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Massiel Blog: Portrayal of Nursing


Massiel Blog: Portrayal of Nursing

Massiel Blog: Portrayal of Nursing

This paper evaluates the portrayal of nursing as exhibited in the Scrubs series, season nine, episode 3 (Our Role Models). It delineates the nurses’ personality traits, demographics, education, and competence among others. Massiel Blog: Portrayal of Nursing



Plot Prominence

The show renders nurses as anonymous maidservants that hang onto the physicians’ directives, as they dispense virtually all the care provision, psychosocial care, and bedside monitoring. A good example is where a muffled, nameless nurse only serves as a stand-by prop, anticipating instructions from the coding physician (Summers, 2006). The nurses barely embark on their merited nursing practices (Vaughan, 2009). The physicians surface as unrivaled experts, eager to undertake general nursing roles, while the nurses stand in as faithful helpers, fetching crash carts, and patients’ covers. Massiel Blog: Portrayal of Nursing


All the male characters in this episode officiate as sophisticated physicians, scaling up their career ladders to seize levels such as Chief of Surgery, Residency Director, and Chief of Medicine. None of the men, excluding Dr. Robert Kelso, substantiates as a nurse. The male casts are in either steadfast relationships or marital engagements. As regards the nurses’ ages, all of them are young and single, including Denise Mahoney, who unfolds as a naïve and candid individual (Summers, 2006). Massiel Blog: Portrayal of Nursing

Personality Traits

The nurse characters lack power attributes and instead share an attendant-master affiliation with the upper-handed physicians (Lori, 2013). Despite Nurse Carla being an outspoken, smart, and consummate head nurse, she still answers to the physicians as they are at the helm of all medical aspects. Regardless, the viewers construe her compassionate attitude and guidance as motherly, empathetic, and inspirational, especially while chaperoning the interns and junior doctors (Summers, 2006).

Professional Competence

According to Vaughan (2009), the show has recurrently depicted the ‘naughty nurse’ typecasts and sexual nuances. This imagery emerges in the associations between Elliot Reid, Denise Mahoney, and the male doctors/ surgeons. The film suppresses the expedient nursing knowledge, and qualifications as the nurses entail peripheral health workers with ineffectual skills and aptitudes (Summers, 2006).

Nursing Education/ Administration

The show overlooks the essential nursing education and instead stresses the development and progression of the male administrators such as Dr. Christopher Turk and Dr. John Michael. As regards an administrative hierarchy, the dominant male characters, including Dr. Kelso, assume the roles of nurse managers and supervisors in preference of female nurse superintendents.

Nursing as a Profession

The show sketches nursing as a miserable occupation that encompasses distilling coffee for physicians and complying with their orders. The scenes demonstrate nurses as brainless helpmates, revered for conveying vitals and fulfilling the conventional “naughty nurse” stereotypes (Vaughan, 2009). This devaluation is so appalling that Surgeon Todd Quinlan frequently refers to Nurse Roberts as an obese female (Summers, 2006).

Overall Assessment

The portrayal of nursing is negative as the show engenders a misguided conception that nursing is a subset of medicine, subject to physician domination (Lori, 2013). The impression created influences the spectators to think that nursing entails submissive female sexuality, abated autonomy, and heavy reliance on medical doctors.

Strategies for Changing the Image of Nursing

If I were to enforce counteractive measures, I would publish online blogs and reviews, detailing numerous ways that the nursing practice can enlist to nullify these imageries. I would counsel the board to refine the profession’s image by way of guaranteeing secure client care, championing responsible stewardship of public amenities, and educating patrons. Additionally, I would dissuade the relevant authorities to foster auspicious leaders to safeguard the field’s validity and the public trust (Lori, 2013).


In conclusion, the series serves as a tool for revealing the disregard accredited to nursing as a specialty. The media and pop culture outlay a devaluing symbolism of nursing by way of enumerating sexual segregation and subordination that damages its prestige. Regardless, nursing constitutes a creditable occupation enforced for the purposes of patients’ treatment and support.


Lori, C. (2013). Nursing stereotypes: The good, the bad, and the ugly. Web.

Summers, S. (2006). Scrubs TV series review. Web.

Vaughan, D. (2009). Nurses are a TV mainstay. Web.

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