“Don’t be Ratched to the wretched”: a nurse reviews Ratched
Mental Health Nurse Eddie Barry gives his hot take on this Netflix series.
In the very first episode of the Netflix hit Ratched, Nurse Ratched shares with Dr Hanover the foundation of her approach to mental health nursing.
“I believe there is NO cure for these people,“ she says.
It’s a bold statement to give a cure-passionate (if a tad scalpel-happy) psychiatrist that she is trying to squeeze a job from.
Ratched overcomes this ideological clanger with a demonstrated unwavering dedication to Dr Hanover’s brain-chopping pursuits after both seem to find common ground in an era where opinions taken seriously came from the top-man only. Like flatulence in a lift, her prognosis was awkward for a while, but then a door opened and they moved on. The door in this case was a rapid ascent to head nurse status after her masterful dispensing of Nurse Bucket to the ‘incompetent’ scrapheap.
It would have been nice if Hanover had told her “My job is to cure. Yours is to care”, however this was an era well before such times of calling sociopathy out.
Personally, I believe that my job as a mental health nurse is to care. I’d go even further, by saying that ultimately, it’s the actual care that is the cure.
Whilst the series Ratched is so very masterful in its colour, mood and chic, for me, it is also a bit depressing to reflect upon aspects that haven’t changed enough, some near-century on.
I can forgive Dr Hanover his brain-mashing violent assaults because his heart is in the right place. He’s chasing the cure.
It’s the hope-mashing of Nurse Ratched that makes this the true thriller. We watch in thrill because we know it is was real. And most viewers know that in 2020 it can sometimes still be real.
In summary, care is the cure. Don’t be Ratched to the wretched.