Is the NBC Show 'ER' Realistic?

Nurses General Nursing



I'm a nursing student and no I didn't decide to become a nurse after watching ER! (ha ha) I wanted to be an MD as a child then switched my career goals to nursing in middle school. Started working on my BSN straight out of high school but took a "marriage and kids" break. Now I am 26, married with two kids (4 & 2) and hoping to graduate with my BSN May 2004! Anyway back to my question, I *do* enjoy ER, it is my favorite show but I wanted to ask you real nurses if ER a *realistic* portrayal of nurses and what their days working in a hospital are like?


Tee Hee

Their idea of nursing/medicine is........umm ..........interesting.

One thing that gets me is they NEVER chart anything anywhere!

I did love it last week when Kerry Weaver told the "new doc" that there is a nursing shortage and they should "cut the nurses a little slack!"

I like the action part in the ER a lot better than the soap opera storylines.......step daughters, fish tanks etc.

They seem to be top notch at diagnosing EVERYTHING...that is unless their contracts weren't renewed. Then you can see why and how they "got fired."

Overall I will have to say it is my favorite show.....

That and Law & Order....another "fantasy show."

Specializes in Med/Surg, Geriatrics.
Originally posted by P_RN

They seem to be top notch at diagnosing EVERYTHING...that is unless their contracts weren't renewed. Then you can see why and how they "got fired."

That is so funny. I never looked at it like that, LMAO.

For a taste of what ER work is really like see the "Does anyone else have days like this" thread on this BB. Sure sounds familiar to me!

I always liked it when one of the doc's told the nurse to give Halperidol for the pt that was actively vomiting.

i would have to say no. when i watch the show i find i have a hard time determining just what the rn's do let alone who they are ( and i frequently watch the show). nurses, in general, just dont stand around the nurses station. this show follows the adventures of the doctors not the nurses.

actually, i think that the show gives a dim veiw of nurses. we actually play a much larger role than what is portrayed. we are not bed pan slingers. or as in last weeks show, one of the few tasks asked by dr lewis of the nurse was for a rectal temp. so no we are not just rectal temp takers either.

we are the ones that help save the patients bacon. the doc comes in and sees the patient in the am, but nurses view him or her for 24/7. we are the ones, hopefully, that notice the small changes in the patients condition before it turns into a big problem for them.

we also need to know how to solve the problems we find. some years back when the nurse would call the doc and report an issue he would state what he wanted done and she did it. nowadays, when i call the doc i tell him or her what i found and what i would like to do about it. once the doc knows you are credible he usually has no issue trusting your opinion, and give you what the patient needs. generally as we are hanging up the phone the last thing the md will say is "is there anything else you think you will need?" ;)

i like er, and i watch it frequently, but it is not real. if you want to see what a nurse does watch one of the real er shows. there are several on. there is also a series called "nurses" that was talked about on this board awhile back.

does anyone know what happened to that nurses series? not the sitcom, but the one that portrayed us on pbs or something?

Specializes in ER.

ER realistic? PUH LEEZE!!!

The med students give all the sensitive emotional support that the nurses really do.

In a code situation recently the camera zoomed in to the patient for a dramatic close up, then zoomed out to the room when the doctor called the code and all the nurses had apparently deserted ship, just the MD and the med student in the room. When was the last time you had a med student who was made it even next to the bed in a code? When was the last time you had the nurses running the code while the doc scrambled into the room? (Never show that on ER...)

They have a regular tall skinny RT who has yet to do a respiratory assessment when he is called, listens through leather jackets, surgical drapes, drives me mad.

The first show they went from the nurses' point of view to move from trauma to trauma, and kept track of the regular ER patients at the same time, never did it again. Seemed effective, and realistic to me, but apparently no one else can keep track of it all.

They have MD advisors on staff, but no nurses, why?

I have written to complain several times, perhaps we should start a campaign. The writers don't know what they are missing.


Specializes in ER.

Hey, kday,

Remember the eclamptic mom in the ER?

Like they wouldn't have taken one look at her belly and wheeled her upstairs...but on ER they induced? and then laughed when the OB/GYN asked if they were comfortable?

How many babies have they delivered...


I love that all the docs use the same $20 stethoscope I used in Nursing School!

And what kind of shifts do these folks work? Seems some people roll in at 9, leave at 5?

And I've worked at a Level I Trauma Center. Our worst day was like their every day!:p

Not to get to OT, but did anyone see the "Trauma, Life in the ER" where they brought in the post ictal teenage girl?

I'm running in my head the labs she'd need, Chem 7, tox screen, dip her urine for pg. They're running her to CAT scan and see nothing. Get mom from the waiting room, tell her they don't know what's wrong yet, bring her in the bay where she's still out. Mom looks at her and says' Her stomach's big! " The look on the Resident's face was priceless! Kinda like this, :eek: The ding dongs didn't order a pg test! They get out the doppler(fetal heart beat!) and do an U/S and LO and behold! She's 34 weeks and eclamptic!!

Thank goodness she delivered after an induction and everyone was OK!

+ Add a Comment