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HawthoRNe - Strong and Forceful, Nurse Jackie - Weak, Thready and Barely Palpable

Posted Jun 15 2009 11:30pm

It’s not fair to judge a TV drama by its trailer.

By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

Surprisingly, HawthoRNe takes a turn from the nursing stereotypes and portrays a nurse character that is strong, determined, smart and assertive.

Jada Pinkett Smith, shines as she realistically depicts a nurse.  While Pinkett Smith’s role as a Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) is bit exaggerated, that can be overlooked since Pinkett Smith’s character, Christina Hawthorne, reveals a confident, independent and strong woman.

But not all the characters are as strong.  In one scene, male nurse, Ray Stein believes the doctor made a mistake in writing insulin orders.  He questions the doctor only to be taken under the coals for questioning the order.  Instead of being persistent and assertive, he follows the doctor’s orders knowing that it is incorrect.  No surprise the patient codes and almost dies.

Maybe in the next episode the writers will reveal the “nurse” who questions doctor’s orders and doesn’t proceed with those orders until they are clarified and accurate.

While there are some doctors who can make it difficult, it’s really important that nurses are assertive.

I remember when I was a staff nurse; I was the charge nurse for the evening shift.  There was this doctor who roasted one of the nurse’s in front of patients.  As the charge nurse, I professionally and politely said to the doctor that I’d like to speak with him away from the patients.

The closest spot was the clean utility room, and there in the clean utility room is where I informed that doctor that if he ever needed to speak to a nurse, to professionally and politely ask her if he could speak with her away from the patients.

Doctors are not all brutal.  There are many who are really supportive and work well with nurses.  After all, shouldn’t it be doctors and nurses working together for the good of the patients?

Since this is only the first episode of HawthoRNe, perhaps in a future episode the writers will portray some of the other characters just as strong as Christina Hawthorne.

HawthoRNe premiers tomorrow, June 16th on TNT.

As for Nurse Jackie, well it doesn’t seem as if there were nurse advisers on the show.  My guess is that HawthoRNe does.

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