Current Media: Nurses Portrayed as Non-Critical Thinkers

Topics: Nursing, Nurse, Physician Pages: 5 (1608 words) Published: February 7, 2013
Current Media: Nurses Portrayed as Non-critical Thinkers
Evelyn Sparling
Trent University

In this paper, the misguided image created by media tells the public: nurses follow doctors orders and are incapable of making their own judgments will be explored. The impact of this image on the nurse as an individual and on the nursing profession will be shown and ways to improve the image of nursing will be discussed. Evidence

Present media, portrays the nursing field as an aid to physicians in the hospitals giving little credit to what nurses do in their profession. The media has pushed aside nurses and have made a high image for doctors and physicians. Television shows generally depict doctors as the key clinicians, putting nurses in the background doing the unimportant tasks (Mee, 2010). Therefore nurses are seen having a minimal role in the health care system.

The idea that nurses simply follow doctors orders is a strong stereotypical theme that has many people deceived. Nurses are not thought to be independent, making critical decisions for the patient. Instead, nurses are thought to only care for the patient while the doctor is gone. According to the American society of registered nurses, “ The public perceive a nurse as just someone who assists the doctor during and after treatment of the illness assisting the patient in keeping up is personal hygiene, giving the medications as prescribed by the doctor, dressing the wounds when there is a need ensuring welfare of the patient” (American Society of Registered Nurses, 2007. para 1). This is a harmful image that creates a low expectation of what nurses are capable of. Therefore, nurses are endanger of not being taken seriously by patient families when their advise is given for a patient. People may want to speak to the doctor about patients health instead, even though the nurse is the one who sees the patient daily for long periods of time.

The idea that a nurses role is easy, and simplistic is also shown in media as the nurses job is not well represented. According to the Ontario Nurses Association, “Physicians are shown spending half their time conduction key care tasks that nurses actually perform while nurses, as their peripheral subordinates, stare at them with adoration and admiration...” (Ontario Nurses Association, 2008. p.1). The general public is not well educated on the nurses role and do not realize the work nor effort nurses put into their career through education and dedicated work.

The negative notions about nursing through television and other types of media need to be seriously exposed as they harm and form lies about nurses. Currently, “these images reinforce the farce that nurses are not critical thinkers and are dependent on physicians for every direction; that nursing is not a profession unto itself but that nurses are medical aids” (Ontario Nurses Association, 2008, p.1). Discussion

The idea that nurses are not critical thinkers nor independent is damaging to the face of the nursing career. This train of thought causes people to underestimate the capabilities of nurses across Canada. The idea that we only follow doctors orders causes people to overlook what we do, labeling our work as unimportant. This attitude causes less funding into the nursing profession which leads to nursing shortages, creating over worked nurses and clinical error.As well as creating more part time jobs instead of full time, leaving many nurses no choice but to work more then one job. When a negative image is very dominant in Canadian culture, nurses in the working profession start to believe the lies about themselves, making nurses quiet and not speaking out against the image. The lack of credit nurses get for what they do can lead to them thinking their job is insignificant. Also, media is a main way that the younger canadian generations are being educated. By them learning wrong...
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