So the battle continues. It’s not pretty, and it’s surely not an easy-decision. It seems that opinions continue to vary on the ‘like’ ‘not-like’ factor of Nurse Jackie and Hawthorne.
I won’t rehash what has already been said by my fellow blogger’s and myself. What I’d like to discuss is why so many nurses are against Nurse Jackie. I’d like to ‘clear the air’ so-to-speak for any reader who wonders what there isn’t to like about this controversial show.
Being a nurse is tough. The job itself imposes some serious demands, physically and emotionally. But we nurses have to not only do our job, but we have to defend our job, defend our profession, and many times prove our worth as a health care professional. As a nurse I actually have to seek professional respect. Respect from other healthcare professionals (this list is endless: physicians, physician assistants, allied health care workers) as well as respect from the public.
For some reason public opinion of nurses, while complimentary at times, is extremely warped overall.
I’ve talked about this before:
- Try searching the term. The very definition of a nurse is distorted.
- Most don’t understand the hardships and challenges we face daily.
- We’ve evolved as a profession and as professionals. We have to learn at a much faster pace in this day and age.
- Being a nurse affords you an endless amount of opportunity that is only limited by your effort.
- Unless you’ve needed a nurse and know one personally, you really haven’t met one.
As you can see we nurses have to fight everyday to give ‘our name’ its due respect. It’s not enough that we do it everyday at our job, at the bedside, in the hospital, in the office, in our homes. We have to fight this battle on a much large playing field that is definitely not equally balanced. It’s us, the singular and real, against them, the over-inflated and incorrect.
Yes, I think we all understand that it’s a TV show. Yep, we got it. We know it’s not real. Yep, we caught on to the idea of dramedy gets ratings. Yep, we fully comprehend the notion that you’re not out to ‘educate’ the public on what a nurse does, what a nurse is, and what nurse are.
Here’s the problem.
This TV show is the only thing some have to equate to the real thing.
Doctor’s don’t have this problem. And, I know some reflexive reactions will be, "Well Dr. Gregory House is no role-model. You don’t hear the physician community up in arms". My rebuttal would be. Doctors already were established in Hollywood. They already had good role models for comparison. Do you remember Dr. Greene from ER? Or how about the outstanding physicians and surgeons from St. Elsewhere, or Chicago Hope? The list is endless.
Oh and with those TV shows, do you even remember seeing nurses? How were they portrayed? (Do you even see nurses on House??)
Off the top of my head, there are other healthcare professionals that have had good clout. They didn’t need to defend themselves against a bad image because Hollywood started on the right foot. I believe Paramedics had Third Watch?
Once again, let me repeat, I KNOW. It’s TV. It’s not real, but lets think about the non-professionals out there. The ‘lay-man’ so-to-speak. Where do you think these off-the-wall ideas stem from when referring to Nurses?
Case in point: One of the scenes for the preview of HawthoRNe has a scene of a male patient snickering at the introduction of his new nurse, a male nurse. He mistakes him for a doctor, and chuckles that he is a male nurse.
Were you aware that men, even though they are truly a minority, have been in nursing for centuries?
Contrary to popular belief, not everyone understands and knows what a nurse and what nursing is. Their first dose of it is coming in the form of a drug-addicted cheating wife who breaks the laws of the world in the ‘name’ of doing good??
People’s perception is their reality. No matter how warped one’s perception may be, it’s what they take as ‘real’ or ‘true’.
So now do we nurses have to defend our image locally and on a personal level everyday at work, we now have to contend with Nurse Jackie and her like.
I’d like to confess that I was a supporter of HawthoRNe, and I was choosing sides early. After seeing the first episode last week I readily withdraw my choice. It seems that HawthoRNe also is guilty of ‘buying into’ the hype, the media, and wanting TV ratings. The first episode has a ‘naughty-nurse’ scene with a male patient. Although there was no actual scene of sexual misconduct, it is easily deduced that this particular nurse did more than what was required.
Once again, I and many other nurses pound their heads against that wall.
I guess the question remains how can the public be entertained and informed on the nursing profession without losing respect?
I can only imagine what’s in store for us with Mercy
The quest continues.