Tuesday, April 10

Healthcare TV


Two of my favorite television shows just premiered their new seasons, and they both happen to be about "healthcare" ... Nurse Jackie and The Big C (both on Showtime).  I say the shows are about healthcare because they're both scripted inside views of the healthcare system told from two completely different vantage points.

One on the inside, Nurse Jackie, which is about a dedicated nurse who is at the top of her game, particularly when it comes to patient care.  She does amazingly good things for her patients and co-workers, yet she does amazingly bad things to herself and to those around her.  She's a drug addict who can't get out of her own way, yet she's saving lives.  Sort of like the healthcare system itself.

Then on the outside, The Big C, which is about a cancer sufferer who is coping with the fact that her cancer may kill her.  She navigates the system and its effect on her life and her family, all the while trying to keep a stiff upper lip.  Her struggles are positioned against the issues her family is facing as well ... a not so subtle reminder that our own health issues are merely just one thing we have to deal with in a day.  Even while battling cancer, she still has to help her husband, son, and brother get through their own battles.  It's the ultimate portrait of the care giver who needs caring herself.  Something that all of us on any side of the healthcare industry needs to remember.

I have to admit that I still love a good tv show, and I particularly love a good plot line that teaches me something.  I do a lot of work in healthcare marketing, and it's so rewarding to know that the work we do in some way is helping others.  So to watch a few shows that help teach me the issues that I myself have to consider is the ultimate in viewing pleasure.

Have you seen these shows?  What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe North America
Author, The Experience Effect and The Experience Effect for Small Business
Professor, NYU

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