What's the difference between REAL LIFE and MEDICAL TV-shows?

  1. Hey,guys!
    I'm not a nurse yet, just doing my prerequisites, and I really like to watch medical TV-shows, such as Grey's Anatomy,Scrubs,House M.D. etc. I'm always wondering,is it really like that in a real world?Please write your thoughts and opinions.What do you think the difference is?
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  2. Visit sergei1989 profile page

    About sergei1989

    Joined: Mar '09; Posts: 4

    19 Comments

  3. by   llg
    I'll start ... As others add to this thread, it will become a very long list.

    In real life,

    1. the people are not so good-looking
    2. things smell bad
    3. most diseases, procedures, etc. are not so dramatic and unusual
    4. the doctor is not always the star of the show
  4. by   caliotter3
    Problems don't get solved in the amount of time allotted between commercial breaks. Sometimes problems don't get solved at all.
  5. by   SuesquatchRN
    5. There are nurses doing a lot of stuff that doctors do on TV.
    6. If anyone pulled half the stuff they do on TV risk management'd be tossing them out bodily.
  6. by   Mommy_of_3_in_AL..RN
    7. On TV they shock people in perfectly good rhythms that we would be glad to see in a unit!! (and they always pan the camera to show you the monitor, so u see that)

    8. Nurses and docs dont usually have such up front and out in the open relationships.

    9. There isnt nearlyas much drama

    10. After running four codes in a row on your 4th in a row shift, your hair and makeup will not look like that, and you will not be drug into a supply room to hook up with the hot doc..seriously..go to any unit or ER and see how many beautiful, put together, happy people you see....

    i guess those are superficial differences, but just realize that if you are going into the medical field based on television drama, that you will likely be disappintd..
  7. by   HeartsOpenWide
    8. People that are flat lined to not get fibrillated. They are dead. Chest compressions are for dead people. Defibrillator are for arrhythmias.

    9. Labor is not terrible like T.V. makes it seem.

    Wish I could think of more. My husband gets mad at me because I am always screaming at the T.V. about medical inaccuracies
  8. by   JanisM
    I'm a student nurse, too, and I can see I'm going to LOVE this thread! (BTW my tv addiction is Scrubs). I was told by one of my teachers that after people have been revived they aren't always brought back to 100% health like you see on tv shows; there may be brain damage or other consequences. Correct me if I'm wrong; I'm just a newbie!
  9. by   Trans-am
    people dont fly up in the air when shocked, doctors are not the center of it all as everyone comes to you about the pt
  10. by   nerdtonurse?
    I have yet to see a doc ever do compressions.

    The average age of patients on our floor is 75. Most "patients" on tv are cute and young.

    The average age of our nurses is late 40s.

    The docs are even older.

    On shows where the druggie pt grabs the nurse and gets talked down by the doc, when we've had bad stuff happen, the docs are the first one running out of the room.

    I've never seen a nurse have to tell a patient, "if you hit me, you are going to jail." In real life, I have.

    There was an episode of ER where Hathaway gave the pt the wrong blood because it was an emergency. I've had patients who were bleeding to death, but I take the 30 seconds to stop and double check the blood. If 30 seconds makes the difference, they are dead anyway.

    On tv, they code someone for 45 seconds and they either come back perfectly fine, or they call it. Try doing it for 38 minutes. They don't show you how your wrists ache and swell the next day. And I've never had anyone we did the full monty on (cardiac and respiratory arrest) who actually lived to go home with the same mental faculties they had prior to the arrest.
  11. by   emtb2rn
    In real life there's WAAAAAAAAAAY less time to just stand around & talk. And go to the cafeteria for coffee???? I don't think so.
  12. by   ECUPirateRN
    I just heard a statistic on the radio that said that on TV, 75% of codes are successful whereas in real life, only about 6% of patients that go into cardiac arrest survive. Half the things the docs do on the shows are really tasks the nurses do. Have you guys ever seen a doc start an IV? The ones on my floor don't know how to, or they will ask the nurse if they can attempt it so they can get the practice. Doctors don't start Foleys (or DC them). They just have a totally different role in the hospital. Also, nurses aren't as stupid/slutty/subservient as TV shows tend to make us...well, not ALL of us are! Kidding!
  13. by   Reese17
    In real life, they wash their hands before touching patients (most of the time). How many times have you seen HOUSE or the ER staff wash their hands!
  14. by   ♪♫ in my ♥
    Quote from ECUPirateRN
    Have you guys ever seen a doc start an IV?
    Yep... a pediatric anesthesiologist... He was pretty good but I'd still take a NICU nurse over anybody to do a really tough stick.

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