An article in the August issue of the Journal of Advanced Nursing examines the image of nurses on YouTube. A small group of English and Irish researchers found that many of the top hits that come up when you enter ‘nurses’ or ‘nursing’ into a YouTube search portray nurses in a derogatory way.
“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.
The classic ‘dumb blonde’ nurse on Mad TV.
Ninety-six videos were included after preliminary analysis of the first 50 hits for each word. The top 10 – attracting between 61,695 and 901,439 hits each - were then analysed in greater detail.
Is it any suprise that in the four (out of the top 10) videos posted to YouTube by nurses themselves, nurses were depicted as educated, smart and technically skilled – like in this rap video made by nurses in the University of Alabama Hospital ER.
The other six videos in the top 10 showed nurses as sexual playthings and/or dimwitted objects of comedy.
The researchers end with a call to nursing’s professional bodies to lobby legislators to protect the profession from undue negative stereotyping (which seems, to Nurse Uncut, an unlikely result!)
How do you feel about these stereotypes? Do they bother you? Do you ever encounter this type of ‘dumb nurse’ image in real life? What about the ubiquitous porn images of nurses – do patients ever make remarks along these lines?
Image credits: You Tube