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Nursing Care Plans: How the Movies Do It

Nursing in Hollywood is far from realistic, as are most careers that are showcased in movies and television.  With medical shows on the rise, such as Grey’s Anatomy or even reruns of ER, producers were strapped for dramatic scenes of nurses and doctors, and rather than rely on the truth, they carefully crafted many dramatic episodes that not only pulled in an audience, but kept them wanting more.  However, as much as we enjoy the role of the doctors on Grey’s Anatomy, and the quirky little relationships between nurses and doctors on Scrubs, in reality nurses and doctors have very little contact in hospitals and clinics, although they continue to communicate through nursing care plans.  Hollywood largely ignores this integral part of the nursing industry, although it is responsible for the majority of patient care and for ensuring that patients are not overlooked, even on busy emergency days.

Nursing care plans are never a part of Hollywood hits.  Instead, the doctors rule all and nurses are pushed to the side while interns watch over the patients and make up their own “doctor plans” for each patient.  In reality, nurses have far more contact with the patients than the doctors ever do, and while TV shows have slowly been incorporating more of this factual background into their episodes, doctors still dominate the ratings.  However, doctors in traditional hospital settings have multiple patients, multiple surgeries, and simply do not have time to sit with patients or even take the hour long breaks for entertainment most doctors receive in television shows.  Nurses, therefore, are left in charge of the patients, even though these shows typically portray nurses as somewhat inept at the entire medical process.

Hollywood is slowly starting to realize the importance of nurses and the importance of their communication to each other through nursing care plans.  Many sitcoms and dramas now include the nursing industry more than ever before and indicate that nurses have ways they communicate to other nurses about their patients.  However, the Movies and TV still paint the best illusory picture they can muster, and still continue to leave out how important nurses are to the medical community.  Learning how vital nursing care plans are to most hospital settings is important not only for future medical and nursing students, but for patients as well – it gives many of us peace of mind to know that nurses will continuously watch over us when the doctor is not around.