Nurse Author: The Networks Created the “DocNurse”


Guest Post by New York Times #1 Bestselling Author and Registered Nurse, Carol Gino

Okay, so after about 10 hours stiffening into stone sitting in front of a computer screen, I finally decided to get up and move inside, away from reading anything about healthcare. I want light, mindless entertainment. So I flop down on the couch and pick up the remote to begin scanning tonight’s programs. I click through the stations like a man. But the remote always returns to the same station.

Oh God! Grey’s Anatomy. I love Grey’s Anatomy. Why do I love it? There’s nothing like it in the real world. But that’s why I love it. It’s so romantic. It paints such heroes. Heroes I believed in when I was a teenager. Doctors who fall apart when a patient dies, doctors who smooth a patient’s brow for long minutes, doctors who forego dinner at the local pub with their friends in order to play checkers with a patient…..What?

Doctors? Where are the damn nurses? Nurses do all those good things. How did they take all those great qualities of nurses and give them to doctors? How did they make doctors MORE by giving them the qualities that they used to make us LESS? We’re the caretakers, nurturers – we’re the ones who know the families.

What does a hospitalist who just met a patient in the hospital know about his family? And what about health insurance? You think all those wonderful qualities they’ve just given all those doctors can be tabulated, calculated, and paid for? What will they call it? After all, what about the bottom line?

The point is they cast a lot more women as doctors, because there are a lot more women doctors, but it’s also because doctors have an elevated status. They’re important. I mean I know everyone says they trust nurses more, but still they RESPECT doctors. So now, movie makers and TV producers have decided to take nurses best qualities, add brain power (which they don’t know we have) up the status and call this new hybrid doctors. Well, they’re not doctors. Nurse Practitioners maybe, but not doctors.

Don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying there are no doctors like that, no good doctors, there are. But they don’t work in hospitals because insurance won’t pay for such holistic treatment. I mean, between Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, they’re going to have us all believing most doctors are human. Thank God for “House.” Suddenly, it hit me. It’s true. I get the misunderstanding. Nobody knows what a nurse does. Especially TV producers. So now I figure one of the jobs I’ll take on this year is to try to share with everyone what nurses do.

I’d love it if you would all help with suggestions. Just add it to the comments box. It will be fun. Then I’ll post the composites on “Occupy Healthcare” or other patient sites and we’ll be able to help change the healthcare system. I mean how many people do you think would voluntarily go to a hospital if that hospital said, “Sorry, we don’t have enough doctors to staff the floors. After all, there’s a shortage you know. No one wants to teach doctors how to help any more.”

What do you think?

Carol Gino RN, MA, has been a nurse, author and teacher for many years. She has worked in all areas of nursing including Emergency Room, Intensive Care, the Burn Unit, Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Pediatric Intensive Care, and Hospice Care for the terminally ill.

Her first book, “The Nurse’s Story” published by Simon and Schuster, sold to nine foreign countries besides the US. It is still in print in Japan. It was a feature of the Book of the Month Club and Nurses Book Club and was on PW’s list for six weeks. It was #2 on the Los Angeles Times bestseller list. Carol did two cross country tours for The Nurse’s Story: which included TV, radio and print media.

She has appeared on several TV and radio shows including; “The Today Show”, “Charlie Rose”, “Houston Live”, “Regis and Kathy Lee”, “AM Los Angeles” , “AM San Francisco” etc. The Nurse’s Story was serialized in the New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post etc. People Magazine did a feature article on her, and she has been highlighted in many other local and national papers.

She has written articles for New York Magazine (aka Teri Daniels), American Journal of Nursing, and other Nursing Mags. Three of her articles were published in Nursing 97 (the largest nursing journal – circulation of over 350,000.) Three of her stories and several editorials also appeared in Nursing ‘98.

Ms. Gino’s second book “Rusty’s Story” sold 350,000 copies and again, Carol did a 15 city media tour. That book received the Epilepsy Association’s National Book Award and was on the New York Times bestseller list for 5 weeks. She also received the Service Award from the Epilepsy Association of Ohio and spoke to many epilepsy associations across the country. Ciba Geigy made her their spokesperson for the anticonvulsant drug, Tegretol. And another media tour followed.

In 1997 Kensington published Carol Gino’s book about the SIDS death of her grandson: “Then An Angel Came…” Both of her previous books, “The Nurse’s Story” and “Rusty’s Story” have been reprinted.

Ms. Gino is also very active on the internet and maintains a website called “The Hopeful Healer.” She acted as a Nursing consultant in Healing Imagery and meditation for healing for Total Care Home Health Care agency. Her Masters in Transpersonal Studies focused on new modalities for healing, changes in consciousness and cross cultural healing.

“The Nurse’s Story” screenplay called GWYN adapted from Ms Gino’s book was completed by Mario Puzo in 1996. It was submitted to the major motion picture studios for a feature film or major TV series.

Ms. Gino was a keynote speaker at the National SIDS Convention in Dallas Texas in 1997, she was also a speaker at the Bereavement Convention in upstate New York, entitled “Helping Families Cope with Grief” in Tarrytown, NY.

The trade paperback edition of “Then An Angel Came” was released in 1998 by Kensington Books.

She began her own publishing house called Starwater Press Ltd. in 1987 to publish spiritual and angel books and tapes long before they were in mainstream consciousness. Since then she has also started aah-ha! Books (Help for Hard Times – clear and simple) for her more mainstream titles.

She was the long time companion of author Mario Puzo and worked and played on Long Island, New York with her children and grandchildren.

After Mario Puzo’s death in 1999, she kept a promise she’d made and finished his book “The Family.” That book was published by Harper Collins, Regan Books, in 2001. Carol did several articles and appeared on the Today show to talk about The Family which was also a best seller.

In 2005, Carol moved to the countryside outside of Austin, Texas where she now lives and writes both fiction and nonfiction books.