To Hollywood, From nurses everywhere

I don’t watch medical shows. Why?  Inaccuracies everywhere and nurses walking around in the two dimensional background. Do they even have medical consultants anymore? If so, I want to go live in the white tower they come from and watch doctors ambulate and reposition the patients and have the residents always hanging around. Where the doctors and nurses always have outside coffee and don’t drink the floor swill the patient’s families are expected to choke down. That’s how we keep the visiting hours strict. Shhh don’t tell anyone.

Nurse Jackie was about nurses, and addiction. Do you know the most commonly addicted health care professional? Physicians. Nurses are second. They made it way too easy for Nurse Jackie to gain access to drugs on that show. It was laughable. It’s not that easy and much easier to get caught. Not that I’ve thought about it. Sadly, I’ve personally caught a co-worker.

Plus, the punishment for a nurse getting caught is a heavy hand, as it should be.  A doctor getting caught, the whole process is very different. In the real world Nurse Jackie would have been quickly noticed, lost her license and ended up working at her husband’s bar. The end. We aren’t even allowed to get DUI’s. I haven’t seen anyone bother being medically accurate on a TV show since Joss Whedon. My Mother says, “Orange is the New Black” is medically accurate for prison. I wouldn’t know, I’ll have to take her word on it.



But, I digress. I want to see a show that is central to nurses. It doesn’t have to be ER. How about ICU? Seasoned nurses mixed with first years, dealing with residents and physicians. Then going home to various family problems. Some of them could be going to night school, finishing their BSN. Some could be pregnant. One could be the nurse who married a well-known doctor after having an affair with him and is now shunned by the others. These things all happen. One could have a husband that is deployed, single Mom’s and Dad’s. We have the works.

This is gold people. I am handing script writers drama and humor on a silver platter. The nurse techs? They can add a whole aspect to the story. The nurse who was never an “aide” who talks down to them. The seasoned bitter tech who tells the new nurses how it is done. The newbie tech that is taught to breathe through her mouth the first time she changes a an ostomy bag. Then throws up outside the room.

I have so many stories without breaking HIPAA, just about “the hive”. The collective hive of nurses that works together, sees each other more than their own families. Here’s a tip for the writers in Hollywood, we work WITH the doctors. They are not our boss. We collaborate with them about the patients care. We are no longer pill passing, cigarette lighting, hat wearing, “Yes, Doctor” women. We are men and women working together to make sure the plan of care works until the next round of doctors (or God help us, residents) comes around and tries to change it.

The residents do not figure out where the infection comes from like you see in “House”. We do. The Doctors do not reposition patients in bed like on Grey’s Anatomy, we do. Hollywood has become a joke to nurses. Most nurses you talk to will tell you the last remotely accurate show about a hospital they saw was “Scrubs”. Even that show betrayed us when Carla wanted to become a doctor. Here’s another secret. Most of us, don’t want to be doctors. We find it insulting when people ask us why we didn’t become doctors.

Because we wanted to be nurses.

Give us something new, Hollywood. I can guarantee you would have an audience.

Your loving nerdy nurse