The New York Times article continues: "Critics lament the plastic surgery inducement, saying it is the most drastic sign of an acute nursing shortage that health officials say is undermining the Czech health-care system. In the past year alone, nearly 1,200 nurses have migrated to countries like Germany or Britain in search of better wages, according to the Czech Nurses Association."
So instead of offering traditional job benefits like improved wages or greater independence, Prague hospitals have stooped to offering plastic surgery. The only reason the hospital admins thought up this scheme is because most nurses are women and because there is a powerful "sexy nurse" stereotype built up that plastic-surgery-providing hospitals are aiding and abetting. Researchers looking at the portrayal of nurses in American films in the 80s found that 73 percent of the nurse characters were sex objects. When retro Hollywood stereotypes dictate employment benefits -- that's trouble.
Images accompanying a Google news search for the Czech nurses article: 66% super sexy! 33% actual nurses.
The Czech nurse Kalivodova defends her decision to accept the breast implants by arguing that patients heal faster with more attractive nurses. But there are studies to support a wild range of things that aid healing, such as licking your wounds, applying essence of maggots or scoring low on the manly scale. If the hospitals' goal is actually to aid healing, they could save bundles of money by offering complimentary essence of maggots to patients rather than free plastic surgery to nurses.
Kalivodova and other Czech health providers need to recognize that they are not doing anyone any favors -- nurses or patients -- if they continue to help build the image of nursing as an unprofessional, female-only career whose members are more concerned about the size of their breasts than receiving fair pay.