The View Celebrates Nurses After Losing Advertisers for Mocking Miss America …

18 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Advertisers leave ‘The View’ amid Miss America controversy.

The View’s Joy Behar made a surprisingly ignorant comment about nurses this week during a discussion of the Miss America pageant. Two of the ABC show’s co-hosts are under fire after making disparaging comments about Miss America contestant Kelly Johnson’s monologue about in the pageant’s talent competition: Johnson, a nurse who entered the competition as Miss Colorado, spoke about her Alzheimer’s patient named Joe, pointing out the simultaneous limitations and liberties of being a nurse. “No, Joe, I can’t do that, I’m just a nurse,” she said, recalling her conversations with her patient, who would ask her to change a treatment or medication. “But because I didn’t do those things, we connected on other levels,” she explained.Joy Behar, who enraged nurses — including Bachelor winner Nikki Ferrell — this week after her recent controversial comments on The View about the health workers, has apologized — but the backlash continues with several big-name advertisers pulling ads from the show. 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. The View co-host Michelle Collins didn’t find the monologue moving, and mocked Johnson for “basically read[ing] her emails out loud” in Wednesday’s show.

Kelley Johnson, Miss Colorado, is an ICU nurse who, during the 2016 Miss America competition Sunday, spoke about an experience with an Alzheimer’s patient in a monologue, her chosen pageant talent. 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. Her colleague Joy Behar added, “Why does she have a doctor’s stethoscope on?” There was an eruption of outrage at the comments on social media, with nurses and others circulating the hashtag #NursesUnite to show support for Johnson.

I swear to God it was hilarious.” “Each and every day, the nation’s 3.4 million registered nurses provide expert, high-quality and compassionate care, as well as dedicated leadership from the bedside to the boardroom,” the organization’s president said in a statement. 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. Collins later maintained that their comments, intended to be about the talent portion of the competition, not nurses, had been misconstrued, and Behar admitted that she didn’t even know that Johnson was a nurse.

Johnson, 22, had shared a story about one of her patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease during her heartfelt monologue, which was lauded by the judges and by viewers. 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. The moment created immense backlash on the Internet, prompting nurses and nursing supporters to create the hashtag “NursesUnite.” The movement called for Behar to apologize to nurses around the world, while noting that the medical professionals wear stethoscopes on an everyday basis as they interact with their patients. 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.

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