Tuesday night’s season two premier episode of HawthoRNe was a good example of doing what you can with limited resources. After the closing of Richmond Trinity hospital and the relocation of the nursing staff to James River Hospital, the only hospital left open in the area, former Richmond Trinity chief nursing officer (CNO) Christina Hawthorne (played by Jada Pinkett Smith) is offered the nursing director role at James River. After just one visit to the hospital, she’s left with no choice but to take on the new role—for the patients’ sake as well as that of her old Richmond Trinity nursing staff.
With James River Hospital facing possible shutdown because of its below average patient care, Hawthorne is expected to improve the quality of care of the hospital in just three months. Challenges arise left and right: on her first visit to the hospital, she discovers problems ranging from a locked crash cart (one was stolen in the past) to excessively long waiting room times (a patient with severe abdominal pains waits over five hours before being seen) to the hospital’s very own CNO leaving a dead patient in a patient room disguised as a living patient because there isn’t any available space in the morgue.
Clearly this hospital is in need of a major reorganization. At moments I was reluctant to believe there really are hospitals that are forced to function with such poor working conditions. Do such places exist? Have you worked in them? Does Nurse Hawthorne have a chance?