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 nurse and nursing stereotypes on YouTube are very similar to those reported in studies on television shows, which seem to appeal to a particular public need for medical melodramas and provide TV stations with valuable advertising revenue" says Dr Fealy.
"The same revenue-generating possibilities exist on the internet and it is hardly surprising that its commercial potential should bring with it the continued portrayal of nursing stereotypes.
"Despite being hailed as a medium of the people, our study showed that YouTube is no different to other mass media in the way that it propagates gender-bound, negative and demeaning nursing stereotypes. Such stereotypes can influence how people see nurses and behave towards them.
"We feel that the professional bodies that regulate and represent nurses need to lobby legislators to protect the profession from undue negative stereotyping and support nurses who are keen to use YouTube to promote their profession in a positive light."
|Contact: Annette Whibley|