From martyr to robo-nurse: the portrayal of Australian nurses on screen

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Milner, L & Brigden, C 2014, 'From martyr to robo-nurse: the portrayal of Australian nurses on screen', Studies in Australasian Cinema, vol. 8, no. 2-3, pp. 110-122.

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Nurses have traditionally been seen as among the most trusted of workers, with cultural connections with caring and femininity long been associated with their profession. While the portrayal of nurses in overseas screenworks has had some attention, Australian productions have not. This study identifies four categories of screenworks: popular entertainment, training and recruitment films, wartime nursing, and nurses as workers and unionists. Although more recent mainstream media portrayals of nurses increasingly depict strong, assertive professionals, little research has been conducted into the fourth category, a significant number of which are made by nurses. When nurses take on the film-making task, different outcomes are produced. New types of film about nurses and by nurses offer an evolving representation of the profession and are helping to change the identity of nurses.

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