Essay on Virginia Henderson

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How Nurses are Portrayed in the Media
Jennifer Hodges
Stevenson University
Professional Seminar 1
NURS 313
Dr. L. Paris, RN

How Nurses are Portrayed in the Media As far back as one can go in history women have been depicted as the ones who nourish, nurture, and tend to the care of children, aging family members, and the wounded. How nurses have depicted themselves can be expressed not only by their actions, but by the uniforms they have worn over time. The image of Florence Nightingale in her uniform, carrying her lamp and caring for the wounded is an image instilled in nurses’ minds to this day. Unfortunately, this is not the image instilled in the public today. On television nurses are portrayed as sexual beings, and
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During one of the first episodes to air (Sept 4, 1968) Julia has returned for her second interview and the doctor is looking at an X-ray. The doctor asked Julia to identify what she is looking at and she responds a “chest X-ray”. He then proceeds to tell Julia that she has a healthy looking chest and must be there to beg for a job. The civil banter continues between the two of them and she does eventually get the position. This depiction reflects how television influences society and vice versa. Whatever is happening in society at the time is reflected in television. In March of 1972 the Equal Rights Amendment for women was passed in Congress. This certainly did not change the image of nursing in the media though. Stereo types of nurses being hell raisers, fun seekers, and heart breakers continue whether they are black or white, because sex sells. According to Geller and Summers (2014) “One stereotype is the nurse as [an] uneducated worker” (p. 28). When in fact Geller and Summers (2014) strongly state that “Nurses should be depicted as science professionals who make critical assessments and life and death decisions” (p. 28). Society does not understand what nursing entails. By allowing young people to see and explore what nursing is really all about, not just emptying bed pans and following doctors orders, could possibly be an eye opener and draw attention to a career that was previously

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