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How Does the Media Positively or Negatively Influence the Public’s Image of Nursing?

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Submitted By aladdinfactor
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I think the media can have both positive and negative influences to the profession of nursing. In my response, I’ve chosen to comment on how it can be a positive effect.

Even though the portrayals of nurses on television shows at times are very unrealistic, I think medical-drama television shows such as “SCRUBS” and “ER” can actually promote nursing in some ways. Episodes about doctors and nurses’ heroic efforts to save or help out victims in natural disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.) and accidents (car, fire, etc.) can promote a positive image for the profession. When I was a young kid, I was inspired to become like one of those television nurses and doctors so I can help people! Watching TV was probably one of my first exposures to the profession. The doctors and nurses were Super Heroes to me.

With our current 24/7 news outlets, the media can provide a “channel” to health professionals (such as first responders, nurses, etc.) who help at “news worthy” natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. When the viewer sees the health professionals’ compassion, competency and commitment to the public, this strikes a positive connection with the public. Another good example is the recent case of the Texas Nurse, Nina Pham, who was exposed to the Ebola virus via treatment of one of her patients. The media coverage “positively depicted” her as a caring and compassion nurse who served bravely during the United States’ first Ebola outbreak. This displayed a strong culture of caring for the nursing community.

In my personal experience as a nurse, I feel there is a lack of awareness from the public pertaining their knowledge in the role and responsibilities of nurses. This lack of public information can be in the areas of critical thinking, skillfulness, decision making, and emotional aspect of nursing. Perhaps an idea to lessen this gap of knowledge; is to...

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