Houston Helps Fight The Cliches Of Hollywood Nurses

Nurses tend to get a raw deal in movies, say nurses who think they get a raw deal in movies.

A recent scholarly report in The Journal of Advanced Nursing found that while Hollywood stereotypes of nurses are becoming less common, there's still a way to go.

"Can we finally kiss the image of "M*A*S*H" nurse 'Hot Lips' Houlihan goodbye?" asks the website nurse.com "Not quite yet. But the profession shouldn't give up on its efforts to improve its media image."

And Houston is doing its part!!

Among the highlights in recent nurse portrayals, experts said, was not only ER -- it was the Tropical Storm Allison made-for-TV flick 14 Hours.

You know, the one with Rick Schroeder, JoBeth Williams and Kris Kristofferson.

The fact-based 2005 movie "14 hours" highlights the heroism of nurses and others who saved almost 600 patients during the massive flooding that ravaged Houston as a result of Tropical Storm Allison. The 2007 movie "Atonement," set in World War II, portrayed a nurse-centered view of healthcare and nurses as making a positive difference. "Angels in America" (2003) places nursing at the center of AIDS care in the 1980s and includes one of the best depictions of professional nursing in feature film history, according to the Center for Nursing Advocacy.

(You have now witnessed the only time Atonement, Angels in America and 14 Hours will be mentioned in the same breath.)

The only problem with their theory: Nationwide, perhaps scores of people actually watched 14 Hours. And those that did came away with the impression Houston was surrounded by the type of mountains you might see in Vancouver, where the thing was filmed.

But at least they know that nurses do good things.

-- Richard Connelly

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