Nursing Voices

Monday, December 04, 2006

I am a Nurse in Real Life... And You?

As I gorged myself on primetime TV tonight, a novel idea occurred.

What is the big deal with the way that nurses are portrayed on television? Get over it.

Granted, most of us are probably already over it (or were never under it), but seriously. The Center for Nursing Advocacy has an interesting and aggressive take on the issue. My question is, why does there need to be an issue? The Center's website riles against popular medical dramas, like Grey's Anatomy and ER, for grossly misrepresenting the role that real nurses play in real life.

Therein lies the thing. TV is not real life.

I enjoyed the shows I watched tonight... for their entertainment value. For the laughs and the tears. TV is a form of entertainment. Real life, it is not.

I watched a pair of TV "cops" conducting an investigation; their laughable interrogation of a suspect, highly contrived police conversations are completely stereotypical, but that's okay because... it's TV.

I watched a newly pregnant TV character, whose doctor told her at 12 weeks that he may be able to determine the sex of the baby on ultrasound. Uh-huh... NOT. Except on TV. She then proceeded to stuff her face with every morsel of food in sight for the rest of the episode. Kind of annoying portrayal of a fairly inaccurate pregnancy stereotype. Oh, well... it's TV.

And so.... hmmm. While I admire the Center's noble attempts to "increase public understanding of nursing", I'm over it. I'm comfortable with what and who I am, no matter how it may perceived by the public or portrayed in the media. And you?


Kim said...

Girlfriend, you were reading my mind. I have a Center for Nursing Advocacy post in the pipeline....

The only thing that ever made me write was the show "No Angels" on BBC America. First time I saw it, the nurses were, as far as I was concerned, desecrating a dead body by submerging it in water so it would be warm when the resident saw it. That made me physically ill - turned it off and haven't watched BBC America since then.

But the general public is not stupid. They know nurses dont run around in miniskirts with their boobs hanging out.

I should be posting my take in a few days...

And I agree with you wholeheartedly.

apgaRN said...

Thanks, Kim... I was concerned that I'd alienate all my new blog friends with this one, but it does come from the heart. How many cops go around whining about the inaccurate representation of their profession on Law & Order? I'm sure your view will be much more enlightening -- this one was written spur of the moment after something of an epiphany on the subject.

Nurse M said...

Good post! As I responded to PixelRN who posted about this... I find these shows comical. We all know that nurses do most of the stuff that TV is portraying as doctor's work. Oh well.. it is entertainment! I love all the medical shows despite the inacuracy.
Haha.. I thought it was funny as well that they could tell the sex of the baby at 12 weeks and she was stuffing her face "eating for two."
Talking about cops... have you seen Reno 911? It is funny.. I don't find that a television show that makes fun of cops makes me respect their work any less.
Great job:)

Kim said...

Hi, tried to find your email and couldn't but there is a post up now over at Emergiblog and I linked to this post from there! : )

Jo said...

Personally, My view of us nurses is that we kick ass and I think the nurses from ER tend to "kick ass". So I can't fault that show.

I don't watch that other one because I don't care not because of a principle.

I think we can be a little too sensitive. Although it would be nice if they actually came out with a medical show that wasn't about MDs instead just about Nurses.

Why does Hollywood believe MDs are actually that interesting?

Anonymous said...

i wonder sometimes if the public has any idea what we do,sometimes it doesn't seem so.the disrespect and downright rudeness are you a dollar no one tries to tell the fireman how to put out a fire,but when someone is in the hospital,seems like their visitors ALL know how to do my job.sometimes it just makes me wonder.....