godsey et al ., 2020 ). H e a l t h M e d i c a l
- Does media portrayal of nursing affect how patients perceive nurses as authority figures? Why or why not? Think about nursing stereotypes and discuss the ways you can influence the public image of nursing.
The media portrayal of nursing does affect how patients perceive nurses as authority figures because the general public is easily influenced by the news and social media, where nurses are often subjected to widespread criticism due to dissatisfied patients, thus reducing public trust towards nurses. To influence the public image of nursing, it is important to first recognize nursing stereotypes, such as the misconception that all nurses were high school bullies and that they carry their adolescent aggression and hostility into adulthood, with their new victims being the patients under their care. This stereotype is the result of patients experiencing poor nursing care and a lack of compassion from the nurse, so the only way to positively influence the public image of nursing is to have better, more empathetic nurses who have the professional capacity to provide holistic care.
- Discuss the various roles nurses can play that support the real image of nursing. Think about community health care and preventive services for all, but especially the underserved.
The real image of nursing can be expressed through the care of underserved individuals, such as those who lack primary care services in rural areas and medically underserved communities where primary care shortages are documented, but physician oversight may not be locally available (Altman et al., 2016). By having nurses help the underserved through community healthcare and preventive services, the general public will be able to see nursing for what it really is: caring for those who are unable to care for themselves or lack the resources to do so.
2. When discussing the question, “does media portrayal of nursing affect how patients perceive nurses as authority figures”, I believe the answer is yes. When I began researching how the media portrays nursing, I found an interesting article, “Registered nurse perceptions of factors contributing to the inconsistent brand image of the nursing profession”. In this article, it was stated that “Numerous reports in the literature suggest that nurses have been overlooked as autonomous healthcare providers due to a persistently outdated and inaccurate image, often fed by media stereotypes, which project them as caring and trusted, yet lacking in influence and autonomy due to their subservient role to physicians” (Godsey et al., 2020). What stood out to me in this finding is that the media perceives nurses as having no influence when regarding patient care. Let’s take SBAR for example, the “R” stands for recommendation. Doctors need help from nurses in various ways, because we have more contact with that patient than them. If a doctor wrote a medication order wrong, who must correct them? Nurses do.
In the many commercials I have seen, nurses are portrayed as simple caretakers, when what we do is more complex than that. Due to this image the media portrays, patients often think nurses must do everything for them, as if we are their servants. The media should be portraying nurse as strong-willed individuals who do the toughest work. We are commonly portrayed laughing and smiling with a patient, but we should be seen running to the bedside for a code blue. There are various roles that nurses play that support e real image of nursing. When thinking about community healthcare, a prime example would be school nurses. School nurses assess the physical, mental, emotional, and social aspects of a child’s health. This is seen as a preventative measure because nurses use upstreaming to stop a problem from occurring before it has even begun. School nurses do assessments (example: scoliosis), ensure vaccinations are up to date, and assess for mistreatment. In this environment, a nurse does not have a “subservient role to physician”.