Nice photograph, objectionable caption


Posted: Friday, December 08, 2000

I am writing to object to the picture caption on the front page of Tuesday's Empire concerning the flu vaccine. As a registered nurse (R.N.) and husband of a R.N. I must point out your error in describing Mr. Muldoon as a "licensed registered nurse." This is redundant. You cannot be a registered nurse if you are not licensed. State licensing allows you to practice as a registered nurse and the abbreviation is R.N. Despite your description of the nurse in the caption, I'm sure your readers and the citizens of Southeast Alaska would recognize the title R.N. alone after Mr. Muldoon's name. Could it be that you find it in some sexist way necessary to describe the male with longish hair in the picture both licensed and registered to give validity to him as a nurse?

When this picture was viewed by three other R.N.'s, a pharmacist and respiratory therapist all evaluated the picture for the apparent quality and professionalism of the nurse as seen in the picture. He was wearing a good quality of stethoscope, his hands, nails and person appeared clean and neat. He was holding appropriately a correctly sized syringe and needle for the flu vaccine. We could see the amount in the syringe appeared appropriate for the doses of vaccine (as noticed by the similar color on the label) other nurses have administered. It appears that he is wearing a name badge. I bet it had an appropriately written title on it. The photography was excellent but I can't say the same for your editorial content.

Nursing is a profession practiced on many levels by many kinds of people, male and female. A nurse with R.N. after their name is a licensed professional, able to do a wide range of nursing activities. Each patient or client of a nurse should know who is delivering care to them and be assured of their professional qualifications.

Thomas Imboden, R.N.


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