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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 Nurses Can Improve Their Own Image

How Nurses Can Improve Their Own Image

(p.327) 11 How Nurses Can Improve Their Own Image
Saving Lives

Sandy Summers

Harry Jacobs Summers

Oxford University Press

Nurses themselves must play the leading role in improving their image. Nurses should recognize that they have the power-and the responsibility-to foster change in their profession. They can start by projecting a professional image in everyday interactions, including how they communicate with patients, the image they project in their personal health, and even the way they dress at work (we suggest fewer cartoon characters on scrubs). Nurses should also work to increase their engagement with health policy issues, to show the world they are serious health professionals. Nurses should work to help the media create more accurate depictions of their profession and to persuade the media to reconsider harmful portrayals. Those efforts may range from collaboration with media creators to vigorous public advocacy. Nurses should consider creating their own media to explain nursing, from letters to the editor to health columns and blogs to new Hollywood programs.

Keywords:   public understanding, reform, nursing profession, patient interactions, nursing uniforms, work attire, public affairs, health leaders, media advocates, media advisors, future of nursing

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