Today, television seems to be a melting pot of misrepresentation. TV shows like The Real World, Jersey Shore, and even News programs often set a false stage for information gathering and entertainment. MTV thrives on their ability to distribute content featuring misrepresentations of real American lives, and their new “reality” show: Scrubbing In is no exception.
Last October, MTV released a new TV series called: Scrubbing In, featuring travel nurses and their “real” lives on and off duty. They took nine nurses from all over the country and brought them to one 12-week post at an Orange County, CA hospital. Just like any other reality show, the cast is good looking, dramatic, and “diverse”. After painfully watching the first episode online, it is clear that the show has been set up to be a dramatic and wildly over the top experience. In the first episode alone, we are introduced to the drama that will ensue throughout the system.
Each cast member brings a typical reality television role to the show. I am not going to go into specific details, but the male and female roles are wildly blown out of proportion. The women form clicks, and the men stick together trying to score every second they can. There is one African American and one Homosexual man, both of whom form their own click, as they feel left out by the rest of the group. An article by the National Nurses United blog expresses that: “We feel that this obvious dramatization is a gross misrepresentation of the nursing profession. Not only are we tired of the negative stigma that surrounds our profession but also of the senseless sexual objectification that we as nurses, both male and female, continue to endure.” It is evident that nurses are sexually objectified, but this show takes that to a whole new level; with the cast consisting of good looking individuals that seem to have three “equally” important jobs: Work, Drinking and Sex. When MTV was working on getting release forms to film in the hospitals they explained to the labor representative that this program: “would kick off the transition to a kinder, gentler, less exploitative MTV”. The sensationalism about the life of a travelling nurse represented in the first episode proves this to be a false piece of information.
As someone who has experienced their fair share of hospital visits due to injury, I don’t want to see nurses getting plastered at night and then going in to work the next day to help patients. The ideologies put forth by this show may be trying to reach out to a younger audience, telling them that being a nurse is fun; but to people who rely on nurses to help them in a sterile hospital environment, it is scary. In any case, this show has offended nurses all over the country by: “promoting unskilled and naughty nurse stereotypes”.