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Is Squeezing Nursing Healthy?

Video clip synopsis – Nurses are frantic as they rush from patient to patient, working under increased patient-to-nurse ratios. Despite this increased pressure, they try not to compromise the quality of their nursing care.
Year of production - 1994
Duration - 1min 36sec
Tags - gender, health, nurses, see all tags


Is Squeezing Nursing Healthy?

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About the Video Clip


Is Squeezing Nursing Healthy? is an excerpt from the film Land of the Long Weekend (55 mins), produced in 1994.

Land of the Long Weekend: Australia was the first country in the world to institute a 40-hour working week. It was the first to say there was such a thing as a fair and reasonable wage. Conditions like these helped win Australia its reputation as the mythical land of the long weekend. Yet today, for those with work, overtime has increased and penalty rates are disappearing. The nation’s population is increasingly divided between the over-worked and the under-employed. Now that Australia is more the land of the level playing field than the land of the long weekend, have we abandoned the idea of the “fair go”?

Land of the Long Weekend is a Film Australia National Interest Program.

Curriculum Focus


Reading standard: Students will also read, view, analyse and discuss a wide range of informative and persuasive texts and identify the multiple purposes for which texts are created. They explain how texts are shaped by time, place and cultural setting in which they are created.

Writing standard: Students select subject matter and begin to use a range of language techniques to try to position readers to accept particular views of people, characters, events, ideas and information. They compose a range of other texts, such as feature articles, webpages and workplace texts. They plan and deliver presentations, sequencing and organizing complex ideas.

Speaking and listening standard: Students draw on a range of strategies to listen to and present spoken texts, including note-taking, combining spoken and visual texts, and presenting complex issues or information imaginatively to interest an audience.

The activities in this learning module are relevant to the Interdisciplinary Learning strand of Level 6 Communications (Listening, viewing and responding standard; Presenting standard) and Thinking Processes (Reasoning, processing and inquiry standard; Creativity standard).

The activities are also relevant to the Physical, Personal and Social Learning strand of Level 6 Interpersonal Development (Building social relationships standard; Working in teams standard) and Personal Learning (The individual learner standard; Managing personal learning standard).

This material is an extract. Teachers and Students should consult the Victoria Curriculum and Assessment Authority website for more information.

Background Information


Nursing in Australia has long been a female-oriented and a relatively poorly-paid occupation.
Although nursing is a demanding job, many people become nurses because they gain great satisfaction from caring for others. For them, nursing is a vocation.
But, like all industries, hospitals are under pressure to run in a more economically efficient way and to reduce costs.
If nurses are put under too much stress or pressure, they can make mistakes – and these mistakes can be life threatening to the patients and devastating for the nurse.
When nurses are allocated little time for each patient they can also feel emotionally stressed. They want to feel the satisfaction of caring for others and it is often difficult to hurry ill people.
What happens when those who are caring for the sick are too tired or too sick themselves? Where does the responsibility for patient care lie – with the health care professionals or with hospital management?

Classroom Activities

    1. Discuss and identify the following aspects of the video clip.
      * Purpose
      * Message(s)
      * Intended audience
      * The point of view presented.
    2. Write a 100-word summary of the video clip incorporating your points from Q1a.
  1. Write a 300-word explanation of how the filmmaker conveys their message(s) using the following subheadings; subjects, dialogue, music and visual images.
    1. Create a poster that aims to recruit men into the nursing profession. Use at least five images and 200 words of text in your poster.
    2. Create and present a one-minute TV advertisement aimed at recruiting both men and women into the nursing profession. You will need to:
      * List visual images and their shot sizes and duration
      * List titles of music to be used
      * Write one page of script which can be voice-over or dialogue.