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Saving LivesWhy the Media's Portrayal of Nursing Puts Us All at Risk$
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Sandy Summers and Harry Jacobs Summers

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199337064

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199337064.001.0001

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How We Can All Improve Understanding of Nursing

How We Can All Improve Understanding of Nursing

(p.297) 10 How We Can All Improve Understanding of Nursing
Saving Lives

Sandy Summers

Harry Jacobs Summers

Oxford University Press

Everyone-not just nurses-can take steps to improve understanding of nursing. These range from undertaking major public initiatives to reconsidering everyday speech. We should look closely at the role nurses play in the healthcare system and consider whether our language reflects that role; for instance, many use the word “nurse” to refer to any untrained caregiver. The media can convey a sense of what nursing really is. The news media should consult nurses when they have the expertise it needs. Hollywood should include characters to reflect the nurses who actually provide the compelling health care it has shown physicians providing. Hospital managers should promote nursing as they do medicine. Governments and foundations must recognize the value of nursing. More physicians should learn about the skills nurses have, for instance through interprofessional education and shadowing programs, and then use physicians’ social power to communicate that information to the public.

Keywords:   nursing profession, language choices, doctor, nurse, media health experts, promotion of nursing, Nobel Prize, museum of nursing, interprofessional health education, nurse shadowing

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