VERY few people like the idea of being in a clinic or a hospital and even less the smell that comes with these medical facilities. In essence, death lingers while we frantically hope for the best. The general odour comes from antiseptics used to keep the environment sterile.

That description may not fit with what we see on Grey’s Anatomy, but it is not far from the truth. Shows like Grey’s and Private Practice romanticise the notion of having surgery in hospital to the point that most of us want to be admitted.

However, once you get to your local hospital, the reality hits you that you were only hooked on a TV show that had zero intention of showing you the truth.

This is where MTV’s Scrubbing In enters the fray. The reality TV show follows a group of nurses who leave their comfortable lives in Orange County to travel across America working in various places and having fun after hours. It’s like the sitcom Scrubs, although the participants are not acting.

Like anywhere else in the world, America has its problems when it comes to the medical fraternity and we will see that highlighted in the show. In Orange County, where all these nurses are stationed, they have all they need as their work-places are top notch. However, this is not the case at some of the places they visit.

It is much the same at home, where our medical fraternity is in dire straits. In general, hospitals like Chris Hani Baragwanath and Helen Joseph have become so dilapidated it is shocking to even think of them serving the millions of people that they do. The conditions have deteriorated and people with no medical aid have little choice but to seek medical attention at these institutions. There are upmarket medical facilities that have state-of-the-art equipment and medicines, but it only available to the elite. The location and pricing of these hospitals are designed to sort the poor from the rich.

It is sad that if you do not have hospital insurance, or the type that they require, you may as well die outside their premises as you will not be treated. This writer witnessed something to that effect not so long ago.

In Scrubbing In we get a glimpse of that as well. It will be intriguing to see the side of America that’s far from what ER or House show us.

There is also the issue of our nurses taking time off to relax after a long day’s work. What do nurses do after work? Do they get high on their own supply, or do they go to a bar? Do they move in a pack like the interns in Grey’s or do they all go on their separate ways?

• This and more in Scrubbing In, every Saturday at 8pm on MTV (DStv channel 130).