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Nurses need to counteract negative stereotypes of the profession in top YouTube hits
Date:7/16/2012

The nursing profession needs to harness the power of the video-sharing website YouTube to promote a positive image of nurses, after research found that many of the top hits portray them in a derogatory way. That is the key finding of research published in the August issue of the Journal of Advanced Nursing.

Researchers examined the YouTube database to find the most viewed videos for "nurses" and "nursing". Ninety-six videos were included after preliminary analysis of the first 50 hits for each word. The top ten hits - attracting between 61,695 and 901,439 hits - were then analysed in greater detail.

"Our study found that nurses were depicted in three main ways as a skilled knower and doer, a sexual plaything and a witless incompetent" says co-author Dr Gerard Fealy, from the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems at University College Dublin, Ireland.

Key findings of the study included:

  • The ten most viewed videos reflected a variety of media, including promotional videos, advertising, excerpts from a TV situation comedy and a cartoon. Some texts dramatised, caricatured and parodied nurse-patient and inter-professional encounters.

  • Four of the ten clips were posted by nurses and presented images of them as educated, smart and technically skilled. They included nurses being interviewed, dancing and performing a rap song, all of which portrayed nursing as a valuable and rewarding career. The nurses were shown as a distinct professional group working in busy clinical hospitals, where their knowledge and skills counted.

  • Nurses were portrayed as a sexual plaything in media-generated video clips from the American sitcom Frasier, a Virgin Mobile commercial set in a hospital, a lingerie advertisement and a soft news item on an internet TV show. All showed the nurses as provocatively dressed objects of male sexual fantasies and willing accomplices in their advances.

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Contact: Annette Whibley
annette.wizard@gmail.com
Wiley
Source:Eurekalert

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