Don’t get me wrong. I like House in small doses. The whole ER thing came and went without me watching a single show. I saw some reality show about an emergency department a while ago, but I can’t remember the name of the program and have never bothered to try and watch it again.
Do you know why? Because I’m a nurse. And if I’m going to watch “work,” then you are darn well going to pay me what I make per hour even if I am sitting on the couch. This reminds me of a dear friend of mine who began dating a state trooper years ago when she was working in graphic design. He stopped by one evening after work and she innocently asked him if he wanted to watch Cops. “Do you want to watch some show about making t-shirts after you’ve been doing it all day?” he responded. Point taken.
You’re going to pay me for a number of reasons. First of all, the TV-watching time is probably overtime for me. The nursing shortage is such that even if I am scheduled part-time for a particular week or so, I’m going to be called in on my days off or asked to work over when I’m already there.
The second reason you’re going to pay me – or someone with my credentials – is so that your writers, producers and actors supposedly get the action right. Which brings me to the ever popular series House. If you ever, ever, ever wake up in a hospital bed and are surrounded for hours by baby doctors who sit by your bed to make friends with you and figure out your proper diagnosis, the people in these white coats are not real and you’re in a mental hospital, not one for physical problems. Another reason that you’re going to pay me is also related to this series: they don’t have any nurses. Well, my friend Angie insists that she saw one -once – but she’s been watching House since it first came on. How in the world does any of that hospital work get done?
Also, I say that nurse consultants are hired by television shows to supposedly ensure that the dialogue and action is medically accurate, but “art” always wins over accuracy. For those of you who are old enough to remember Dallas, son Bobby died during perfectly normal sinus rhythm. His “death” consisted of unplugging the telemetry machine.
I suppose the other reason you’re going to pay me to watch these shows is because I don’t want to be confused when I return to my real job. It’s simply too confusing or disheartening to find out that real patients are fatter, uglier, meaner, whinier and less spunky than their pretend counterparts.
So, you’re lucky at the moment. Angie’s now-husband doesn’t watch Cops, I doubt real wiseguys watch The Sopranos, and I don’t watch medical shows or docu-dramas. I’ll let you know how to pay me when I start.