Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All at Risk

Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All at Risk


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Popular TV Shows like Grey's Anatomy and House lead viewers to think that nurses simply push gurneys, drive romantic subplots, or act as human scenery behind the real action. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Those who are among the 15 million nurses worldwide know that the reality of nursing is for more demanding and crucial.

Written by the leaders of The Truth About Nursing, this revised and expanded edition of Saving Lives is a report from the front lines of the battle to challenge inaccurate portrayals of nurses. In this Compelling exposé of the media's role in reinforcing negative nurse stereotypes, the authors work tirelessly to change public perceptions, empower nurses, and help them get the respect they need to save lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781607146605
Publisher: Kaplan Publishing
Publication date: 05/04/2010
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.97(d)

About the Author

Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH, is the founder and executive director of The Truth About Nursing. She has Masters Degrees in Community Health Nursing and Public Health from Johns Hopkins and previously practiced in emergency departments and intensive care units of major trauma centers.

Harry Jacobs Summers is the senior advisor to The Truth About Nursing and their principal writer. A former Fulbright scholar with degrees from Columbia and Georgetown, he practices law in Washington, DC.

Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Introduction xi

Part 1 Dangerous Ignorance: Why Our Understanding of Nursing Matters 1

1 Who Are Nurses and Where Have They Gone? 3

A Few Notes on Nursing History

The Nursing Shortage

2 How Nursing's Image Affects Your Health 23

Virtue and Vice: Some Roots of Our Media Stereotypes

Does What's in Our Brains Matter? How the Media Influences Nursing

Part 2 The Great Divide: The Media Versus Real Nursing 55

3 Could Monkeys Be Nurses? 57

Media Portrayals of Nurses as Serious Professionals

“Is This All Nurses Do?” Media Contempt for Nursing Skill

If It's Important Work, Credit Anyone but a Nurse

Ghosts in the Machine: Nurses Go Missing in the Media

Can Any Helpful Person or Thing Be a Nurse?

4 Yes, Doctor! No, Doctor! 111

Are You Sure Nurses Are Autonomous? It Sure Looks Like Physicians Call All the Shots

Media Portrayals of the Nurse as Autonomous Professional

“Nurse, Hand Me My Laptop”: Media Portrayals of the Nurse as Handmaiden

5 The Naughtiest Nurse 143

“Penny Shots for Naughty Nurses&rdquo: Why the Naughty Nurse Matters

Call Me Magdalene: Is Nursing the World's Oldest Profession?

6 Who Wants Yesterday's Girl? 169

The Work Feminism Forgot

The Male Nurse Action Figure: The Media Confronts Men in Nursing

7 You Are My Angel 193

What's Wrong, Angel?

Bless This Angel of Mercy Nurse Collectible Figurine!

Transcending the Angel: What Can Be Done?

8 Winning the Battle-Axe, Losing the War 215

Tyrants, Bureaucrats, Monsters: Hollywood Celebrates Nursing Authority

Hovering Like Ghouls: Battle-Axes in Other Media

9 Advanced Practice Nurses: Skilled Professionals or Cut-Rate “Physician Extenders”? 231

Who Are APRNs and How Good Is Their Care?

“Midwifs” and Minor Ailments: APRNs in Hollywood

The Doctorate of Splinter Diagnosis: APRNs in the News Media

Part 3 Seeking Better Understanding of Nursing — and Better Health Care 261

10 How We Can All Improve Understanding of Nursing 263

I'm a Citizen of the World. What Can I Do?

I'm a Member of the Media. What Can I Do?

I'm a Private Sector Health Care Executive. What Can I Do?

I'm a Government or Health Policy Maker. What Can I Do?

I'm a Health Worker but Not a Nurse. What Can I Do?

11 How Nurses Can Improve Their Own Image 289

You Have the Power

Projecting a Professional Image Every Day

Educating the Media About Nursing

Message in a Bottle: Create Your Own Media

It's Up to Us

Acknowledgments 327

Endnotes 329?

About the Truth About Nursing 343

About the Authors 344

Index 345

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Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All at Risk 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great and Sandy and her husband have done a tremendous job!I speak on the topic of Nursing Image to nurses and this is a great resource. This book pulls the topic together well AND it is very well written. I read the book on the train and the time flew by!! I read a great deal and sometimes books written for the profession don't hold your attention but this keeps you wanting more. Kudos to the authors. you should be very proud. I'll be recommending the book at my presentations for professional nurses and in my classes for students as a "must read." a registered nurse MSN, MBA, RN, CMSRN
AndiaFram More than 1 year ago
Recommend this book to anyone who is interested in and cares about the future of health care. Think is a must read for nurses to become aware of the issue of the inaccurate and damaging media portrayals which ultimately affects patient outcomes.
D_Tanzi_RN More than 1 year ago
For too long the media has focussed on the absurd when depicting the role of nurses. Becauses of this inaccuracy, the profession fails to rate among HS students in the pursuit of a career. The students seem to know more about social lives of nurses in the media rather than the true responsibilities and life saving tactics they employ on a daily basis. This book brings to light that the media's contribution to this inaccurate portrayal has been repsonsible for a lack of interest in the profession. "Saving Lives..." highlights what is needed to turn this around and discusses the realities behind the fine art and science of nursing. A definite read for anyone in the healthcare field or anyone who requires care from healthcare providers!
Bobbi_Kimball_RN More than 1 year ago
As the United States braces for an enduring shortage of highly trained registered nurses that may negatively affect the quality of health care in our lifetime, the popular media continues to undermine the reality of nursing's contributions through inaccurate portrayals of the profession. Saving Lives not only tells us the truth about Nursing's impact on health, quality of care and the lives of real people, but it articulately demonstrates why Nursing is consistently ranked by consumers as the most respected profession in the US and remains the resiliant backbone of the health care system. This revealing book is a powerful call to action for all nurses, nursing students, policy makers, media and the general public.
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Karen_Buley More than 1 year ago
Thanks to Sandy Summers and Harry Jacobs Summers for sharing the importance of the work we nurses do. Special thanks for your "...prospectus for a global investment in nursing: Value of nurses saving thousands of additional lives every day: Trillions of dollars. Value of nurses teaching millions more people how to live healthier lives: Trillions of dollars. Value of nurses keeping families, workplaces, communities, and nations strong: Priceless."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An outstanding, well written book. I feel that not only is it a must read for every nurse and nursing student, but also by every professional health care provider and anyone who might ever be taken care of by a nurse or health care provider.