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Saving Lives - Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All At Risk
Author: Sandy Summers, Harry Jacobs Summers
Publisher: Kaplan Publishing
Despite being an American text, every nurse should recognise the damage that negative portrayals of nursing in the press, films, television and even books can do to our image. The popularity of transatlantic film and TV shows means many of the negative United States images referred to here are seen in the UK. Saving Lives references productions such as ER and MASH.
Co-written by Sandy Summers, executive director of the campaigning group The Truth About Nursing, and her husband, senior adviser Harry Jacobs Summers, this well-researched text explores the negative effects of adverse publicity and how it inhibits our professional growth. The constant failure to credit nurses for the work they do is addressed, notably doctors being credited for a patient's recovery when the real story belongs to the nurses in rehab, and the crediting of a successful immunisation programme to the public health department when it was a nurse-led initiative.
The book deserves wide reading. Hopefully some firebrand may even be driven to duplicate this study in the UK.
Reviewer: Dame Betty Kershaw, RCN education adviser
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