From Nurse Jackie and Private Practice to Grey’s Anatomy and Royal Pains, medical-based television dominates the airwaves, both in first-run shows and reruns. Some of the interactions between nurses, doctors and patients are accurate – and some are not. Check out these five ways nursing is wrongly portrayed on TV:
- Nurses Simply Wait for a Doctor’s Instructions
Doctors and nurses work side-by-side, as a cohesive team. Sometimes, nurses on TV are portrayed as merely assistants to the doctor, unable to act until told what to do. Yes, nurses do assist doctors, but they are also highly trained and often operate autonomously.
- Nurses Regularly Ignore Patient Care to Discuss Personal Business with Colleagues
Here’s a familiar scene on a medical drama: A patient goes into cardiac arrest, but the nurses are bickering in the break room about their love triangle. More often than not, nurses are portrayed as chatty gossipers who do more socializing on the clock than actual nursing. In reality, nurses don’t have time to chat, bicker or gossip – their days are meticulously scheduled and their time is utilized for patient care.
- Doctors Can Do Anything That Nurses Do
TV writers have a tendency to blend together the workplace responsibilities of all medical professionals, in an effort to have the focus remain on the drama of the storyline. In reality, doctors and nurses do have some overlapping of skills. However, both fields are independent from each other and require different training and education.
- Nurses Rarely Perform Lifesaving Techniques
Many times on television, the doctor is given sole credit for saving a life. While doctors can and do save lives every day, nurses also perform lifesaving techniques. Nurses are often the first point of contact for the patient, especially when they take a turn for the worse.
- Only Doctors Get Accolades
On TV, the hugs, high-fives and teary thank yous are often left to the patients, their families and the doctors. It’s not very common for a scene to revolve around thanking nurses for all they have done. Nurses do receive thanks and praise on a daily basis – maybe not enough, but they are often recognized by doctors, patients and their families as an integral part of patient care and healing.
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Chartered in July of 1912, Loyola University New Orleans is one of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States and one of the largest Jesuit institutions in the Southeast. The 2012 edition of the U.S. News & World Report Top Online Education Programs guide singled out the Loyola University New Orleans School of Nursing as one of the best online nursing graduate programs in the country. Loyola was one of only five nursing schools in the country and the only Jesuit institution to receive the honor roll designation from U.S. News & World Report. The publication has also ranked Loyola among the top ten regional universities in the South for the last 21 consecutive years. The fully ACEM accredited online Master of Science in Nursing program currently serves students throughout the United States and in several foreign countries. Loyola University New Orleans is a not-for-profit, Catholic Jesuit institution welcoming students of all faiths.