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Saving lives : why the media's portrayal of nursing puts us all at risk / Sandy Summers, Harry Jacobs Summers.

  • Summers, Sandy
  • Books

About this work

Also known as

Why the media's portrayal of nursing puts us all at risk


"For millions of people worldwide, nurses are the difference between life and death, self-sufficiency and dependency, hope and despair. But a lack of understanding of what nurses really do -- one perpetuated by popular media's portrayal of nurses as simplistic archetypes -- has devalued the profession and contributed to a global shortage that constitutes a public health crisis. Today, the thin ranks of the nursing workforce contribute to countless preventable deaths. This fully updated and expanded edition of Saving Lives highlights the essential roles nurses play in contemporary health care and how this role is marginalized by contemporary culture. Through engaging prose and examples drawn from television, advertising, and news coverage, the authors detail the media's role in reinforcing stereotypes that fuel the nursing shortage and devalue a highly educated sector of the contemporary workforce. Perhaps most important, the authors provide a wealth of ideas to help reinvigorate the nursing field and correct this imbalance. As American health care undergoes its greatest overhaul in decades, the practical role of nurses -- that as autonomous, highly skilled practitioners -- has never been more important. Accordingly, Saving Lives addresses both the sources of, and prescription for, misperceptions surrounding contemporary nursing"--


Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, [2015]

Physical description

xxxi, 419 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


Updated second edition.

Bibliographic information

Includes bibliographical references and index.


pt. 1. Dangerous ignorance: Why our understanding of nursing matters. 1. Who are nurses and where have they gone? : A few notes on nursing history ; The nursing shortage -- 2. How nursing's image affects your health : Virtue and vice: some roots of nursing's media stereotypes ; Does what's in our brains matter? How the media influences nursing -- pt. 2. The great divide: the media versus real nursing. 3. Could monkeys be nurses? : 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! : Are you sure nurses are autonomous? It sure looks like physicians call all the shots ; Media portrayals of the nurse as an autonomous professional ; "Nurse, hand me my laptop": Media portrayals of the nurse as handmaiden -- 5. The naughtiest nurse : "Penny shots for naughty nurses": why the naughty nurse matters ; Call me Magdelene: is nursing the world's oldest profession? -- 6. Who wants yesterday's girl? : The work feminism forgot ; The male nurse action figure: the media confronts men in nursing -- 7. You are my angel : 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 : 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"? : 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 and advertising media -- pt. 3. Seeking better understanding of nursing, and better health care. 10. How we can all improve understanding of nursing : 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 healthcare 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 : Nurses have the power ; Projecting a professional image every day ; Educate physicians and medical students ; Educating the media about nursing ; Message in a bottle: create your own media ; It's up to us.


  • English

Where to find it

  • LocationStatus
    History of Medicine
    Open shelves

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  • 9780199337064
  • 0199337063
  • 1607146142
  • 9781607146148
  • 1607148013
  • 9781607148012
  • 0190221429
  • 9780190221423