The Benefits Of Healthcare Students Watching Television Dramas

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Ronnie Buell
Professor Casamassima
EMF 140
2/26/15
Paper #1

As a Healthcare Management major here at Towson University you really gain fantastic knowledge about the medical field. The university offers interactive courses where students are able to interactively learn with hands on courses giving them a feel for what the medical field will really be like. The way that movies and television shows portray the medical field in a way is right but can be over dramatized at times.

There are many benefits to healthcare students watching these television dramas. It is not uncommon for most students entering these medical fields to be hooked on these television shows and begin to develop a warped concept for how their future will really be. Whether or not these shows are always accurate, they do provide fast action medical scenarios, which later can be determined whether the accuracy or response time was correct. (Burgess 2015) These shows can be somewhat of a learning experience for medical students. Professors at some medical schools have been notorious for using TV drama clips which will either prove or disprove the assumptions about how the medical field is. In the past there have been numerous accounts in which the rescuer states that they had learned the techniques used to save the individual such as CPR by watching television. (Temple 2015).

Although there are many benefits to healthcare students watching medical dramas there are definitely some downsides. Many times these television shows inaccurately portray the way medicine is used. A major misconception that can be taken from television shows is that there are critical cases that have a diagnoses and the patient getting healed and healthy by the end of a 1 hour show, which is obviously impossible. Also in medical television dramas the doctors are mostly handling patients that are in life-threatening situations or crazy scenarios when in reality they normally have common cases and not a lot of action. Another common misconception is that a physician is often portrayed as a jack of all trades. In television shows they have doctors drawing blood, run the lab studies, operating MRI scanners and then performing the surgery. A doctor’s day is nowhere near long enough to get all of these jobs done and most of these jobs are just simply done by the nurses or technicians. Although the basic concept of CPR is often portrayed on television the vital concepts are often missing. On television most patients receiving CPR survive and go on to live a healthy life when in reality only about 5% of patients that receive CPR actually survive (Burgess 2015).

Television shows are geared more towards entertainment rather knowledgeable information. The main goal of television shows are to hook the audience into watching so the way that they portray substance abuse, life threatening illnesses, chronic illness and domestic violence is often far-fetched and exaggerated (Tuten 2015). More often than not the setting of the television shows usually takes place in a teaching hospital setting which allows the viewer to see the medical school pathway and the potential social relationships that come with being in the medical field. The amount of relationships television portrays doctors to have is just unrealistic. They make doctors out to be social butterflies who run around the hospital having doctor-patient, doctor-nurse, medical student-doctor, hospital administrator-doctor, patient’s family-doctor and other types of relationships. Although the social and entertainment value is the television shows first priority along with great ratings, there are tons of informational opportunities for learning for the viewer to see. Some episodes are more directed towards accurate medical information than others while other episodes are geared towards social involvement with little to no medical data. For the most part most medical dramas have a medical advisor on staff to help...
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