Photo contest gives clearer picture of nurses' work

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Photo contest gives clearer picture of nurses' work


Published on 10 May 2012

10 May 2012

Nursing Science students at the University of the Sunshine Coast are taking part in a photographic competition aimed at sharpening the focus on what modern nurses and midwives do in their careers.

About 20 entries in the “Transformers Photography Competition” will be judged at a special celebration of International Nurses Day at USC's UniClub at 10.30am tomorrow (Friday 11 May).

Professor of Nursing Margaret McAllister said the photo contest aimed to shine an accurate light on the values and achievements of nurses and midwifes.

“The mainstream image of nursing and midwifery is not always productive or contemporary,” she said. “This can impact on professional identity and perpetuate stereotypes that mislead students and the public.”

Professor McAllister said students had responded enthusiastically to the challenge of producing photos that symbolise what modern-day nursing and midwifery involved.

She said those who had taken part had described the exercise as empowering.

“The students felt that they had become producers of a positive image of nursing and not just passive consumers of an outdated imaged portrayed by the media and marketing companies,” she said.

Professor McAllister warned that negative and inaccurate portrayals of nursing could have serious consequences.

“If people believe that nursing work is menial, it seriously underplays the important role that nurses have in saving patients’ lives,” she said.

“This can then lead to poorly thought out health policy planning, inadequate staffing of health services, inadequate higher education resources and the recruitment of people unsuited to the demanding and responsible work of nursing.”

The International Nurses Day celebration at USC has been organised by Nursing Science students in conjunction with the University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery.

— Terry Walsh

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