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J Nurs Scholarsh. 2016 Jan;48(1):91-7. doi: 10.1111/jnu.12182. Epub 2015 Dec 7.

Public Understanding of the Role of Nurses During Ebola.

Author information

1
Lambda Pi-at-Large, Kathleen Russell Distinguished Professor, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
2
Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To examine media portrayals of nurses and their roles during the 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic in western Africa.

METHODS:

The study used document analysis and in-depth content analysis to review and assess literature on the Ebola epidemic. A total of 234 potentially relevant articles were identified; 109 were excluded and 125 were included in the analysis.

FINDINGS:

The analysis revealed a gap in system preparedness for global health events and a lack of public awareness of the critical role of nurses. Little attention was paid to nurses and their knowledge and expertise as they worked through the Ebola event. The perception of nurses evolved over the epidemic.

CONCLUSIONS:

Portrayals of nurses and their work during the Ebola epidemic evolved over the epidemic, from positive to negative, and health systems were shown to be unprepared for a major epidemic.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

Media coverage of major health events can demonstrate system inadequacies, but inaccurate and misleading portrayals of nurses and the nursing profession can undermine and diminish the image of the nursing profession.

KEYWORDS:

Ebola; epidemics; health system preparedness; media portrayals; nurses; nursing

PMID:
26642005
DOI:
10.1111/jnu.12182
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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