Recent conversation under the Big Top:
Mom, check it out there is a new reality show about nurses. It’s called Scrubbing In and it looks really cool.
Oh really…:::checking out the trailer with my darling daughter::: Of course that is reality for nurses!
Um…yes. Of course I wear skin tight scrubs to show off my body and wear my hair long and perfectly curled and coiffed when I go into work and care for sick patients with gross body fluids everywhere…just like the rest of my colleagues. And when our shift is over you know we are at the club knocking back shots, raising hell, breaking hearts and seeking fun. Oh yeah, you know that is my life!
In all fairness to these nurses who star in this new “reality” show, I was judging you all. Perhaps I was being unfair. So, to be fair, I decided to check out the season premiere.
I was not judging you unfairly at all.
Is this how you really want your patients and their families to see you?
Boys and girls, for what it’s worth, no this is not a nurse’s life…not any nurse that I have known in my 23 years of working my butt off in my chosen vocation. No, no, no we don’t go into this field of work hoping to meet some hot, rich doctor and hook up with them. We come in all shapes and sizes and looks and you certainly can’t judge us by the scrubs that we wear. Take note, skin tight scrubs showing off every curve just doesn’t work in a job setting where you are constantly on the go for 12 hours saving lives and dealing with blood, sweat, urine, a whole lot of poop and every other gross body fluid imaginable. You might want to put your gorgeous hair up out of the way of those body fluids too…I’m just saying. We don’t practice nursing skills on each other. That’s what annual competencies, continuing educations and skills labs are for. We work hard. We work very hard and yes, at the end of the day (or night) we do unwind. We play hard, we love hard, we sleep hard, we juggle so much…family time, friend time, play time but, for most of us, it is not Jersey Shore meets Grey’s Anatomy; especially since neither involve nurses at all. This “reality” show does nothing to educate the average person about the lives of real nurses. It doesn’t even come close to the lives of any nurse I have ever known and worked with for any length of time in the last 23+ years.
I don’t not like this show for the fact that it makes me look bad as a nurse. It could never make me look bad. I dislike the show for the fact that the nurse-patient relationship relies on a patient’s ability to literally trust a nurse with his or her life or the life of someone they love. If this show changes the public perception of nurses to the image of drunken wild children with only minimal competency, the problem isn’t that our reputations are at stake. The problem is that an image like that erodes patient trust consciously or otherwise. And if patients don’t trust the nurses who are supposed to care for them, they likely won’t seek out care. They won’t let you care for them or the ones they love. Making a caricature of the image of nursing is a potential threat to public’s health and safety, and for that, MTV and these young “professionals” should be pretty ashamed. Of course shame is the last thing they feel because…WHOOOO-HOOOOO!!!! PARTY!!!
Watch the show if you must. I weep for the IQ points lost but to each his own. I have been know to occasionally keep up with the Kardashians, why I don’t know but I do. Just know this is not real. Not at all. The moment where you find yourself in a hospital with a nurse at your bedside know that you have so much more than just a nurse at your bedside caring for you. and know you can trust us to work our hardest and do our very best to give you the very best of care because we are all so much more than just a nurse and definitely much, much, much more than the nurses portrayed in Scrubbing In…lucky for you and your loved ones!
Read the American Nurses Association’s response to Scrubbing In here
photo from Peek A Boo ICU.