This paper asks the following queries: what does it mean to be a professional nurse? How did the media portray nurses in the past, and how does it portray it in the present? An attempt at answering these questions shall be made and shall focus on discussing, critiquing, comparing, and contrasting the roles of nurses based on two media productions – the 1970s TV series, M*A*S*H and the 2001 movie Pearl Harbor. This author shall also present her personal views on the image of nurses in the paper’s conclusion.
This critique on the nurse’s image is largely based on the image as portrayed in two media productions; first, in the 1970 American satire, MASH (Wikipedia. n.d.) and, second, in the 2001 movie Pearl Harbor (Pinoytambay, 2009, January 21). In one of the MASH episodes, entitled Pros, one of the scenes showed two army surgeons, Captain Hawkeye Pierce (played by Donald Sutherland) and Captain Trapper John McIntyre (played by Elliott Gould) (Wikiquote. n.d.) barging into a surgical nursing unit looking for a patient who needed immediate surgery. In this scene, both surgeons were rudely ordering the nurses about and were addressing them disrespectfully. Despite the rude treatment they were receiving from the doctors, the nurses, especially the head nurse portrayed by Captain Peterson, conducted themselves professionally and with decorum (Sunkist235, 2009, October 6). Even as the nurse’s physical appearance, with their crisp white uniform and cap, with their makeup and hair done perfectly does express professionalism, the author believes that such image is inaccurate. In reality, nurses wear little to no make-up and often settle for simpler hair styles. The nurse’s demeanor is however, accurately portrayed in this episode by the nurse Captain Peterson. Like actual nurses, she was independent and assertive in her actions; and she advocated for the rights of her staff and that of