Episode three of Night Shift is over and out. Here’s the recap: attractively psychologically broken, yet fiercely ethical, and super sexy night shift staff continue their drama this week. We’ve got war flashbacks, UFC style fighting between friends, hand-eating hogs and drunk hunters on a rampage, and new girlfriends and boyfriends barely missing awkward encounters with old girlfriends and boyfriends. Heck, you’ve even got “Big Todd” (don’t ask).
Let’s face it. These characters are not Steinbeckian in depth. The drama is hamfisted (pun intended re: the hungry hog from this episode) at best and at worst is pretty hard to sit through. And the medical accuracy leaves much to be desired. There was the 50 mcg of Phenergan ordered for pain control, the magical hydrochloric acid exposure diagnosis, and the superhuman thoracic surgeries happening on the fly this week.
But, sit through it I did and not without the show reminding me again that some of the things that happen to our Night Shift crew have happened to us all. Have you ever been frustrated by the family of a patient? Scared of the environment you found yourself in in the ED? Ever wanted to call your daughter after taking care of a sick kid just to hear her voice?
I’m hoping that the rest of the public outside of medicine takes the right lessons from this show if it remains as popular as it seems to be. For example, I hope they don’t think that any physician would ever sedate and draw units of blood from an unwilling relative. As a group we are way more respectful than this bunch. And, more importantly, I hope they don’t come away thinking that everyone who gets to an ED after being shot with arrow, exsanguinating in the field, or with severe anaphylaxis actually walks out. Real life doesn’t have those kinds of odds.
But, I hope they are reminded that there are a ton of hard working, up all night folks all around the world who trained for a long time to be able to take care of whoever walks through the door regardless of ability to pay. As we say over here “What you do matters...” and once in a while it’s OK to pat yourself on the back and let Hollywood portray you with six-pack abs and a James Dean attitude.