Healthcare in Fiction

I recently became irked with The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughn. Although I mostly enjoyed the book, it definitely has its issues, including a hospital scene drawn directly from Holby City reruns. It is a little unfair of me to single out one book for this, though. As a registered paediatric nurse, one of my most common frustrations is when authors get healthcare wrong. There are so many nurses in the UK, and we love talking about nursing. Seriously, get any group of nurses together and we will be talking about catheters, the Bristol Stool Chart, and leg ulcers within thirty seconds (we are fun at parties). In light of this, there is no excuse for the stereotyped and factually inaccurate descriptions of hospital scenes that abound in book after book.

I’ve talked about this on the blog before in relation to specific books (ahem, Me Before You springs to mind), but I thought that sharing one nurse’s perspective on three common healthcare tropes in fiction might be an interesting read. Please note that this post contains generic discussion of hospital/healthcare procedures, including (successful and failed) resuscitation. It’s also not intended to be representative of everyone who works in healthcare! It’s just a few thoughts I have on the subject. Continue reading