Karen Roush, PhD, RN, is an assistant professor of nursing at Lehman College in the Bronx, New York, and founder of the Scholar’s Voice, which works to strengthen the voice of nursing through writing mentorship for nurses.
The recent #ShowMeYourStethoscope media campaign has been hailed as a powerful demonstration of the unified voice of nurses and what it can accomplish.
In case you’re not familiar with the incident that led to the outrage–after a Miss America contestant, Kelley Johnson (Miss Colorado), a registered nurse, delivered a monologue about her work for the talent portion of the yearly pageant while dressed in scrubs and wearing her stethoscope, hosts of the television show The View derided her, with one asking why she had on a “doctor’s stethoscope.”
There was soon a vigorous backlash across social media as nurses posted, blogged, and tweeted photos of themselves with stethoscopes, often adding moving descriptions of the situations where they use them or witty comments illustrating the absurdity of the hosts’ remarks.
I found it a heartening response to disrespect and ignorance. Nurses felt empowered and celebrated the opportunity to show the public what nursing is really about.
But has anything really changed? Yes, The View lost some sponsors and was forced to air an apology (albeit unconvincing and rather patronizing). And […]