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  • The Shift Change Podcast .

Episode 5 - Portrayal of Nurses in the Media

Updated: Apr 1, 2021


Nurses are integral members of the healthcare team. We have been for the last century. But, does the general public really understand what nurses do on a day to day basis? Over the last year, the media has been saturated with images of health care workers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen nurses gowned and gloved, caring for patients. Prior to COVID, the presence of nurses in North American popular media has often been stereotyped as the seen but not heard feminine presence in the hospital, the less prestigious and knowledgeable member of the medical team, sometimes the sexy nighttime soap opera hospital vixen, the gay best friend, or the angel of death, just to name a few. What does this say about the public understanding of what nursing stands for and who nurses are? Although we recorded the content of this episode in fall of 2019 the discussion remains relevant today. In this month’s episode, Claire and Michelle discuss some of these stereotypes, how they might influence public understanding of nursing, and how they can be changed by nurses' actions and nurses' participation and advocacy in public forums.




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