I am happy to announce that my interview with Dr. Hsien Hsien Lei is up at Genetics and Health! The questions were very intriguing and made me think (always a dangerous proposition). Dr. Lei was chosen by Foxnews.com in their Best Blogs: Ten Health Websites Worth A Click listing – Congratulations Dr. Lei!
I found this old ad when browsing the “Center For Nursing Advocacy” website.
Let’s get one thing straight, right off the bat; let’s address the most important issue here.
The cap is stunning.
10/10 on the Emergiblog Cap Rating Scale (ECRS). Perfectly situated and no “occipital slippage” in evidence.
Okay, now we’ll talk about the other stuff.
My first thought when I saw this ad was, “Heh! I’ve worked with that one!”.
My next thought was, “Oh man, I’ve been that one!”
According to the Center For Nursing Advocacy, this is known as the “battle-ax” stereotype.
And it’s a no-no to portray nurses in that fashion.
The campaign to get this ad off the pages of whatever magazine was an easy one. I think it took three letters, if I read correctly.
I say it would have taken no letters. It’s just an unpleasant ad.
Do I find this offensive as a nurse?
What is offensive here? The fact that the nurse is ugly? The fact that the nurse is angry? Are nurses not allowed to be angry or does that further the “battle-ax” stereotype?
But wait! Nurses are not supposed to be portrayed as angels, either in print or on film. That’s another stereotype that is a no-no.
Hmmm…we’re not allowed to be pissed off and we aren’t allowed to be super-humanly long suffering.
But what about the fact that in real life I’ve been both a total b**** and I’ve put up with things that would have made Mother Teresa turn her nose up?
Was I acting like a stereotype then?
Or is the reason this ad is so offensive is that it hits too close to home for some (most?) nurses?
I had pretty much made up my mind that the Center For Nursing Advocacy had a victim mentality and needed a sense-of-humor transplant. Badly.
That’s not what I found.
I actually went to the site. I looked at what they are about. What they actually do.
Some of the campaigns were pretty impressive. To me, if you are going to advocate in the name of my profession, you keep nursing in the forefront. You make sure that in real life, nurses’ opinions are sought…and given.
This is happening at the Center For Nursing Advocacy.
But for me, the operative word here is “real life“.
Television shows are not “real life”.
Stupid ads like this one are not “real life”!
Nurses don’t dress like this, we don’t carry needles that big and I daresay most of us don’t run around with our boobs hanging out.
And the general public knows that!!!!!
This ad is obviously using exaggeration and parody to sell tennis shoes.
Now, I am the minority here when I say this ad didn’t even make me think twice. Three-thousand of my colleagues did write and the ad was pulled. It did hit a nerve with many nurses.
In my experience, honestly, no one is going to mistake myself or any of my co-workers for a whore-ish looking Christina Augilera sex-kitten.
Frankly, she looks like an idiot and unless you are a seventeen-year-old hormone ridden male adolescent who likes to fantasize about nurses, this ad would have run it’s course and gone away anyway.
Which brings me to my point. The Center For Nursing Advocacy has the voice and the power to do very good things for the nursing profession. MY profession. I saw some good work in progress over there. I’ll be sending some letters.
But there is a problem.
My unsolicited advice? Pick your battles.
Right now the first “battle” is trying to get “Doctors Without Borders” to change their name. I’m not joking, here is the website! They think the name should be changed to show that nurses are a large part of that organization.
This is nonsense.
Imagine, if you will, the reverse scenario: a nursing organization called, say “Nurses International” travels to different countries to provide care free of charge. There are doctors who work with the nurses. But the doctors don’t like the fact that they aren’t mentioned in the name, so a (fictitional) “Group For Medical Advocacy” starts a campaign to get “nursing” out of the organization’s name.
The outcry from nursing would be deafening.
This is an example of a battle that doesn’t need to be fought.
Fighting TV shows that show stupid nurses need not take up so much effort; frankly the doctors are treated like they are stupid as well.
The doctors are so stupid in these shows they don’t know how to practice medicine and have to practice nursing in order to look intelligent.
I mean really. Did you ever look at it from that angle?
Now, if a TV show depicts a nurse doing something illegal or unethical, I’ll write a letter. I did so when the BBC America show “No Angels” depicted nurses desecrating a dead body.
But are we as a profession so insecure that we have to jump on every single ad that may not show us as the epitome of professionalism?
You want nurses to be depicted as professionals? Then act that way every single moment of your workday.
The public isn’t stupid. They know a “real” nurse from a phony portrayal.
The public knows that a duck quacks and a duck in a nurse outfit that is called a Nurse Quacktitioner is not meant to insult. (Would it have been better to make it a dog and call it a “Nurse Barktitioner”? A Meow-titioner?).
Another battle that didn’t have to be waged. Yes, I know 2000 of my colleagues wrote. Maybe I’m the one who is off the wall here.
I don’t think so.
I’m not stupid, either. I’m comfortable in my professionalism and my position as a nurse no matter what the television is or isn’t showing or what ads are or aren’t being published.
If my patients have any misconceptions, then they are set straight the minute they meet me. Me. A real nurse.
The Center is doing some fantastic advocacy work.
I believe their effectiveness is diluted by some of the battles they are choosing to fight.
Give the public some credit.
Give us some credit.
The public will listen; the nurses will act.
If…you pick the battles that mean something.