Nursing Ethics 8 (4):350-359 (2001)

The aim of this article is to explore the images of nursing that were presented in the media during the recent industrial action by nurses and midwives in the Republic of Ireland. Although both nurses and midwives took industrial strike action, the strike was referred to as ‘the nurses’ strike’ and both nurses and midwives were generally referred to by the generic term ‘nurses’. Data were gathered from the printed news media of The Irish Times over a period of one month - 4 October to 4 November 1999 - which included the nine days of the strike. Although we limited the source of our data to just one newspaper, the findings do provide an image of how nurses and nursing care are viewed by both health professionals and the public. This image appeared to give a higher value to masculine cultural codes and the performance of technical skills, whereas acts associated with feminine cultural codes of caring were considered of lower value
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DOI 10.1191/096973301680195256
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