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What Chicago Med's Marlyne Barrett Always Does Between Seasons

After years on a network procedural, actors need to find a way to keep things interesting. On top of needing to sell a character, entertainers need to sell the terms and procedures first responders put to use every day. Nobody knows first responder TV like producer Dick Wolf, who oversees the "Chicago," "Law and Order," and "FBI" franchises, and he has a knack for choosing actors that manage to sell these sorts of roles, which partly explains the long-running success of just about every show from those three franchises. 

"Chicago Med" focuses on the emergency responders of the Gaffney Chicago Medical Center, and firsthand training was required for the actors. Kristen Hager, who previously portrayed physician Dr. Stevie Hammer, said in a behind-the-scenes feature she worked with actual trauma surgeons a week before the show originally went into production (per One Chicago). 

That's one intense way to prepare for a role on a show like "Chicago Med," but some keep their offscreen preparation going, even years into the show's run to keep Wolf's world feeling authentic to the real world of first responders. Marlyne Barrett plays charge nurse Maggie Lockwood on the drama and maintains a requirement for herself between every season of the series. 

Marlyne Barrett visits hospitals between seasons

According to Barrett, there is an expectation for "Chicago Med" actors to up their skill level on the real practices shown onscreen every year, just as they would if they were actual first responders (albeit in far less dangerous situations). 

Barrett said she stays in practice visiting hospitals and working with the show's medical advisors before every single season. 

"I don't go a season without coming back and at least catching up with Bobbin [Bergstrom] or [Andrew Dennis], who are our medical consultants, and make sure we get a chance to at least visit the hospital and remind ourselves what the atmosphere is in an E.D. — the rhythm in which life is really lived," she said (per One Chicago).  

Promoting "Chicago Med," Barrett detailed this training more, saying the continuous refreshers are essential to keep up the show's authenticity for the audience (via One Chicago). What also helps Barrett sell that authenticity is she has her own personal history with nursing. On top of multiple family members being in the medical field, Barrett previously revealed she actually completed her nursing degree long before she actually portrayed a nurse on "Chicago Med" (per Edge Magazine).