Nurses on TV: HawthoRNe is Strong Stuff

On the new TNT series HawthoRNe, a nurse is portrayed in a positive light.

By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

I’m delighted to see that the new TV series HawthoRNe avoids most of the media stereotypes of nursing, portraying a nurse character that is strong, determined, smart and assertive.

Jada Pinkett Smith, shines as she realistically depicts a nurse. While Pinkett Smith’s role as a Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) is bit exaggerated, that can be overlooked since her character, Christina Hawthorne, is presented as a confident, independent and strong woman.

But not all the characters are as strong. In one scene, nurse Ray Stein believes the doctor made a mistake in writing insulin orders. He questions the doctor only to be raked over the coals for questioning the order.

Instead of being persistent and assertive, he follows the doctor’s order, knowing that it is incorrect. No surprise: The patient codes and almost dies.

While some doctors who can make things difficult, it’s really important that nurses are assertive.

I remember an incident from when I was a staff nurse, the charge nurse for the evening shift. One doctor roasted one of the nurses in front of patients. As the charge nurse, I professionally and politely said to the doctor that I’d like to speak with him away from the patients.

The closest spot was the clean utility room, and there I informed that doctor that if he  needed to speak to a nurse to correct her or complain, that he should calmly ask her if he could speak with her away from the patients.

Few doctors treat nurse so badly. Most are really supportive and work well with nurses. After all, shouldn’t doctors and nurses work together for the good of the patients?

HawthoRNe premiers tomorrow, June 16th on TNT.

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