Media has proved to have enormous power over opinion and, hence, over reality. Informational representation affects any group, and the healthcare system is no exclusion. Nurses appear to be under a lot of pressure despite their massive influence on the system’s functioning. Hence, their media portrayal influences their public image and perception of their role, which became explicitly evident during the COVD-19 pandemic around the world.
“Is 2020 the Year for Increased Nurses’ Visibility in the Public Sphere through Print, Television, Radio, and Social Media” by Donna M. Nickitas Summary
To begin with, it is vital to summarize Donna M. Nickitas’ article. In brief, the author aims to encourage both media actors and medical workers to increase nurses’ representation in health news stories. One of Nickitas’ arguments is based on the idea that nurses have enormous trust potential is significant, and, hence, their misrepresentation in media is counterintuitive (2020). Moreover, the author points out the number of nurses currently working in the United States healthcare system (Nickitas, 2020). In other words, considering the lack of nurses’ informational representation, the health media appears to be imbalanced.
These speculations allow Nickitas to suggest a poll of measures to implement in order to change the case towards a fairer situation in celebration of the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. For instance, the author encourages its readers to promote the importance of nursing media competency and their conversations with journalists at healthcare institutions (Nickitas, 2020). Another idea Nickitas sees the essential role in spreading awareness about nurses among the public: from family to colleagues and others (2020). Thus, the author gives practical recommendations to its readers convinces by her arguments explained in the first part.
Impact of the Article Content for Future Practice
What is more, Nickitas’ pieces of advice point out the role of media coverage of nurses’ work. However, it would be fair to claim that nurses are equipped with a broader range of influence methods in the age of the new media era. As Hoyle et al. discover, nurses are not satisfied with the way social media represent them, but the difference of this platform is that nurses themselves could be influencers: “nurses need greater awareness of how service users receive and respond to health information and how health stories are reported” (2017, p. 588). The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that nurses can confidently use social media for their thoughts and positions articulation. In a word, it seems extremely important that Nickitas emphasizes the informational factor in nurses’ media portrayal that could be supplemented in accordance with the context of the new informational era.
Media influence on social reality is hard to overestimate, considering any realm of human life. The healthcare system does function the same way, which also affects nurses’ portrayal. According to Nickitas, their representation does not make the profession justice, considering the number of nurses in the system (2020). The author of the text under discussion suggests some measures that are basically aimed to raise awareness of the profession (2020). Nickitas speaks of nurses’ encouragement to speak out on media (2020). What could be added to that is the use of social media where nurses already influence their public image.
Hoyle, L., Kyle, R., & Mahoney, C. (2017). Nurses’ views on the impact of mass media on the public perception of nursing and nurse–service user interactions. Journal of Research in Nursing, 22(8), 586 – 596.
Nickitas, D. (2020). Is 2020 the year for increased nurses’ visibility in the public sphere through print, television, radio, and social media? Nursing Economics, 38(2), 57 – 103.