A Politician in the Emergency Department

From the CBC television show Make the Politician Work. For my American readers, it features New Democrat party leader Jack Layton, a Torontonian, who spent some time hanging with the nurses in a pretty typical-looking Ontario ED at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario — where, incidentally, I was born.

Aside from this historic significance, the video segment itself is pretty unique in that it’s one of the few produced by conventional media related to any emergency department which doesn’t fall over itself pandering to physicians. Nearly all of the people shown are nurses — yes, nurses — doing what we all do in the ED.

(The code blue sequences are obviously staged — holy pathetic chest compressions! — but not maybe not so obviously to the general public.)

[Big thanks to RN Luke for sending this to me!]


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  1. #1 by Jenn Jilks on Saturday 05 February 2011 - 1429

    I love it! except I think I might have a heart attack waking up in emerg and seeing a politician!
    Great post. Again!
    You’re right – nurses working their butts off, THIS is a great story.

  2. #2 by AnonymousRN on Saturday 05 February 2011 - 1524

    I watched the show last weekend, and thought it was great. I loved that they showed Jack standing there looking overwhelmed. Whether over the trauma patient that came in, or when he helped to admit the parkinsons patient from the nursing home. Also letting him participate in the bed management meeting. It wasn’t long enough, but I hope that it opened up his (and others) eyes to the reality of the healthcare system.

  3. #3 by Sean on Saturday 05 February 2011 - 1616

    Do you think we could make this a requirement for all politicians? Really. All of them.
    Warms my heart to see this. One small baby step at a time.

  4. #4 by nurseXY on Saturday 05 February 2011 - 2145

    Nicely put together.

  5. #5 by Maha on Saturday 05 February 2011 - 2357

    Holy crappy compressions batman!

    But seriously, thanks for posting up this great link. It’s nice to see a politician’s eyes actually open up to the reality of what we do. And it was so great to see NURSES – nay – COMPETENT NURSES do what they do best. I also hope that maybe enough people will see this and maybe begin to realize why they end up waiting so long in emerg when admitted.

  6. #6 by Adrienne on Sunday 06 February 2011 - 0725

    thanks thanks thanks for posting this!

  7. #7 by undergrad RN on Sunday 06 February 2011 - 1016


    You know, out here in redneck rural Alberta, we really love our Conservatives. In fact, in the last election, the entire province was blue except for a teeny, tiny, single orange riding right in the middle.

    That riding was mine.

    My parents don’t like Jack Layton. They often compare him to a sheisty car salesman. I like NDP though – he’s in my number 2 spot behind Elizabeth May who is the smartest party leader we’ve got.

    I heart this video!

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