It’s no game

Chicago nurses’ op-ed in The Hill urges better understanding of nursing

The op-ed argues that a legislator’s remark about nurses “playing cards” shows the need to improve understanding of nurses’ vital role in health care, citing the Truth leaders’ book Saving Lives

April 28, 2019 – Today The Hill published “Nurses aren’t sitting around playing cards, they’re working to fix global health,” a good op-ed by Rush University nursing professor Janice Phillips and Rush Oak Park Hospital president of nursing staff Colleen Chierici. Writing in the leading U.S. political newspaper, the nurses objected to the now-notorious statement by Washington State Senator Maureen Walsh that nurses at rural hospitals “probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day.” The authors explained that in fact, nurses in both rural and urban settings spend their working hours providing quality care. They noted that the profession has long worked to overcome a poor image, citing examples of “the dangers of inaccurate portrayal of nurses” in the Truth About Nursing leaders’ book Saving Lives: Why the Media’s Portrayal of Nursing Puts Us All at Risk. There has been some progress, the op-ed authors said. They pointed to a feature in this month’s Oprah magazine about five nurses who “just might save the world.” Another example was Dr. Sheila Tlou, a former UNAIDS leader and former Minister of Health of Botswana, who developed interventions that greatly decreased the maternal mortality rate and mother-to-child transmission due to HIV/AIDs in the region. And the authors cited the global Nursing Now campaign, which seeks to increase the status of nursing and highlight its critical role in improving health. Wrapping up, the authors stressed that it’s time to “re-examine the prevalent image of nurses,” because “this is not a game to us.” We thank Phillips, Chierici, and The Hill.

Janice Philllips
Colleen Chierici

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