Beyond The Scrub: The Damaging Portrayal Of Nurses In Pakistani Dramas

Nurses in the Pakistani media are often depicted in stereotypical roles, such as subservient assistants or objects of romantic interest.

Beyond The Scrub: The Damaging Portrayal Of Nurses In Pakistani Dramas

Lights, camera, stereotypes! When it comes to depicting the role of nurses on the small screen, some of international and national media houses often misses the mark. While we're entertained by the drama, the truth is, these portrayals don't quite capture the pulse of what nursing is all about. In Pakistan, nurses are integral members of healthcare teams and 109869 nurses are registered with the Pakistan Nursing and Midwifery Council to date besides about 4500 nurses are working in public sector in Sindh and more or less same number is serving in private sector, providing essential care and support. Nurses play a vital role in the healthcare system, yet their contributions are often overlooked or misrepresented in media portrayals.

Unveiling nurses' real roles

Most of the time the roles shown on TV—nursing is far more than just playing second fiddle to doctors. Nurses are the unsung heroes of healthcare, blending clinical expertise with heartfelt compassion. Adding more, from advocating for patients' rights to administering life-saving treatments, they're the heartbeat of every medical team. Patients in hospitals, clinics, and communities. According to the Pakistan Nursing and Midwifery Council (PNMC), nurses are trained professionals who deliver a wide range of services, including patient assessment, medication administration, wound care, and health education.

Breaking the stereotypes of misleading media portrayals: From fiction to fact

Have you ever noticed how the media often represents nurses as either angelic saints or sultry sirens? Despite of their critical role in healthcare, nurses in Pakistani entertainment are often depicted in stereotypical roles, such as subservient assistants or objects of romantic interest. Nurses aren't here to fulfil fantasies; they're here to save lives. Inaccurate medical procedures and exaggerated storylines only serve to perpetuate harmful stereotypes and undermine the credibility of nurses as trusted healthcare providers.

This misrepresentation undermines the professionalism and expertise of nurses and perpetuates harmful stereotypes. Nurses are not angels of mercy or plot devices to advance the storyline—they are skilled professionals who deserve to be portrayed with dignity, respect, and authenticity.      

In reality, Pakistani nurses are highly skilled professionals who play a crucial role in patient care, clinical decision-making, and health promotion. They often work long hours in challenging conditions, yet their dedication and commitment to their patients remain unwavering. In the media houses of Pakistan, nurses may be seen as background players, but in real, they’re leading the charge and it’s not about fetching coffee or fluffing pillows; it's about making critical decisions, educating patients, and advocating for better healthcare policies.

Matter of concern for nurses and the future paradigm of their profession

The way media houses are portraying the image of nurses could lead huge disaster in sector in future, looking at our national culture and society trends we could better understand the self-image and honour related issues for girls especially in rural and undeveloped areas. 

Furthermore looking at trends of nurses family backgrounds that are mostly from lower middle and middle class families, nursing profession has not only made employments national and international level but has contributed at some extent in economy of the state. Therefore, the unrealistic and misinterpreted roles of nurses in media serials could lead and support stereotype mind set and distract the public interest in this profession very badly.

From the bedside to the boardroom, the diverse role of a nurse

Furthermore, nurse’s role is not limited to, nurses exercise their clinical expertise as educators as lecturer to professor, counsellors, and leaders of health care system in promoting health and healing the illness. They are the architects of holistic care plans of hospitals, guiding patients and their families through the labyrinth of illness with empathy and empowerment. Nurses are not just caregivers; they are educators, mentors, innovators, and change agents who shape the future of healthcare through their tireless dedication and unwavering commitment to excellence.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Pakistani nurses demonstrated remarkable resilience and courage on the frontlines, risking their lives to care for patients and combat the spread of the virus. Their selfless dedication is witnessed by all of our society and additionally the pandemic control of Pakistan which was internationally recognised and appreciated and the president of Pakistan announced nurses year to 2019 and World Health Assembly designated nurses year globally to 2020 (WHO).

Last but not least, let’s rewrite the script and give nurses the recognition they deserve. Whether it's exposing myths, breaking stereotypes, or shining a spotlight on their incredible work, it's time to give nurses the starring role they've earned.

Additionally, it's essential to recognise the real roles of nurses in Pakistan, debunking the misleading stereotypes perpetuated by media portrayals. By portraying nurses authentically and respectfully, we can promote greater understanding and appreciation for their invaluable contributions to healthcare.