Do you think the hosts on television’s “The View” touched a raw nerve with nurses across the nation?

The View” hosts Joy Behar and Michelle Collins inspired a firestorm of outrage with their comments about Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson, who used a monologue about her nursing career as her talent segment in the recent Miss America competition.

The hosts questioned Johnson for wearing what they called “a doctor’s stethoscope” and ridiculed her using the monologue for a talent. The remarks were generally received as demeaning, although some have said the hosts were joking. To the disdain of nurses everywhere, the tone of the remarks are nothing most nurses haven’t heard before. But hearing flippant comments about how nurses jobs are “easy” or somehow not as essential as other healthcare providers from people you can dismiss as ignorant is different from seeing it splashed across national television.

Nurses are so sick of hearing this kind of nonsense and seeing someone who should have enough knowledge say something so blatantly ignorant is stunning. Thankfully, the reaction has been swift and justified. Outraged nurses started a social media campaign #nursesunite. “The View” lost valuable sponsorship by big names like Johnson & Johnson and Snuggle. The hosts’ repeated apologies and the show’s belated “celebration” of nurses have gone largely ignored. It’s too little, too late.

Nurses save lives, pure and simple. They are in the trenches, covered in things and bearing witness to events that would make most people faint. They sometimes endure verbal, physical, and emotional abuse from patients. They perform medical procedures, ease patient’s fears, and sit with them through the darkest and most fearful hours of any illness. They treat the best of people and the worst of people with the same dignity and respect they bring to their profession every day. They advocate for their patients, watching out for them and watching over them because that’s what they do. Nursing is 24/7 – once you are a nurse, you are never not a nurse. Nurses live their jobs no matter where they are and no matter what else they might be doing. And for years, nurses have been rated as having the most trusted profession.

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If the hosts on “The View” don’t get that, let’s be glad the rest of the country seemed to understand and stood up for nurses everywhere.

#nursesunite

Julia Quinn-Szcesuil
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