How TV Gets Hospitals All Wrong – Excerpt from the Wall Street Journal

You mean my doctor doesn’t look like George Clooney?
Here at KSB we love our doctors, and we are blessed to have some of the finest in the industry.  This author argues that nurses drive the patient experience, and KSB is fortunate to have the best of the best.  Here’s an interesting excerpt from the WSJ.
– Dave

: People think that the television image of medicine is true-to-life because, after all, TV hospitals look realistic enough, so we assume they mirror real-life hospitals. But that’s the case only through a funhouse mirror.

quick way to comprehend the level of distortion on your screen is by
playing a game of “Count the Characters.” Tune to your favorite hospital
drama and count how many characters are nurses and how many are
doctors. More likely than not, you will find about 10 doctors for every
one nurse. The reality is roughly the opposite: There are about 10 times
more nurses than physicians in the hospital down the street from you.
Most of what hospitals do is deliver expert nursing care.
you believe the TV image, however, you imagine that if you get admitted
to the hospital you’ll be immediately surrounded by five or 10
(exceptionally good-looking) physicians. They will work all the complex
technology at your bedside and monitor your every breath during your
stay. If your life needs saving, they will be there first.
convinced it’s these media-inspired assumptions that come into play
when people who are admitted to a real hospital express amazement, even
shock, about the extent of their nursing care. They can’t believe how
much knowledge the nurses demonstrate. Many are surprised they only
occasionally see a physician, while nurses dominate their care around
the clock. “Heavens, my life was in the hands of my nurses!” said one of
my friends, equally impressed and dismayed.
a fascinating book about this, “The Truth About Nursing: Why The
Media’s Portrayal of Nursing Puts Us All At Risk,” and a movement
I support to pressure the entertainment industry to make some effort to
acknowledge the actual work of nurses. Beyond the fact it’s plainly
wrong for Hollywood to obscure the vital work of nurses, it’s also
clearly bad for our health as patients. The best and the brightest young
people might think from watching TV that it’s a waste of their talents
to aspire to a career in nursing, but we need them! We also need to
reverse the nursing shortage.
I admit
it’s entertaining to think George Clooney will care for you every moment
you’re in the hospital. But in real life, none of us should ever
entrust our lives to a hospital without top-notch nurses and high
quality nursing leadership.
Leah Binder (@LeahBinder)
is president and chief executive officer of Leapfrog Group, a national
organization based in Washington, D.C., representing employer purchasers
of health care and calling for improvements in the safety and quality
of the nation’s hospitals.
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