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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Good ridance to the NBC hit "ER"

I wonder how many of my fellow medical workers watched "ER". I watched it when it began because I thought it would give me a perspective of life inside a hospital. Yet after I started working as an RT I'd find myself watching it with a fine tooth comb.

My friends who'd watch it with me were continuously vexed by my effort to critique everything that wasn't realistic. I never did see a person talking with an ETT stuck down his throat like on the old Emergency show from the 1960s, but there were equal inaccuracies in this show.

The last episode was a perfect example of this. In one scene we see Dr. Carter sitting in a bar with his friends, and in the next scene he has just left the bar and is walking into the ER. His friend says, "Dr. Carter, what are you doing?" He said, "There is work to be done."

So he all of a sudden -- after drinking -- decides he should be working in a hospital he is no longer employed at. If this happened where I worked he'd be fired on the spot.

Oh yeah! He can't be fired because he didn't work there.

In another scene a lady just gave birth and she is bleeding out. As I watched I could see blood pooling onto the floor. The doctor said, "Where the hell is OB?"

Why is it on this show the only time you ever hear about RT or OB the words, "where the hell are," proceed them. In the real world, a lady who was about to give birth to twins would have been RUSHED up to OB, and the babies would have been born there.

Second of all, the doctor in the show kept saying, "Push! Push!" In the real world, if a mom who is at a place she shouldn't be delivering a baby were in labor, the last thing you'd want to to is rush it out. This wouldn't even happen in the OB.

So these are just a few of the inaccuracies I found in the last episode of ER. It amazes me how busy that place seems to appear all the time. Not even the busiest hospitals in the world are that busy.

Likewise, the doctors ran all those codes as though they do everything themselves. When in that show do you ever see a respiratory therapist assisting with an intubation, or intubating, or doing CPR, or doing ABGs, or advising the doctor. Not on this show.

In real life, the doctor gives the order, and the RNs and RTs perform them. Yet, the only time on "ER" the letters R-T is said is when it is yelled by a pissed off doctor after the RTs services are no longer even needed.

I do enjoy watching shows like CSI. As I do, I wonder how many things those forensic scientists
do on that show that they never would do in real life. I bet there is no forensic scientist who works out on the field AND in the lab.

Or how about all the lawyer shows? I bet those aren't very accurate either.

Yet, all the same, they make for good entertainment for the majority of watchers of those programs. But those of us who know better, or are all the wiser, are not fooled by this false entertainment.

ER is done. Good ridance.


Anonymous said...

TV medicine drives me insane. Doctors in real life are much more passive and much less involved in patient care than they are shown to be on TV. Last time I saw a doctor do CPR, actually. Med students and residents maybe, but physicians lowering themselves to manual labor? Ha!

Yes, good riddance to ER indeed.

The Respiratory Terrorist said...

I find that the hospital is more like Scrubs than ER, and that makes me happy. When my wife wants to watch House, I just leave the room.