Miss America and Nurses and Medical Lab Scientists
few days ago during the Miss America televised pageant one of the contestants,
Kelley Johnson representing Colorado, presented a somewhat unique “talent.”
Instead of singing or dancing or twirling a baton, Johnson, a registered nurse,
came on stage in scrubs, a stethoscope slung around her neck and proceeded to highlight the value
of nursing by reading aloud emails from one of her patients with Alzheimers.
hosts of the daytime chat-show the View then poked fun at the selection of this “talent”
and even questioned the use of a stethoscope as a prop.
criticism quickly elicited pushback from nurses, nursing organizations, and
other individuals. Such was the negative reaction that The View went overboard
to highlight nursing through tributes, guests and mea culpas for several days.
also reacted, hitting ABC in the pocket book. Industry giant Johnson and
Johnson, an avid supporter of nursing over the years pulled their ads from the shows; as did Eggland’s
networks quickly picked up the story and interviewed not just nurses, but others
with sympathetic views toward the nursing profession.
Many detailed first-hand experiences of the dedication and skill they had observed in their interaction with nurses.
This morning on MSNBC an author, Alexandra Robbins, appeared as a guest to talk about
her admiration for nurses gained from following several nurses around for a couple
years in preparation for writing her book The Nurses - which she just happened to
do not want to play the “me too” game, or feed
the “poor me” we-get-no-respect philosophy that many in our profession subscribe to. However I have to
question the odds of a laboratorian
highlighting the profession given such a public stage. Just follow this to its
logical conclusion: if the MLS profession received
public criticism (as happened recently in a newspaper article), how
many of us would push back so publicly and vigorously? Which of our vendors (commercial laboratory giants) would pull their ads
and go to bat for us?
wondered: would anyone follow a laboratorian around and detail the skill,
knowledge and critical thinking demonstrated on a daily basis? Would they find it "sexy" to highlight the diagnoses made or lives saved through information provided by a medical laboratorian? Maybe they could
start with the patient, follow the specimen through the laboratory and then loop back to see how MLS
influences diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and eventual clinical outcome.
made that suggestion to Ms Robbins. She did not make a commitment but at least
she retweeted my tweet to her. She may be reached through her website at http://www.alexandrarobbins.com/ and her Twitter handle at @AlexndraRobbins
bet that book would be a great read!