TV is full of medical stories featuring all kinds of crazy plotlines, such as doctors sleeping with residents, patients coming back to life and out-of-this-world tragedies that seem too horrifying to believe. Hospitals have no shortage of drama, but these shows love to ratchet things up a notch.
We asked millions of nurses to share their favorite TV medical moments and these shows came to mind:
The ER episode when Lucy and Carter were stabbed.
Grey’s Anatomy – The mass shooting in the hospital.
MASH – any episode.
St. Elsewhere – Opening credits when they are playing the music and showing a nurse running down the hall w/ a code cart that tips over. It happens!! I remember during my first code on the code team from ICU, MD asked for Dopamine to go up and for the life of me, what seemed like forever but was really only seconds, I couldn’t remember wtf to mix it in!!!!
I’m 41 and I’ll never ever EVER forget the scene where the female janitor aka “Dr. Bob” saved the patient’s life on ER.
House – Amber’s deaths.
Every time Dr. House speaks his mind. ????
I’ve been hooked on medical dramas since I was like 7. There are SO MANY and a lot of them have already been mentioned. Mark Sloan’s death on Greys had me crying like someone I knew had died.
Also, Jackson Avery begging God (who he didn’t really believe in) to please save April.
ER – When Dr. Ross forced moving a patient into an elevator while connected to a dialysis machine, as the nurse hand cranks. No portable r/o in sight. Made me laugh out loud.
Pretty sure I heard a doctor on Grey’s Anatomy once order 100 mg of fentanyl.
When there were 4 doctors in a patient’s room… patient coded… head doctor hollered, “WE NEED SOME NURSES IN HERE!!” I can’t even remember the show.
ER has an episode where Cynthia Nixon plays a young 30-something that suffers from a stroke. In the episode, it shows from her point of view first. She’s saying, “Bring me home”, “I have to pick my kids up”, “I have things to do”, “Call my husband and he’ll pick me up” … etc.
Then it switches to the EMS, Doctors, and Nurses’ point of view… CHILLS every time! Sometimes in healthcare, we dismiss how an active stroke patient is trapped in that mind. I strongly recommend everyone who’s ever cared for a stroke victim to watch that episode.
When doctors are seen making beds.
How Ms. Hofnagal died in St. Elsewhere!
Every episode of ER. It’s on Hulu, I’ve watched it 2 times.
Call the Midwife on Netflix.
“And you must be the woman screwing my husband,” from Grey’s Anatomy
Every time someone dead with no pulse gets shocked back to life with a defibrillator ??♀️
Practically anything in Scrubs was way more realistic, hits hard on patient care, has nurses in it and other medical staff and is funny too.
When Dr. Drake Ramoray had a brain transplant.
The episode of ER – I think it’s called “Love’s Labor Lost” – where the young mother, who is a patient of Dr. Greene’s, dies. Heart wrenching.
ER – When Carter was stabbed by a patient. Literally our hospital changed some policies.
When all the women lined the halls for the sexual abuse patient to go to the OR in Grey’s Anatomy.
And Just Like That – Mr. Big heart attack scene. Should be used in lessons on what not to do when you walk in on a person having a cardiac event.
Not sure which show, but the nurse drops the refrigerated heart in the OR, and it slides across the floor. Epic!
Medical shows are sure to get your pulse racing, just don’t expect them to be realistic. Thank you to everyone who shared on social media.
These responses have been edited for length and clarity.