On CNN (warning: popup video) is a story about a burger joint that sells the ‘bypass burger’ or somesuch, and their shtick is that the owner wears a lab coat and calls himself the doc, and the waitresses wear ‘naughty-nurse’ outfits (pretty tame by any account, don’t watch the video looking for skin).
It’s a pretty silly idea, but decent marketing to a certain crowd (think Hooters) .
Of course, they found someone from “The Center for Nursing Advocacy” to denounce the waitress-nurse connection on the grounds that it ‘sexualizes’ nurses, that ‘on some level, it implies that nurses do in fact provide sexual services’, and goes on to say it’s no wonder people don’t want to be nurses these days in such an environment, where nurses are thought of as possible sex objects.
Get a grip, Center for Nursing Advocacy. I work with nurses every day, and have had discussions with them about the declining numbers of new nurses, etc; not one has said “if we could just get rid of the Naughty Nurse imagery our profession would be doing great”. I do, however, have an idea why younger people aren’t champing at the bit to be nurses: Advocates who sound a lot like a disapproving, fault-finding, joyless people. Wow, motivating! Can I be on their team?
Nursing demographics have problems (I’ve written about it before), but the Naughty Nurse Outfit is not to blame.
In looking for their link, I found an entire, longgg page of angst about this place on their site. It defies parody it’s so strange:
October 2006 — We hear that a fine new ¨establishment in Tempe, Arizona, one Heart Attack Grill, has been the subject of complaints by those battleaxes at the Arizona State Board of Nursing. And it’s all because the Grill uses scantily dressed “naughty nurse” wait staff to sell burgers and beer! Last month, the real nurses (or “Terrorists & FemiNazis,” as the Grill describes them) even got the Arizona attorney general’s office to ask the Grill to stop suggesting that its employees are real nurses, in alleged violation of the state’s protected title statute. The Center is outraged at this assault on the free speech rights of scrubs-clad Grill owner “Dr. Jon” Basso. But we will explore what those scary Arizona nurses might be getting at, when they aren’t busy killing millions of Jews or crashing jets into buildings.
I added the emphases, but just admire the bizarreness: ?battleaxes? To describe their colleagues in nursing? Then the ‘outraged’ BUT and then more bizarreness about killing Jews? I will assume this is just ham-handed writing meant as some insider’s joke (?), but as a tool to persuade the neutral to your side this is not the way to start. More:
The nurses might be upset because the Grill is exploiting nursing’s long-standing position as the most sexually-fantasized-about job on the planet. That reinforces stereotypes that discourage practicing and potential nurses (especially men), foster sexual violence in the workplace, and contribute to a general atmosphere of disrespect that weakens nurses’ claims to adequate resources. Those stereotypes exacerbate the global nursing shortage, a public health crisis that is killing thousands of people. It would even be killing those whose poor diets help lead to heart attacks, if the link between food and cardiac conditions were not just another silly lie in a world in which, as the Grill says, “insane political correctness stands as a barrier between the average man and his pursuit of happiness.”
Read more below, or go straight to our letter-writing campaign!
So, I went to the letter writing campaign, and, heh:
…Those stereotypes discourage practicing and potential nurses (especially men), foster sexual violence in the workplace, and contribute to a general atmosphere of disrespect that weakens nurses’ claims to adequate resources. …
Someone draw the line for me that connects all those dots. French curves are not allowed.
Update: I asked some nurses at work in the ED tonight if the Naughty Nurse outfit was the problem with recruiting nurses. Their unanimous answer? “No”.
What did they think was the biggest barrier? “Shifts, pee and poo” would be the paraphrased answer.