TV Special, American Nurse Heroes, to Cover Nurses’ True Stories

TV Special, American Nurse Heroes, to Cover Nurses’ True Stories

Often, nurses are referred to as heroes for the amazing work they do. Now, a new television special will bring them to the living rooms of families across the nation.

Premiering on June 24 at 8 p.m. ET on Discovery Life, American Nurse Heroes will feature inspirational, true stories about nurses providing care. Produced by the American Nurses Association, Al Roker Entertainment, and HealthCom Media, the show will have additional airings on June 26, 10 a.m. ET on Destination America and on the American Heroes Channel at 11 a.m. ET, in addition to other NBC Markets throughout the weekend.

One of the nurses featured in the special, Fidelindo Lim, DNP, CCRN, Clinical Associate Professor at the Rory Meyers College of Nursing at New York University told us what it was like to be on the show.

What did it feel like when you were asked to be profiled on American Nurse Heroes?

Fidelindo Lim, DNP, CCRN, featured on American Nurse HeroesBeing invited to be among the nurses featured in the film was a complete surprise because I am not a frontline worker. To be featured, I felt I was taking part in something larger than myself and I was honoring the great work of nurses who came before me.

What’s your story?

I am a full-time clinical associate professor at NYU. I think I was selected because over several years I have been publishing reflective essays for the My American Nurse journal, the official journal of the American Nurses Association. In these essays, I offer a contemplative exploration of topics such as therapeutic communication, meaningful recognition of nurses, narrative medicine, empathy, and patient-centered care. They wanted me to share my perspectives on nursing education in time of the pandemic and share my insights on what nursing means to me.

How did it work? Did they come to your place of business and film you? How long did it take? Did they film you with patients, by yourself, etc.?  

The film crew of six came to my place of work and filmed a scene where I was conducting a high-fidelity clinical simulation with two graduating students. We were simulating the care of a patient with COVID-19 who was having a hard time breathing. Then we had a debriefing on what went well and identified opportunities for improvement. After that, they took some B-roll shots while we were walking to my apartment. The formal interview took place in my living room. The whole process took about 7 hours.

Were you nervous or anxious about doing this?

Being filmed for an interview is a first for me. Although I have mentally prepared and visualized myself going through the filming, I get self-conscious thinking I may not sound right or my grammar might not be perfect, given that English is not my first language. The film director was supportive and made me feel relaxed, so that was great.

Did you feel like you were making a difference?   

Articulating what I do as an educator during the filming gave me a confirmation that our collective professional identity as nurses is at the core of what we do on a daily basis. For me, the film is a cinematic validation of the value of nursing care and why the public trusts nurses. The pandemic enabled the public to see the value of nurses and nursing. Although I am no longer a frontline worker, I’d like to think that I made an indirect, albeit small, contribution to the patient care during the pandemic, because I helped educate so many nurses in the past 25 years.

Why do you think nurses should be recognized on this TV show? Do you think it will attract more people to become nurses?   

The pandemic enabled the public to see the value of nurses and nursing. The world became very aware of what nurses do, particularly in a frenetic health crisis. There are anecdotal reports that enrollment to nursing programs remain robust and are expected to increase as the public recognition of nurses continues. I’d like to think that after watching the film, nurses will feel validated on their choice to become a nurse and be invigorated in their efforts to bring humanism to health care.

What was your favorite part about this whole experience?   

Being interviewed made me feel special for being a nurse! It gave me an uncommon opportunity not only to know, but to understand myself. It is like being aware of one’s footsteps while marching towards finding meaning in the work I do, and looking back, every now and then, to make sense of the journey.

Anything else?

Teaching nursing is most satisfying for me because I have the privilege of transferring my knowledge and skills to the students, sharing with them the multitude of patient narratives that helped me become a competent nurse, and hearing the students tell me later, after they started working, what they have done with the science. The stories warm my heart.

Our Favorite Male Nurses Portrayed on TV

Our Favorite Male Nurses Portrayed on TV

In the past, most nurse roles on television were played by women. Just as the number of men in the nursing profession in real life is increasing, we’re likewise starting to see more men in nursing roles on television.

We chose some of our favorites—because we either loved or could barely tolerate them or they made an impact during their time on the small screen. Here they are, in no order of preference.

Fictional Character: Thor Lundgren
Played by: Stephen Wallem
Show: Nurse Jackie

Everyone loved Thor—he was smart, strong, and funny as heck. And he tried to help Jackie. If he wasn’t shooting the breeze with Jackie in the chapel, he was dealing with Zoey. But in a moment’s notice, he was right there, saving patients. We’d want him as our nurse.

Fictional Character: Peter Petrelli
Played by: Milo Ventimiglia
Show: Heroes

With all the challenges they face, nurses in real life may often feel like they need superpowers. In the TV show Heroes, the nurse actually had them. Peter Petrelli, played by Milo Ventimiglia (who’s now starring on the hit show This Is Us), was working as a hospice nurse when he realized that he was evolved and could absorb the powers of other humans who were evolved. Wouldn’t that be great to do when working a double shift?

Fictional Character: William Dell Parker
Played by: Chris Lowell
Show: Private Practice, a Grey’s Anatomy spinoff

While he worked as a receptionist, Dell Parker was a qualified nurse and began training to work as a midwife. Unfortunately, his character was killed off in a car crash. But the time he had on the show, he made quite an impression

Fictional Character: Rory Williams
Played by: Arthur Darvill
Show: Dr. Who

As a nurse in a coma ward, Rory Williams is a close companion to the 11th Dr. Who, played by Matt Smith. Hey, he gets to help people and go in the TARDIS? What’s not to love?

Fictional Character: Clark Beavers
Played by: Jonathan Slavin
Show: Dr. Ken

Clark Beavers is hilarious. He calls Dr. Ken (played by Ken Jeong) his “work husband,” walks with a group at the mall, and really loves shrimp. But the reason we love him is because he makes us laugh.

Fictional Character: Jesus Velasquez
Played by: Kevin Alejandro
Show: True Blood

When he comes to work as a nurse for Lafayette’s mom, Jesus Velasquez ends up becoming the fabulous one’s boyfriend. He then introduces Lafayette to witchcraft and being a medium. While they worked well together, Jesus gets killed off, although he did return in a future episode as a ghost.

Fictional Character: Paul Flowers
Played by: Ricky Schroder
Show: Scrubs

Even though he only graced us with his presence for a few episodes, nurse Paul Flowers made a big impression. He put up with Dr. Kelso’s nasty remarks, “That’s a woman’s job, son.” But he also dated Dr. Elliott Reid, played by Sarah Chalke. While she gets embarrassed by being with a male nurse who has been known to wear pink scrubs, Paul tries to show her the error of her ways. Unfortunately, she dumps him, and Paul was no more. But he showed how male nurses could be comfortable with their masculinity while they cared for patients.