Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Media Moment, “NYMed: Episode I”

I decided to attach this episode to the blog because as a nursing student I am truly offended with the portrayal of nurses, particularly female nurses in this episode.  As you watch the episode the one nurse who is repeatedly shown is Marina who although well educated and ranked top of her graduating class is portrayed as the “hot, yet dumb, nurse”.  Her inappropriateness to her client’s persisting erection and then her later inappropriate acceptance of dinner with a former patient of hers perpetuates the notion that female nurses are there just that—sexual, tender species who lack adequate education as compared to their male counterpart, the physicians.  This episode again reiterates an old belief that nursing is a female occupation and you only become a nurse when you are not smart enough to be accepted into medical school.  This message is portrayed in the way that the film crew has decided to distinguish the “knowledgeable” and respected physicians from the more immature nursing staff.  Although there were exceptions to the sexes of the physicians and nurses, a majority of them were divided based upon their sex—the males were physicians and the females were nurses.  This sexualization of occupations and the stereotypes that are perpetuated in this episode are profound, from the “hot, dumb blond” we know as Marina to the “Indian doctor” named Dr. Arundi Mahendran down to “chivalrous, handsome, brown haired gentleman” that is popularly known as Dr. Oz.  In a field that is already getting a lot of heat for the perception that there is little care and compassion in medicine, such a show turns a serious field into a soap opera with drama, suspense, and plenty of sexuality.  In a society that is greatly medically illiterate and unknowing to the inner workings of the medical system, what disadvantages does such a show put on medical professionals, particularly female professionals?

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