Infomercials, RNs, & aqua globes
by, 11-07-2008 at 09:12 AM (1390 Views)
I'm a sucker for infomercials. If you think about what they can do, they work wonders. They take us from the experience of complete disinterest in their product to being sold and unable to be without it. I'm wondering if we can take a lesson from their lure to tell folks about nursing.
Here's how it all began:
I'm pondering whether to buy an aqua globe as a favor to my potted plants. You know what those are, don't you? They're the glass bubbles with hollow spikes that can be filled with water and keep potted plant soil at the right moisture for weeks at a time. I dont know whether they work or not, but several weeks of having the ads pop up on TV made me notice them at first ...and now, the ad has done its work and I want to buy. The infomercial's frequent insistence of how wonderful these gadgets are has finally sold me and I am willing to plunk down hard-earned cash. I want one. More than that, I MUST HAVE ONE! Happy plants, no more stained carpets, less work for me, no more guilt--what's not to love?
Infomercials in general always seem to make a product seem like a necessary method to improve our lives. They do this by consistently telling how great and how useful a product is. At first, we are not really interested. But after a while, we take notice. We often end up pondering whether an item applies to our needs or not. We may buy or not buy, but the infomercial has brought us from the point of disinterest to at least considering a product and how it can make our lives better. Can you see where I'm going with suggesting an infomercial about nursing?
Do infomercials work? Yes. We only have to look at the success of TV networks, such as QVC or Home Shopping Network, to see how effective these tactics are. We are entertained while we are being sold. I can sit for an hour or more on the weekend listening to them in the background while I drink coffee and cruise the Internet.
Couldn't we do an infomercial about us to tell people about nursing? A half hour--or even five minutes--on a Saturday morning could work a lot of magic for us. People would know, value, appreciate, and respect our work more than they do now.
What a boost that would mean for the profession. Legislators would be insisting we take funds to swell our ranks. Administrators would not be able to do enough for us. TV programs would be generated that would tout the heroics of nursing. Not only that, what a boost that would be for each one of us. Our esteem would flourish and that dreaded phrase, JUST A NURSE, would finally disappear.
Why is it that we seem to be the only ones who know what nurses do? Even we nurses have a difficult time defining and explaining that our work is far more than the visible tasks we perform. It's the invisible work we do...constantly assessing, monitoring, trouble-shooting, reassuring, calming, comforting, that only the recipients--our patients and their families--seem to notice and value so highly.
How often have you heard someone who has experienced a nurse's care say almost in amazement, "It was the nurses who made all the difference." It is obvious they did not have a clue until they had experienced nursing care themselves that it was so valuable and necessary. An infomercial could show this quite well.
Physicians and our colleagues in the facilities where we work dont seem to realize or understand exactly what we do, so why should we think that people in the community would know. An informercial could take care of that.
An infomercial could describe the grueling study it takes to become a nurse--I think viewers would be flabbergasted at what a nurse must know to give safe care.
An infomercial could also show why a patient who is just lying quietly and comfortably in bed with no signs of discomfort or distress does not portray an easy patient. In fact, it's the sign of an experienced, professional nurse who has done the job well. All the infomercial would have to show would be the contrasting chaos that would be evident if he or she were not there taking care of business.
The aqua globe infomercial has set out to do what it was meant to do. It has sold me on its value. My plants need an aqua globe.
I think an infomercial about nurses could do the same thing. The people in this country need nurses. Our product and what we have to offer is something people cant live without.