9 Times TV Shows Got It Wrong About Nursing (And Medicine In General)


6) Inappropriate Ways of Handling Seizures

A study from Canada found that nurses and doctors on TV shows generally didn’t respond correctly when a patient had a seizure. These shows love to show seizures, as a grand mal seizure can be quite visually dramatic and intense. But they also show mistakes like pinning the person down, attempting to stop a person’s involuntary movements, or putting something in a person’s mouth to prevent them from “swallowing their tongue.”

7) Inaccurate Portrayals of Schizophrenia

TV isn’t the best when it comes to realistic portrayals of schizophrenia. While some shows, notably Bojack Horseman, have done a good job portraying depression, schizophrenia is constantly misrepresented. From false conflation with multiple personality disorder, to other problematic misrepresentations, medical dramas do no favors to this already stigmatized and popularly misunderstood psychiatric disorder.

8) Physicians and Nurses Hooking Up On the Job

While office romances do happen, nurses and physicians are far too busy during the workday to have sex in janitor’s closets.

9) Stabbing someone with adrenaline to treat an opioid OD.

Okay, technically, this one’s from Pulp Fiction, but it’s still terribly wrong in every way. Stabbing Mia Wallace in the chest with adrenaline simply wouldn’t have worked. Intracardiac adrenaline is only really given during open heart surgery when the heart is exposed already. Pushing a needle into someone’s heart through their chest — assuming the person even hit the heart without being able to see the organ — could cause the heart to bleed, inducing cardiac tamponade and potentially killing them.

TV Never Gets It Right
TV never seems to get it right when it comes to portraying what it’s really like to work in medicine. We have to settle for engaging plotlines and good storytelling, maybe some memorable characters, but actual medical accuracy? Probably not going to happen, although Scrubs gets a shout-out for being somewhat accurate.

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