July 4th, 2009

RN Florence

Nurses and Nursing in the Media

I've now seen at least one episode of two different new Televideo shows about Registered Nurses: Nurse Jackie and HawthoRNe. Interestingly enough, within the past three days slave2tehtink passed me a link to a piece published, at least on-line, by the New York Times (link follows http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/01/nurses-helpers-angels-or-something-more/ and I didn't need a login to view it...), that discussed the image of Nurses in the media. I'm not sure if this is going to be a rant. It will contain elements of being a review. No major spoilers, I'm sure, if you happen to be someone interested in either show.

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Nursing, according to that NYT article, hasn't fared well in most medical dramas. None of them, to date, truly show what it is that Registered Nurses do for you when you need them. Gather data about your problems. Analyze and assess that data into information that leads to a Plan, to correct those problems to the best of the patient's ability. Implement that plan, which involves both direct Nursing actions and a whole lot of other people called the Health Care Team. Then do it again, to be sure it worked. Change as needed. Rinse and repeat. It's not Medical Diagnosis and Treatment; that's what Medical Doctors do. Yes, they order treatments and medications and then RN's administer those treatments or medications. That is, if something else in the patient's condition doesn't contraindicate it. Or change suddenly, which your M.D. won't see as they aren't at or near the patient bedside 24/7.

All that said, the two shows remain programmed for the DVR to record. Another one of my very good friends told me in the last 12 month, 'You're non-judgemental. That's a very good thing in your profession.' Yes, it is. Fixing those problems rather requires that non-judgemental aspect, and that is one reason why the two shows remain on the DVR schedule. Also Herself rather likes at least one of them. Still, won't be many more of the first one discussed that I'll watch if things don't change rather quickly. Only saw the one of the second one discussed, so there's at least two more viewings in my future.

And that said, I'm not hopeful.