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Why are hospital television documentaries okay?

Professionalism   (7,048 Views | 28 Replies)

4,063 Profile Views; 67 Posts

I don't watch television, so I was surprised to learn that shows like NY Med exist. I am just stunned that hospitals allow such a thing. From glancing at this forum and from my own common sense observations, it is apparent that hospitals are busy places and nurses and other employees are stressed to the max. I cannot fathom that television production is not disruptive and invasive of patients' privacy.

Based on reading this forum, I'm convinced that people like me who are quiet and try to be polite are almost certainly neglected and perhaps even receive substandard care. Now, should I end up at NY Presbyterian, I also have to worry about competing with some doofus patient who is all excited about being on television? Is a nurse like Katie Duke, who has a website with merchandise no less, really going to give equal time to someone like me who is shy, frightened and breaks into panic at the sight of a camera?

I admit to a huge prejudice against film/commercial/television production. I live in Manhattan, and see a lot of outdoor film/television shoots in my neighborhood. There was also a shoot in my apartment building. They are awful. I don't complain, because nobody is forcing me to live in this neighborhood, but a HOSPITAL? How can this possibly be acceptable?

I googled and turned up nothing about television production affecting hospital functions, nor did I see anything about that in quickly skimming this forum.

I realize this is a trivial question, and the odds of my ending up in front of a camera in an emergency room are low, but I'd love to know how real nurses feel about this, if anyone is inclined to tell me.

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VANurse2010 has 6 years experience.

1,526 Posts; 12,714 Profile Views

All of those people featured sign releases to appear, and certainly the hospital and perhaps even the participants are being financially compensated.

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3 Articles; 10,428 Posts; 89,559 Profile Views

My hospital had something similar going on, and they needed a release from everyone and anyone that might be caught on camera.

I declined :)

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psu_213 has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency, Telemetry, Transplant.

3,869 Posts; 28,033 Profile Views

In those shows, patients in the background of shots have the faces "fuzzed" out. They never show a patient list, screen shot of a patient's chart, etc. I'm sure the patients who are featured on those shows sign very detailed releases about what information can and cannot be revealed on the show.

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SubSippi has 2 years experience.

907 Posts; 12,745 Profile Views

I understand how having a patient sign a release gets around HIPAA. However, having a camera crew around seems like it could create several opportunities to impede patient care. The crew has got to get in the way, even if they do their best not to. Not to mention the fact that when people see cameras they may be more likely to act up, not tell the whole truth to the doctors and nurses. If I worked at that hospital, it would be a huge distraction.

The bottom line is, to the people involved that show, making good tv is the top priority, not making sure the patients are taken care of.

That being said, I've never worked in a hospital where a reality show was being filmed. I'd be interested to hear from one of those nurses how the whole thing works.

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KelRN215 has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pedi.

1 Article; 7,344 Posts; 68,380 Profile Views

I worked at a hospital that was profiled on a show that was similar to NY Med but filmed in a different city a few years back. Several of our patients were filmed but none made the cut for the final show. I do not remember the film crews disrupting day to day operations.

The hospitals "allow" such a thing for obvious reasons- it brings attention to them. There's an obvious financial incentive for them.

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13 Articles; 2,058 Posts; 62,408 Profile Views

Our society is an increasingly frivolous creature, rabid with the concept of quick fame and fortune with minimal effort. There's no such thing as bad press anymore, much less dignity or propriety. Anything that can be twisted into a human interest story is sucked of any and all drama, then discarded by a culture that values the "flash in the pan" versus anything of substance.

THAT is why this kind of nonsense is allowed to take place in a hospital where we are supposed to care and protect the ill and/or injured. The disease that is reality TV has crept into our hospitals and made them little more than entertainment. I'm glad to see someone else has the same gut feeling about this as I do. This is nothing more than a public spectacle. I hope that in due time it will blow over, but I'm not holding my breath.

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amoLucia specializes in LTC.

5,322 Posts; 46,360 Profile Views

... Not to mention the fact that when people see cameras they may be more likely to act up, not tell the whole truth to the doctors and nurses. If I worked at that hospital, it would be a huge distraction.]

As others have said, I'd bet that its the money, and prob a nice chunk of money.

But I wonder how many 'actors' now given their 15 minutes of fame will whine about the place just to get the jollies off. Press Gainey are you listening?

Edited by amoLucia
spacing, eta

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SubSippi has 2 years experience.

907 Posts; 12,745 Profile Views

Press Gainey are you listening?

Never!!

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~PedsRN~ has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Acute Care Pediatrics.

826 Posts; 10,198 Profile Views

I get what you're saying... it seems to me if you are in the middle of a major trauma that these idiots with their cameras would just get in my way. But from what I have seen of the show, they stay out of the real crazy right? And try to follow more cases with a good back story?

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