Nurses Gain the Attention They Deserve

Since the beginning of the Pandemic, the visibility of nurses continues to increase. It is unfortunate that it took the Covid-19 virus to open a door allowing the general public to witness what nurses actually do: they save the lives of their patients as they risk their own, jeopardizing the health and lives of their families as well. 

For years, I have believed we nurses don’t get the attention we deserve. We don’t speak out about what we do on a daily basis that makes a difference and the news media tends to ignore nurses, placing more attention on physicians. 

Well, so much has changed as evidenced recently by the following:

  1.  A new show on NBC called the Nurses premiered on Monday, December 7th. I have only watched the first episode so far but if you suspend belief that a group of nurses can enter a hospital and begin to give care immediately, you will see capable, skilled nurses who work alongside physicians, not as the proverbial handmaidens, but as equal professionals. I intend to follow this show. 
  • There have been many firsthand stories in the newspapers written by nurses on the front lines. I have covered some on these in this Blog. Most recently the Washington Post, What seven ICU nurses want you to know about the battle against covid-19, December 12, 2020, spotlighted the ICU nurses caring for the sickest COVID-19 patients. I have received comments from my friends that the stories are poignant. 
  •  While nurses don’t like to be called heroes because they feel they are only doing their job, two collaborative efforts have promoted the Hero designation: Becker’s Hospital Review and Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Health Network:

Becker’s Hospital Review    

ANA joins ‘American Nurse Heroes’ campaign 

Erica Carbajal – Friday, December 11th, 2020

The American Nurses Association is partnering with Al Roker Entertainment and HealthCom Media to create a multi-channel “American Nurse Heroes” campaign spotlighting the true stories of nurses combating COVID-19. 

The campaign will share nurses’ stories online, in theAmerican Nurses Journal and in a national television special. The effort also encourages the public to donate to the American Nurses Foundation, ANA’s charitable branch. 

“This campaign will inspire viewers to share their own stories of how nurses have made a lasting impression on their lives, make the case to policymakers about the importance of investing in nursing, and inspire young people to choose nursing as a career,” said Debbie Hatmaker, PhD, RN, acting ANA Enterprise CEO.

Allegheny Network in Pittsburg has partnered with Marvel 

To honor the heroes of 2020, we partnered with Marvel to tell the true heroic stories of AHN nurses on the frontlines of COVID-19.

—Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh

Meet Marvel’s newest heroes

 click here

Something positive has come from the Pandemic. Nurses are speaking out. The media is paying attention to nursing. The public is becoming educated on what nurses really do. Nurses are telling their own stories—finally.

By Marianna Crane

After a long career in nursing--I was one of the first certified gerontological nurse practitioners--I am now a writer. My writings center around patients I have had over the years that continue to haunt my memory unless I record their stories. In addition, I write about growing older, confronting ageism, creativity and food. My memoir, "Stories from the Tenth Floor Clinic: A Nurse Practitioner Remembers" is available where ever books are sold.

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