A larger than life billboard of a shirtless man with a stethoscope around his neck is being called an inappropriate and over-the-line marketing ploy.
National Nurses Week wraps up on Thursday, but some say the billboard near the Waterbury-Cheshire line, sets the profession back, big time.
"Appropriate people, regardless of their sex, should be able to work where they're passionate and I think a connotation that men would be inappropriate to care for a loved one would be inappropriate,” said LouAnn Bruno-Murtha of Natick, Mass.
The billboard seen above the highway shows a bare-chested man with a stethoscope, with the message “Who’s caring for your mom?” displayed, and it has plenty of drivers doing a double-take.
"To suggest that one particular gender would be better or worse, I think is irresponsible. I don't find it disgusting, but I find it a step backwards,” said Nick Nicholson, an assistant professor with Quinnipiac’s School of Nursing.
Touting women caring for women, the billboard was put up by the Cheshire Regional Rehab Center, as an advertisement for its all-female wing, meaning no male patients or nurses, only women.
A spokesperson said it was designed to be an attention grabber, and not to offend anyone in the nursing or healthcare profession.
"We employ male nurses who do excellent work and we have the upmost respect for all nurses, male or female. We're offering the choice for female seniors to have all female caregivers for their very personal, daily care needs,” the spokesperson said.
"In the profession of nursing, we need to get away from the idea that women or men provide, better, different care,” Nicholson said. "I think we need to get toward things that are important, which are outcomes, how did the patient feel, are they satisfied, did they recover, how did they cope with the illness."
The rehab center said the billboard is expected to be up there until the end of the month.
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