MTV’s “Scrubbing In” — a hotly debated reality show focused on nine young travel nurses — premiered last night, October 24, 2013. While some support the show and have hopes it will illuminate the travel nursing industry to a national audience, the Change.org petition asking it be cancelled had more than 18,000 signatures and climbing as of this post.
Love it or hate it, we thought we’d provide a “Scrubbing In” first episode recap.
The show begins with a typical reality TV get-to-know-the-cast montage, where the nurses talk about travel nursing and why they’re doing it.
“Travel nurses are like a special forces unit,” says Chris. “We get called up to the hospital that needs us; we just pack up and go, baby.”
And Michelle pinpoints the urgency of the job, when she says, “You don’t have time to pause because you’re dealing with life or death.”
As the cast discusses their thoughts, they are shown working in the hospital with real patients. At this point they are each portrayed as dedicated, passionate nurses on the job.
Then, Adrian veers into playtime territory: “It’s a very stressful job. You have to learn ways to de-stress. Having a good time is definitely one of them.”
Scenes of the cast cheers-ing, clubbing, and dancing in a party bus, flash by as Tyrice continues, “You’re working, you’re making money, and you’re vacaying on your days off.”
Five of the cast are Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania natives and good friends. We see Heather break the news that she’s leaving to her boyfriend of 10 months, then she, Michelle, Nikki, Crystal and Chelsey, celebrate before heading to Orange County. Some of the girls worry about being mischaracterized by their new colleagues as strippers.
Next, on the West coast, the other four nurses, Tyrice, Fernando, Chris and Adrian, join the 5 Pittsburgh friends and all move into their quarters in an Orange County apartment complex.
On the first night, Tyrice gets an immediate stink-eye from the other girls, Adrian shares sad news about the death of his big brother (which in part inspired him to pursue nursing), Tyrice gets the lowdown on the cast member’s relationship statuses, and delivers this choice quote regarding her faith and her partying ways: “When I’m in church, I am going in and praising and partying just as much as I party in the club.”
Next, it’s the first day of work at Coastal Communities Hospital. As the cast settles in, Heather is pulled out of orientation due to her California license not having gone through. She has to turn in her badge and is unable to begin work. After a teary phone call to her boyfriend back in PA, she hits the pool “humiliated” and runs into Fernando who reveals that he has also been pulled. They discuss the DUI charges that lead to the delayed licenses.
Back at the hospital we see the nurses in action handle a seizuring patient and Adrian having a tough time missing his ex Jessica. After work Chelsey teases Crystal for sitting on her bed wearing “disgusting” scrubs and then the two shower together. Nikki comforts Heather.
Next, on their first day off, Adrian arranges a wild booze cruise with the cast and several of his muscle-bound and bikini-clad friends. Tyrice, already feeling excluded by the rest of the girls, and Fernando feel out of place and resolve to stick together.
For all her talk of partying ways, she says, “This is not my environment.”
Back at the hospital Tyrice asks to try out some IV equipment on Chris. The two flirt and finish the job, but then Chris is blasted by a nurse manager for being out of his department. He tells the nurse manager he’s sorry, he thought Tyrice had cleared it with her. Tyrice is also chewed out and that leads to a major tiff between Chris and Tyrice, one that continues through the car ride home and escalates in the apartment complex parking lot. Adrian, who is driving, is “just trying to eat some crackers in this bitch,” which will incur Tyrice’s wrath later on as she’s furious he didn’t intervene into her and Chris’ dispute.
The cast takes in a happy hour and Tyrice shares her tale of drama from the IV testing incident. Adrian meets up with his ex, Jessica, and then attempts to hit the club with the guys, but he’s absolutely strung out over her and unable to have any fun. Chris, meanwhile, takes his macking to the max.
Fallout from IV-gate dominates the drama for the rest of the episode as we see Tyrice’s claws come out and she attacks Adrian for his lack of intervention.
A sneak peek at the season to come is a blur of shots, make-outs, skinny-dipping, and scrubs. Tyrice sums it all up: “I plan on working hard, but partying way harder.”
Check out the show and decide for yourself what you think! Now that you’ve seen the show and read our “Scrubbing In” first episode recap, what are your thoughts on the show?