1. Ideis, Mazen A. CPhT, NREMT-B

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Thank you for drawing attention to negative media portrayals of nurses ("From Experts to Mindless Clerks,"News, January). I recently witnessed a television commercial that reinforced longstanding stereotypes of nurses. In it, a CVS pharmacist describes his visit to the home of a woman who has undergone transplantation. The pharmacist confides that "I arrived at the house and there [were] medications everywhere. I spent half my day helping them, teaching him [her husband] what he needed to know now that he was a nurse, and he had never been a nurse before. That was new to him."


As an 11-year pharmacy veteran, I applaud the pharmacist's involvement in patient care. But as a nursing student, I see another message here: the pharmacist has somehow managed to transform the patient's husband into a "nurse" in a few short hours. What exactly has the pharmacist taught this husband? Why didn't he teach the caregiver to be a "pharmacist"?


As the pharmaceutical industry, drugstore chains, and insurance companies exploit direct-to-consumer advertising, the public perception of nurses' education, professionalism, and expertise may become more skewed. This commercial's message is a contribution to ignorance.


Mazen A. Ideis, CPhT, NREMT-B


Cincinnati, OH