3 real nurses react to “nurses” TV show
NBC’s new medical drama, “Nurses” debuts tonight December 7th.
The series follows five young, newly graduated nurses working on the front lines of a busy downtown hospital, dedicating their lives to helping others, while struggling to help themselves.
Now, I know Hollywood hasn’t always been sympathetic to the way they portray the role of nurse in scripted shows and movies. And we real nurses literally understand everything – I know we’ve all seen memes when the equipment, storylines, or responses aren’t realistic.
Although I’m not sure what to expect from this particular show. I will watch with a grain of salt and a pinch of expediency. I’m a nurse and also a seasoned medical television correspondent who understands the landscape of how broadcast, both unscripted and scripted, entertainment media work. It just doesn’t follow the same rules as nursing in the real world. So I’m gonna watch the show and then react INHABIT with my two nurse practitioner friends, Dr James Simmons, and Nurse Mendoza on Facebook.
I have so many questions about this show, but I’m not rushing to judge the show based on the trailer alone and giving it a chance. Why? Well, let’s discuss the facts.
5 things to think about when watching ‘nurses’ as a nurse
- Representation matters – there is currently no scripted medical drama series in which the nurse (or nurses, in this case) are the main character (s) of the series. Are there shows where the nurse plays a supporting role? Yes, of course, but not the main character. So let’s be smart about it. Here is a great opportunity for nurses.
- Scripted shows are for entertainment, not for reality – And that’s where my 20+ years of expertise as an advanced practice nurse comes in. The sooner we accept that scripted shows are entertainment and not reality – the sooner we can. be the change we would like to see. Think of the media as a specialized unit – in order to fully understand how things work, you need to orient yourself to the unit and review the policy and procedures.
- Opportunities for real nurses – Education is usually a secondary goal for these shows. They are actors – NOT real nurses or doctors. They don’t have a full shift to show the things they need to show in an hour. We have to treat Hollywood like the general public and educate them.
- It’s a good time to learn – I know we’ve all joked about the “medical scenes” we’ve seen in Hollywood, but let’s see it as an opportunity to be a good learning time – both for Hollywood and for nursing. Yes, I said nurse. And here’s why. We have to learn how these shows happen.
- Let’s discuss who are the writers?
- Who finances these projects?
- If the nurse or doctors consult on the show?
- How can trained nurses help with scenarios and description that seem more realistic to us?
- Just like when you are in orientation and do not understand it correctly, your preceptor guides you. Let’s help guide Hollywood.
- Don’t judge a book by its cover – I’m going to watch the show tonight and then meet up with my two real nursing friends, Nurse Mendoza and Dr. James Sims, to respond and discuss our thoughts on the show. We will be responding LIVE on Facebook at 10:30 am PST to discuss some of these topics.
- Was it entertaining?
- How precise was it in relation to the scope of practice of the nurse and the presentation of the patient?
- Then let’s dissect the personal stories and the personalities of the characters because often that’s what bothers us, nurse viewers.
- And what suggestions would you have for creators or writers?
Watch nurses react to ‘nurses’ – on Facebook LIVE!
Meet me, Nurse Alice, with Dr James Simmons from Ask the PN and Nurse Mendoza of Strong Heart for “The nurses’ after-show” LIVE on Facebook Live Tuesday, December 8 at 10:30 a.m. PST. We will share our thoughts and want to hear yours. Watch live here.
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