In my favourite American medical drama, Grey’s Anatomy, doctors are completely dedicated to their patients. Frequently, a surgeon sleeps in a chair in the patient’s room awaiting some crucial development. Through the course of a case, surgeons on the show know the romantic/sexual/family history of patients and what motivates them to seek or avoid treatment. Surgeons sometimes work to fulfil final wishes of dying patients—a teenager who wants to go to prom, a competitive ball dancer who wants a final spin.
I love Grey’s Anatomy. But rarely do I manage to watch an episode without wondering where the nurses are. Sometimes there are seven surgeons squeezed into a patient’s room, but not a nurse in sight. In the operation theatre we do see fan favourite, Bokhee An, an elderly scrub nurse (also in real life) who has appeared in every season. Even dedicated viewers will swear that Bokhee (picture above) has never spoken in the show. The truth is that she has spoken so little that the two words she spoke in an episode of season 15 caused a minor sensation.