Since its first episode, the new TNT summer drama, Hawthorne, has gotten quite a few critiques by bloggers and those who commented on TNT’s message board about how unrealistic the show is. Two common criticisms were that Jada Pinkett Smith’s role as the hospital’s CNO inaccurately portrayed what a real CNO does in a real hospital setting and that, in the first episode, it was hinted that one of the female nurses performed a sexual act on one of the patients.
Did the show stretch the truth in its depiction of Smith’s role as a CNO? Probably. But I continue to enjoy the show. How unrealistic is it to say that nurses save lives, yet often don’t get credit for it? In last night’s episode, a male nurse saved an employee he disliked from choking to death. Later on, the employee denied that the nurse had helped him at all. It wasn’t until after the employee saw other nurses in action trying to save a baby’s life that he began to appreciate what nurses do and thanked the male nurse for saving his life.
How unrealistic was the situation in which a nurse was scolded for questioning the doctor’s diagnosis after the nurse found out crucial information about a patient? In the end, that information saved the patient’s life. What about the representation of hospital politics? Staff cuts and layoffs were a hot topic in last night’s episode—these are topics AJN has been covering for years.
Shows like Hawthorne, in which a sometimes tidy or “artificial” dramatic twist is used to impose meaning on a messy real life situation, offer real satisfactions to viewers with a taste for that kind of drama. Is anyone learning anything from this show? I work with nurses, but I’m not a nurse—for me, the show provides entertainment, as well as enlightenment about how important nurses really are.
Tonight is the season finale of Hawthorne. You can watch the most recent episode here; if you like it, set your DVRs to record the finale. Nurses are tough critics—but who knows, you might find a reason to tune in to season two.
Amanda Geer, AJN administrative coordinator