Miss Colorado Started a Needed Conversation About Nurses

19 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

ABC’s ‘The View’ puts dozens of nurses on stage to staunch the bleeding over mocking the health professionals.

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — Miss Colorado has added to her winnings from Sunday’s Miss America competition after making an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.Too little, too late? co-host Joy Behar looked contrite during an episode of the popular talk show on Thursday, Sept. 17, after several key advertisers announced they were pulling their ads from the daytime program — and now the ladies are trying to go one step further with their apology. “After we made comments about the Miss America broadcast and the talent performance by Miss Colorado, we heard from many of you,” Behar addressed the cameras during Thursday’s show. “You let us know you were offended by some of our comments and believe me, we were listening.ABC’s “The View” put a bandage on the bleeding wound after losing two major advertisers for mocking nurses — by trotting out more than 50 health care professionals on the Friday broadcast.

In light of the recent controversy surrounding co-hosts Michelle Collins and Joy Behar’s comments regarding Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson’s Miss America monologue about being a nurse, The View brought out several special guests on Friday to further hit home the importance of nurses. “When you think about how nurses are perceived and you look at the Gallup poll, for 13 years running we’ve been listed as the most honest, ethical, and trusted profession out there. The Greeley Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1KkPGcP ) Kelley Johnson of Windsor was a guest on Thursday’s show when DeGeneres presented her with a $10,000 scholarship. Miss Colorado (Kelley Johnson), dressed in scrubs and wearing a stethoscope around her neck, gave a heartfelt monologue about her work as a registered nurse.

But sometimes we don’t feel like we’re the most respected,” said View guest Larry Slater, clinical assistant professor from NYU College of Nursing. “Nurses come to the forefront a lot during times of tragedy, with the countless amazing women and men who have saved lives after 9/11 or Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, or the tsunami in Asia in 2004, or the military nurses on the front line in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Added Slater, “The truth of the matter is that there are countless heroic nurses and countless Kelley Johnsons that are impacting lives every minute of every day without so much as a whisper. Johnson, who is a 22-year-old nurse, caught the attention of DeGeneres after she answered a question during the competition about which woman she would pick to be the new face of the $10 bill. Behar was incredulous, asking why the nurse was “wearing a doctor’s stethoscope.” Behar apologized the next day, but not before the #NursesUnite hashtag had caught fire on Twitter and the American Nurses Association had issued a sharp rebuke; advertisers Johnson & Johnson and Eggland’s Best have also pulled advertising from The View. They’re doing it because of their passion and their love and the impact they can have on those they care for.” Co-host Collins said that she “really didn’t understand the challenges facing nurses,” and acknowledged the necessity of improving the public’s perception and appreciation for the profession. “I’ll be honest I think the comments made Monday kind of played into that, and I’m sorry about that.

We disagree with recent comments on daytime television about the nursing profession and we have paused our advertising accordingly.” Behar attempted to salvage the situation somewhat on Wednesday’s show, telling the audience that she was “used to seeing [the contestants] in gowns and bathing suits. The problem with Behar’s quip, though, isn’t that it’s dumb (although it is!), but that it’s revealing of a persistent misapprehension of how health care actually works. In the story she told she kept describing herself as “just a nurse”—as in, she couldn’t order different medications for the patient because she isn’t a physician. In her monologue, her patient calls her out for repeatedly diminishing the value of her job, telling Johnson that she would never be “just a nurse.” The phrase “just a nurse” has a long history in nursing and grates on most of us. That means that in many people’s minds, nurses’ work is somehow always subsumed into doctors’ work, to the point that the tools we use—such stethoscopes—end up being perceived as property of doctors.

Doctors usually aren’t the ones sounding the alarm when a patient starts going downhill fast—that’s what nurses do, because we’re there on the ward and it’s part of our job. I have sat in a patient’s room, dressed head to toe in latex, slowly injecting a very toxic chemotherapy drug into a patient’s IV line that goes straight into a major vein. I was a new nurse the day I was double-checking a chemotherapy order and realized that the ordering physician had written it based not on the intravenous dosing of the drug, but the intrathecal dosing—the lower dosing that goes into the brain.

Before I could explain that I was new and might have misunderstood, he snatched the order away from me and said, “I’ll fix it.” This is all in a day’s work, and in general nurses are not looking for undue recognition—they just want credit where credit is due. Discussions about nurses’ work environment, nurse staffing, the ubiquity of bullying (doctors against nurses, nurses against each other) in hospitals—they’re all seen as peripheral to real discussions of what plagues health care. Whether you call nurses the backbone of our health care system or the spokes in the hospital wheel, strength only comes from strength, and our policy makers—and our cultural commentators—need to understand that and take nurses’ professional needs seriously. One day, I would love to see an inversion of Kelley Johnson’s story: A patient asks a physician a question, and the doctor responds, “Oh, I’m just a doctor.

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