Infection Control Today

DEC 2018

ICT delivers to infection preventionists & their colleagues in the operating room, sterile processing/central sterile, environmental services & materials management, timely & relevant news, trends & information impacting the profession & the industry

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6 ICT December 2018 editor's letter EDITORIAL EDITOR IN CHIEF Kelly M. Pyrek S ALE S/MARK E TING ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Jay Franco SUBSCRIPTION CUSTOMER SERVICE 800-581-1811 PRODUC TION ART DIRECTOR Robert Rys AD PRODUCTION MANAGER Bonnie Streit DIRECTOR PUBLICATIONS Joseph Chackola HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR Donna Layton INFORMA E XHIBITIONS LLC 2020 N. Central Ave., Ste. 400 Phoenix, AZ 85004 Phone: 480-867-7943 Web: conducted one-on-one telephone interviews with health journalists to better understand the barriers and facilitators to using nurses as sources in news stories. The interviews revealed an overarching theme of biases, not just among journalists, but also editors, public relations staff and healthcare organizations. "It was not enough to just document that nothing has changed in 20 years," says Barbara Glickstein, co-principal investigator on the study, said. "We had to understand why there has been no movement in who are considered experts." For example, the researchers heard from participants that preconceptions exist in health news about positions of authority, placing "rock-star doctors" at the top of their lists of sources. The participants explained that their newsroom cultures typically affect their selection of sources and that they have had to defend using a nurse as a source. "Journalists and the media play an important role in educating the public about issues affecting health and healthcare, but their biases about who are credible experts is limiting the richness of their reporting," says Jean Johnson, executive director of the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement. "If journalists aren't interviewing nurses, they may be missing the best part of the story." Here at ICT, we celebrate nurses and continue to help get them published -- something we have done for more than 22 years. As we launch our 23rd year of publication in 2019, I invite you to send us your essays, articles and other works of original thought, so that we may share them with the community and continue to empower our infection preventionists. Until next month, bust those bugs! H ow many times, in the course of daily clinical operations, have you heard an individual say "I'm just a nurse." Whether it was said to abdicate responsibility or to surrender power or to indicate standing in the face of adversity, this detestable phrase should never be uttered again. Sadly, this notion of the "poor little nurse" is engrained in our culture. To wit: A replication of the 1997 "Woodhull Study on Nursing and the Media" found nurses continue to be underrepresented as sources in heath news stories despite their increasing levels of education and expertise. A companion study found biases among newsrooms about women, nurses and positions of authority in healthcare can impede a journalist's use of nurses as sources in health news stories, despite unique perspectives that could enrich a story. The research, led by the George Washington University School of Nursing's Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement, was published in two parts in the Journal of Nursing Scholarship and the American Journal of Nursing. "The lack of progress in nurses' represen- tation in health news stories over the past 20 years was stunning, particularly since the 2010 Institute of Medicine report on 'The Future of Nursing' noted that we can't transform healthcare and promote the health of the public without recognizing and tapping into the special expertise of nurses," says Diana J. Mason, the principal investigator of the GW study and a registered nurse and senior policy service professor for GW's Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement. The original Woodhull Study found nurses were represented as sources in less than 4 percent of health news stories of the day. Using the same publications as the original study, the team examined a randomly selected sample of 365 health news stories published in September 2017 to determine the type and subject of the article, the profession and gender of speakers and the number of times nurses were referenced without being quoted. They discovered that nurses were identifi ed as sources in 2 percent of health news coverage and mentioned in 13 percent of health news coverage overall. In addition, the researchers Kelly M. Pyrek Editor in Chief Banish the "Just a Nurse" Mentality

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