Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Thesis

School

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Department

Justice Studies Program

Abstract

Nurses are crucial members of the healthcare system, and they served an even larger role during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many took to the media to stay informed and followed the constant coverage of nurses’ “new normal” in the workplace. This study aimed to analyze nurses’ portrayal in the media between 2020-2022 in addition to nurses’ experiences on the COVID-19 frontline applying framing and labeling theory. A mixed method approach was employed with a content analysis of 105 coded newspaper articles and a questionnaire with open and closed ended questions in which both were thematically analyzed. Findings indicate that nurses were mostly portrayed positively by the media with support and appreciation being the most evident themes despite the mention of many negative realities the pandemic brought healthcare settings. Data from the questionnaire supports content analysis findings. This study shed light on nurses’ experiences providing direct care during COVID-19, the ways in which pandemic media coverage impacted nurses, and how coverage influenced public perception of the nursing role.

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