- Akash BhagatOwner of Memorial Heights Emergency Center
- Jason MasveroFacility Manager, Memorial Heights Emergency Center
Eye candy nurse billboard must come down--and please make amends to nursing
Memorial Heights Emergency Center in Houston posted a billboard portraying nurses as eye candy in its quest to lure patients to its outpatient facility--one owned by physician Akash Bhagat, who thinks so little of nurses as professionals that he boasted on a radio program that his facility refused to hire nurse practitioners because they are trained "at a different level."
- Owner of Memorial Heights Emergency Center
- Facility Manager, Memorial Heights Emergency Center
Dear Dr. Bhagat:
I am writing about Memorial Heights Emergency Center's billboard ad asking whether patients would rather be "looking at" a clock, or instead "at her,” with the “her" in question being an attractive young female “nurse” with a very big smile. This ad damages nursing and I ask that you remove it and make amends to the nursing profession.
I understand that the point is partly that your emergency department has shorter wait times. But the ad text and imagery also suggest that nurses are female objects to be ogled, rather than clinical professionals. If the Memorial Heights Emergency Center simply wanted to compare waiting a long time to getting health care, then the text should have been something like “looking at [a clock] or being seen by her,” and the image should have shown the nurse as a serious health professional, not a beaming, super smiley model. Granted, the “nurse" is holding a stethoscope—although not like she’s ever actually used it—and the image is not particular sexual. But the ad still reinforces the enduring naughty nurse stereotype, which suggests that nurses are low-skilled helpers whose real purpose is to offer sex or romance to patients or physicians.
Please remove all advertising like this and make amends for telling the public that nurses are eye candy and frivolous sex objects.
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