Survey: Do you think nurses are portrayed positively in the media?

Nurses General Nursing


This months survey Question...

Do you think nurses are portrayed positively in the media?

Here are the results from this survey:

85% - No

15% - Yes

We encourage your comments and discussion on this question. I'm sure many of you will have some lively comments on this topic.

To post your comments, just click on the "Post Reply" button.


Brian Short

It's how nurses surf the web!

[This message has been edited by bshort (edited March 16, 2001).]

I think we should change the title "nurse" to "Total Care Coordinator"and get a documentary titled on "a day with no nurses" displaying empty halls and graveyards!

I am a student nurse in England. I did a presentation on the medias perception of nurses and our Z list celebrities think they are promoting nurses when they wear stilletos and mini dresses with fishnet stockings on. On our National Nurses Day, one celebrity did this and there was outrage amongst the nursing community.

I am not personally offended by these images, but when on a ward and men start making comments at the nursing staff, it makes you feel quite embarassed.

Some doctors seem to think nurses are incompetent, yet it is the doctors (or GOD!!!) that give the orders and the nurses that do all the work!!!!

of course nurses are not portrayed well in the media. A perfect example is on the ABC documentary hopkins24-7. tere were very, very few nurses seen at all in the days it ever now the discovery health channel has reedited the cut out footage of the nurses and made a documentary about us. I have not seen it does it portray nurses in agood light?

Originally posted by nursedude:

Are nurses portrayed positively?

Need we even discuss this further?

You're right--asinine.

Or here is a good one... Do a search on for the word "nurse".

- See what comes up 1st on the return to your search " "

What's wrong with "American Assoc of Nurse Anesthetists (sp???)

Specializes in NICU, Infection Control.

I did see the Discovery-Health Channel last

Sunday. I did think they were good; the psych nurses were VERY professional, and I've worked w/a clone of the NICU nurse. I liked them.

A camera would have a hard time keeping up with a nurse. I would like to have had one try to follow me Monday evening. The only way I can keep going on nights like that is to temper the situation with humor. Fortunately, the charge nurse and the unit secretary were both efficient and funny. I hardly saw the other nurses as they were hammered as well. No breaks except the bathroom X1. I would love to see someone write realistically nurses. No matter how well it has been done (early ER Carol), they are always one or two dimensional - and I have yet to see one with a sense of humor. We have some great writers who contribute to this forum. Let's come up with a pilot. Better yet, a mini-series. If we want it done right, we're going to have to do it.

The best portrayal of nursing (and others perception of nursing) I've experienced is in a Pulitzer Prize winning play entitled 'Wit'. The playwright is Margaret Edson, who once worked as a nursing unit clerk. It is about a woman's experience with terminal breast cancer- reflection's on her life and her entrance into our foriegn, dehumanizing medical world. It very accurately portrays our hospital culture.

The nurse is knowledgeable, caring, informative and a patient advocate. I could go on about the patient, doctor and resident, but this post would become far too long. It is a very funny, sad play and if you ever have the opportunity to see it- Don't Miss It!! You'll love it on many levels.

Comments from others who have seen it are appreciated!

Specializes in OB, M/S, ICU, Neurosciences.

Or here is a good one... Do a search on for the word "nurse".

- See what comes up 1st on the return to your search " "


What's wrong with "American Assoc of Nurse Anesthetists (sp???)


Tuesday ... It's Official! HCFA Removes Physician Supervision

Requirement for Nurse Anesthetists!! January ...

Imagine that?! CRNAs being able to function autonomously without a physician's supervision? Looks like HCFA recognizes the extensive and specialized training and education these nurses receive--why doesn't the general public? I think most of the people posting on this thread have hit the nail on the head about the portrayal of nurses in the media. I haven't actually seen the Discovery channel program, but hopefully it brings some reality to what we do and changes the perception for some laypeople. I have had many people ask me if hospitals are really like the soap operas they see on TV--I really enjoy answering that question because it gives me an opportunity to educate and change the perception in a small way.

I think the public at large and most of the media are ill-informed about nursing. While most professions have only one entry level, there is justifiable confusion in the public mindset as to "what is a nurse." Nursing has at least three entry levels to practice: licensed practical nurses; and, associate-degree and baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses. Add to this confusion "certified nursing assistants." This is evidenced recently by the hit CBS reality show "Survivor" in which the title "nurse" was used when referring to certified nursing (CNA) Tina Wesson, who is a member of the cast.

All I can say is we have come a long way since Florence Nightengale. It is sad the public still sees us as her combined with a little bit of Mother Theresa.

I have had mini arguements with people who see me when I am not feeling well and tell me I should see a doctor. I usually am not in best of spirits and snap back at them WHY the doctor probably wont even have time to see me for more than a minute, a nurse like myself will do that assessment and most of the diagnosis along with the testing. I know whats wrong with me and it will resolve with "da da da da da".

Doctors are portrayed as Gods and their nurses are their servants in waiting.

Maybe some nurses that are tired of the profession should go into producing.....hint hint.

Hey dont laugh, if an actor can become president and a studio wrestler become governor, why not a nurse becoming a producer.

I blatently refuse to watch ER.

These "hospital drama" shows are basically about doctors, doctors & more doctors.

Here in Australia, we have a tv show called All Saints (its the name of the hospital, not a reference to nurses!!)It does have doctors in it but seems to focus equally on nurses. I dont usually watch it, only if nothing better is on. Its a bit unreal, I mean the main characters all seem to always be on the same shifts together!! Who do the know in the rosters department !!

We recently had a documentary screened called "Nurses" which focussed on 4 nurses who work at the same hospital but all in different departments. That was real life and very good.

Another show we have is called "RPA" after a hospital in Sydney called the Royal Prince Alfred. Its a real life documentary focussing on following patients through their treatment. It focusses on the doctors 99% of the time. Even having shots of the docs in their starched white coats !! Gotta laugh at that, I dont know any doctor who wears a white coat!!

Anyway, the overall belief of nurses, as portrayed in the media, has all been said before. More TV shows, real and fiction, need to be made portraying nurses in a real way.

BTW, my friends continue to ask me about the "cute doctors" I work with (there arent any) and as Im single, I might end up marrying a doctor!! I tell them to stop watching ER. And most of my boyfriends have been my fellow nurses!! And yes, we need more male nurses!! smile.gif



Banner headline front page:


Sunday, September 10,2000

"Nursing mistakes kill, injure thousands"

Smaller subheading "cost-cutting exaxt toll on patients, hospital staffs"

The article goes on to discuss how hospital shortages and cost cutting have over whelmed nursing staff, resulting in undertrained staff and system errors that lead to care delivery errors...


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