9 Ways Nursing is NOTHING like on TV

TV portrays a very strange image of Nurses as minimally qualified, doctor-loving, order-taking, glamorous, and sexy icons of the healthcare world.

Sarah Jane
4 August 2016
nurse on ward

Being a Nurse is nothing like you see on TV. It isn’t that glamorous, it doesn’t pay that well and we certainly don’t do it to marry a Doctor. 


TV portrays a very strange image of Nurses as minimally qualified, doctor-loving, order-taking, glamorous, and sexy icons of the healthcare world – the reality however is very different.

We don’t just do as the Doctor says.

Nursing is a profession in its own right and has it own completely different skill-set than other healthcare professionals. We work alongside Doctors to provide care for our patients. We have a mind of our own and don’t mindlessly follow commands from a god-like figure – if we disagree with a Doctor it’s our job to advocate for our patient and say so.

Sometimes a Nurse is better than a Doctor.

Sometimes a Nurse is better than a Doctor. Take; urinary catheterisation, venepuncture, cannulation, IV drug administration – Nurses when was the last time you saw a Doctor administering IV antibiotics or fluids? 

Resuscitation is nothing like TV.

It’s brutal and scary – full of sweat (from the gym-like workout that is CPR) and tears. Every second of that arrest counts so Nurses and Doctors are rushing around to save a life. You will never have seen so many healthcare professions in one place until you have witnessed a cardiac arrest.


Nurses can be Male or Female!

Healthcare workers still suffer from massive gender stereotyping – male nurses do exist and they are everywhere in Nursing.

Not every Nurse wants to marry a Doctor.

You see it on TV all of the time, Nurse meets a handsome Doctor and they fall madly in love. Although statistics show healthcare workers seem to pair with other healthcare workers, I think this is more down to the shift patterns and the stresses that come with a career in healthcare.

We deal with a lot of bodily fluids.

It doesn’t matter if its; urine, faeces, sputum, bile, blood, spit or something you found by the side of the road – it’s all in our job description.

We cry sometimes.

We are a sensitive bunch and sometimes lack the stiff upper lip you see on TV. We see people through the best and worst times in their lives and sometimes its hard to handle. We find ourselves occasionally needing a few minutes to shed a tear of sadness or joy.


We wouldn’t change our job for the world.

We complain about the pay and the long hours but ultimately we do the job because we enjoy it. You couldn’t manage 10 minutes as a Nurse if you didn’t.

We work as a team.

Doctors, Nurses, Physio, OT, Healthcare Assistant, Porter, Receptionist – these are the people that save lives everyday. We work as a team and without one another we would all be lost.

Nurses, is there anything else you would add to our list of  ‘9 Ways Nursing is NOTHING like on TV’?

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