Healthcare Business News

Outliers: Jon Stewart draws nurses' ire

By Modern Healthcare
Posted: December 1, 2012 - 12:01 am ET

Nurses are demanding an apology from TV host Jon Stewart after they say he disrespected school nurses and discounted their qualifications on “The Daily Show.”

Stewart portrayed a mock job interview Oct. 24 in which he questioned Iraq War Army veteran and medic Daniel Hutchison about a fictitious school nurse's job. The segment's topic was how veterans struggle to find jobs when they return to the civilian world. Veterans aren't happy that their war experiences don't help them receive certifications that are needed to hold jobs, including nursing posts. They feel they should be able to immediately pick up and do similar jobs stateside.

But during the interview, Stewart didn't endear himself to nurses who say he doesn't appreciate their training and responsibilities. “Are you familiar with kickball?” Stewart asked Hutchison while rolling his eyes.

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Stewart went on and asked if Hutchison's war experience would help him as a school nurse: “In the job that I'm asking of you, you will be required to deal with bruising—were there tummy aches where you were?”

Troops apparently don't have many stomach maladies, Hutchison said. He and Army medic Meg Mitcham told Stewart they lack the proper licenses to work as a nurse.

“But you clearly both have had experience and the training far above and beyond what any of these jobs would require and you also seem to have, and I've recognized this before in people and I don't necessarily recognize it in myself—courage and integrity—which I find employers tend to value,” Stewart said.

Nurses were careful to praise the veterans' service, but also disagreed with Stewart. They flocked to the show's Facebook page with criticism. There's also a online petition demanding an apology. Meanwhile, the Truth About Nursing, a not-for-profit, Baltimore-based group, organized a letter-writing campaign to Comedy Central, the network that airs “The Daily Show.”

Outliers has a solution to this angst: Stewart should let a school nurse host an episode of “The Daily Show.” It's not like you need a certification to be a wiseacre TV host.

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