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10 more ways Hollywood goofs up medicine!


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For decades Hollywood has taken some serious liberties with the medical profession, from messing up basic human anatomy to putting nurses in heels (hilarious!).

Maybe the unwitting public will happily devour these medical shows without batting an eye, but we nurses just shake our heads.

We’ve made some keen observations after regretfully flipping on the tube to catch the nonsense!

1. The patient who is lying in a hospital bed with a nasal cannula in, and in the background you can hear a ventilator. Really???
—Submitted by Juli, RN, BSN

2. They’re doing surgery on a GSW and the bleeding gets out of control, the monitors are alarming and all they show is them suctioning the bullet wound!! They never opened up the patient!!! ARRRGGGHHHHH!!!
—Submitted by Maxx

3. On House, Dr. House was sick with a BAD cold, sneezing and everything, and walked into a room to talk with a neutropenic child with cancer!
—Submitted by Nancy

4. On House, Dr. House had a team of doctors making phone calls to locate the patient’s family. Most of our doctors do not know how to dial a phone! I told one of our doctors, “If that happened at our hospital, you would tell me to do it.” He said, “And then you would palm it off on the Unit Secretary and tell me that you aren’t my private secretary!”
—Submitted by Sharon

5. On Grey’s Anatomy, while scrubbing in, the surgeons did not don caps, wear masks or clean their fingernails before scrubbing. I did not watch the entire show…I’m sure there were even more faux pas to write about. Perhaps this is why the show is called Grey’s Anatomy—a more healthy color derives using aseptic practices.
—Submitted by Coupleofchances

6. ONE doctor doesn’t do brain surgery, heart surgery, CT scans, blood draws, catheter emptying, angiograms and liver biopsies, etc. I always wonder why these shows don’t hire a medical consultant.
—Submitted by Bettymerchen

7. They don’t deliver babies in the ER in real life unless the mother comes in with it actually falling out!!! Everywhere I have ever worked, if she’s pregnant and comes in for heartburn she comes to OB in a wheelchair!
—Submitted by Kathy

8. Surgeons don’t usually shave or do surgical prep (it once made me laugh out loud to see Dr. Derek Shepherd on Grey’s shaving a patient’s head before surgery).
—Submitted by Katrina

9. No wonder patients on TV are in such bad shape…they don’t have the bag inflated when on a non-rebreather mask! Saw this a couple of times on a soap opera.
—Submitted by Katrina

10. When the surgeon is scrubbing at the sink with his mask dangling around his neck…who in the heck is going to tie that up for him? In every OR I’ve ever worked in, if you’re dumb enough to forget to tie your mask before scrubbing, YOU fix it and then re-scrub. Duh!!!
—Submitted by Stacy M, RN, BSN, soon-to-be MSN APNP

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11 Responses to 10 more ways Hollywood goofs up medicine!

  1. cirql8

    I remember an episode of ER where “Dr. Green” was intubated for an awake brain mapping and talking. Too many things to even attempt to map out all that was wrong

  2. ellaICURN

    I love when they shock a flat line!! SO many people are surprised when I tell them that we don’t do that…

  3. Connie Rn Caption Contest

    House is notorious….They were giving a patient Plasma Phoresis with a Dialysis machine.
    Another time they were actually setting up a dialysis machine they had blood in every line you could see. I saw the humor my kids just laughed at me…. :)

  4. HeidiJJJJ RN

    What about the walking, running, attacking zombies on The Walking Dead who supposedly have only brain stem reactivation.

  5. Sharontp56TN

    One of the biggest mistakes I saw was also on the show Grey’s Anatomy: Meredith had drowned (in cold water) and there was a long, drawn out code performed on her by all the other doctors on the show. She finally came back from death, and by the end of the show was extubated and talking to her best friend, Christina!! The expectation this sets up with the public as to what medicine can and cannot do is frankly not good…..

  6. kariano

    On DR. OZ He always puts on gloves to touch the cadaver parts he shows us, then he uses the same gloves to shake hands with his bare handed guest?

  7. onthesnap55 RN

    On Grey’s anatomy an elderly lady had coded and instead of flatlining “she had a rhythm because of her pacemaker”. So Mark, the plastic surgeon, decided to “shut it off” with a magnet so she could pass on. Of course we all know what happens when you put a magnet on a pacemaker and it doesn’t have any thing to do with “shutting it off”.

  8. leesern92

    Totally agree with Kathy about deliveries in the ED, not gonna happen unless baby is hanging out when they present.

  9. OshOrRn RN

    I work with some surgeons that actually do shave the patient and sometimes they even prep! For real!! not kidding! we have awesome docs where I work!

  10. binary Student

    least we forget every time we see a patient hooked up to an IV on TV, the roller clamp is always closed.

  11. webmisdris

    Yeah In my OR we have surgeons who shave and prep! A neurosurgeon who did do the head shaving so not too far fetched!

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