think she is carrying what is a food tray because, if I remember correctly, the tray items have steam coming from them. In fact, the only way one could distinguish the woman in the image as a nurse instead of a waitress is her cute, little, outdated white nurse hat - what tha'??

    So before I ramble on anymore, let me just ask you guys...how do you wish nurses were portrayed to the general public- that is, via media types as above? Or 'flash' images if you will, i.e. "What is the first thing you think of... or draw the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a nurse Mr./Ms. Layperson". I only make this distinction because we all know that portrayal of nurse roles in character development in films or TV shows is mostly jacked up. Since not everyone watches those shows or bothers to key in on the nurse component if they do, I'm talking about a more general picture of the nurse - the average of 3 y/os to 80 y/os, free of such "character" influences (if that made any sense at all).
    canoehead likes this.
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  3. 8 Comments so far...

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    I don't like the ad either, because of the image of the nurse: white uniform and cap. Nobody wears long sleeved uniforms anymore and no caps either.

    I wish we were portrayed as the professionals we are.....critical thinkers, interventionists, etc., rather than pill pushers (image in ad) and pillow fluffers (tv).
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    Its a pretty generic quiz with cheesy answers.

    I think a lot of pictures portray nurses as bubbly people who really aren't that smart, but we can carry some medicine or water to a patient. Why don't they show us memorizing all the stuff we have to learn, or administering an IV?
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    Note the uncapped syringe on the med tray. Someone didn't have his thinking cap on when that ad was drawn.
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    Funny because I cared for this same patient two weekends in a row as a new grad nurse. Last week confused, in restraints. This week back with us mentally, pleasant. I think I took excellent care of him. Well his brother comes in first thing in the AM each day.
    I happen to be dressed in my whites because 1) they were clean 2) I just passed boards and wanted to wear my pin

    So I go in and put TEDS on pt and explain that I could not find an order where they were dc'd and so the pt needed them until the doc dc's them. Brother comments "wow you are really attentive to figure that out. How long have you been a nurse?" I explain that I am a recent graduate of nursing school but I have interned for a year at this facility. Sounds like a complement right?

    Then he goes on about how nice I look in my white uniform and how he did "always like a nurse in white. That is most men's sexual fantasy" GAG (where are smilies now? can't find them anymore)

    I'm not even some young cutie... I'm 31 and a size 16 and just worked like 10 hrs at that point lol. I stated something like "well it's a shame nurses are still stereotyped like that in this country. We ARE college educated professionals with degrees that can go all the way to doctorates" he stumbled a bit about it but said the same thing AGAIN grrrrrr.

    I told my preceptor about it last night (she was out sick that night) and she said next time to tell them that is TOTALLY inappropriate! Anyway, so this morning he comes in again and I'm sitting in the hall charting.

    Pt complained to brother I think that I threw away his gum. I'm pretty sure he was joking because we had teased each other about it all night long (I had made him spit it out because he was falling asleep with it in his mouth) Brother said "well I'm sure they do what they feel is in your best interest" sounds nice right? Then he follows it with "besides if they screw up the doctors are up their a$$" ugh I was SO ticked but I just finished my charting (I had already reported off anyway)

    The nurse yday told me she was in there examing pt's scrotum as it had a yeast rash and there were several inappropriate comments made about nurses and they got into some conversation about that heart attack grill and the nurse (very strong opinionated nurse..good for her) explained how they were inappropriately representing nurses.

    Anyway, that was my first real taste of that garbage in the real world.

    Had another pt who wanted to fuss at everyone who walked in the door for bothering him. He turned out to be very nice to me as I told him everything I was doing for the shift and grouped his care together and he told me I was very nice to him. But he still got ticked I didn't get his coffee right when he wanted it. Ohh I just had a pt next door with a stomach full of fecal looking matter (we think impaction?) and had to contact the GI doc.

    Welcome to nursing I guess .. sigh...
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    FYI: I moved the thread to comments and suggestion forum

    I do not like those ads either, I will have them blocked. Thanks for the feedback.
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    How funny... I just clicked the link in my email to read new responses to this and there is our pretty lil nurse quiz ad right in this thread. Too ironic! lol
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    Nursing Image: I highly recommend nurses get and read either of Suzanne Gordons books: Nursing Against the Odds:How health Care Cost Cutting, Media Stereotypes and Medical Hubris Undermine Nurses and Patient Care or Her new one (answer to the problem discussed in book 1): From Silence to Voice:What Nurses need to know and must communicate to the Public. Start a book group with your fellow workers.

    Also, CODE GREEN: money driven hospials and the dismantling of Nursing. by Dana Wenberg is sililier but more narrowly focused.

    We need to move ourselves along from noticing the jokes to constructively and collectively redefining our profession.
    Last edit by RN130 on Jun 24, '07
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    Quote from brian
    FYI: I moved the thread to comments and suggestion forum

    I do not like those ads either, I will have them blocked. Thanks for the feedback.
    Thank you Brian for your quick response. BUt, is there any way you could move the thread back to the general forum since I kinda meant for it to evolve into what other nurses wish our general image should be?

    Once again, I was not knocking AllNurses...heck, they did not create the ad. It was just another example of the servant thing in some graphic arts designer guy's mind.


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