“When I wanted to be a nurse in High School, a lot of people were like, why don’t you want to be a doctor. Everyone in my family are doctors, I've seen what that side's like. There’s this whole human compassion side to Nursing.
One of the nurses I shadowed in High School told me her experience losing her first patient. It was about a year into her practice. The parents decided they didn’t want to be there when the baby passed away, so it was just her. That was really powerful for her. I ended up writing the monologue based on that.
I heard the Hooligan theatre company was having a one-act play festival last year. I basically converted the monologue into a two-person piece—a older version of the nurse and her younger self. I submitted and it ended up getting accepted. I came to some of the rehearsals and watched the actor and director figure out how to transition it with props and people and actually make it into a performance. People in the audience were crying. It’s really intense to see that they cared about it. The fact that people could hear true stories about nurses and how it actually is—that’s so exciting to me.
One of the professors talked about how screenwriting can bring nurses to movies and TV in an accurate way. I think that would be a really neat way of using writing to share more about our profession. The media portrayal of nurses isn’t always great. They don’t get it right very often. Nurse Ratched from “One flew over the coo coo’s nest” is like a total battle-ax, and nurse Jackie was addicted to drugs. That isn’t the majority of nurses.”
---Kate Gieschen, third-year Bachelors of Science in Nursing