Today was a firestorm in the world of nursing and social media.  Tonight’s last minute podcast recording occurred in the wake of ‘The Stethoscope Incident’ in which Joy Behar, a co-host on “The View” asked why Miss Colorado (Kelley Johnson) was wearing “a doctor’s stethoscope” during her monologue presented during the talent portion of the Miss America Pageant.  This was compounded by co-host Michelle Collins who mocked Johnson’s presentation about being a nurse stating,”…She came in in a nurse’s uniform, and basically read her emails out loud.”

If you haven’t seen Kelley Johnson’s monologue, please take the time to watch it.  She is well spoken and represents the nursing profession proudly.

For reference, please see the controversial comments made by Behar and Collins on “The View.”

Nurses are a hardy bunch.  We withstand physical abuse from our patients. We are kicked, spit at, sworn at and punched.  We are verbally abused by both patients and their family members.  We choose to cry after our shift is over because our patients need every bit of physical and emotional support we can offer.

What the three plus MILLION of us will not tolerate is the ignorance of two widely known and recognized public figures degrading the most respected profession in the United States.

Tonight, here at The Change of Shift, we spent more than an hour discussing the fall out, the ramifications of, and the future good related to a few off the cuff comments made by Ms. Behar and Ms. Collins.  Although we have every right to be angry, every right to throw rocks back, we concluded that the professional thing to do is to utilize this exposure of ignorance and educate the population as to what it is who we are as nurses and what it is that we do.

So, Ms. Behar and Ms. Collins:  The photos plastering the Internet labeled with #NursesUnite are showing our solidarity, our pride and our dedication to the profession of nursing.  We are honored to care for those less fortunate, those suffering and those dying.  We nurses understand, more than almost any other profession, the importance of acceptance, the danger of words and the healing power of simply being with a person when they need it most.  We hope you take away the same lessons and find it in your heart to support us.  If we cannot expect that much, at least show us some professional courtesy and respond with something deeper than a cheap apology.

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