Trauma nurse says the bond was spot-on

I’ve been an ER nurse for more than half my life. During those years, television has gone from the irascible and lovable Marcus Welbys and Trapper Johns to “ER.”

Of course, all ER nurses watch, more to critique the medical interventions and responses from the emergency department teams than to watch it for its intended purpose, to entertain. Is it completely accurate? Of course not, as no one would have the stomach to watch it.

But what “ER” does well is bring to the audience the gestalt of what an ER is about: crazed junkies devising ways to make the docs write them another prescription for narcotics, the heartbreak of children dying from their injuries, the idiots who drink and drive and cause irreparable harm to a family, elderly parents who can’t remember their children’s names, and, of course, the doctors, nurses and medics who are in and out of romantic relationships.

When you work in an ER, you become a living, breathing part of that ER. You share tragedies, sick humor, love, hate and every other intense emotion. You go through all of it with your ER family. The show “ER” may not always be accurate in its medical depictions, but you know they’re family, and without that bond, they and we would never be able to get through another shift.

Laura Hennessy, trauma nurse, Seattle Harborview Medical Center

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