Casualty: Ambulances – not always a barrel of laughs

rita casualty(Series 28, ep.11)  Every doctor and nurse on Casualty eventually has to go through the episode where they join the paramedics for a day. They never enjoy it, because compared to the relatively controlled atmosphere of the hospital, the paramedics have to be ready to face anything, anytime, anywhere.

It was Rita’s turn this week, and because she’s a people person, she was people-personing all over the place, much to Jeff’s disgust. Jeff and Dixie have learned over the years that you can’t get too emotionally involved with work, otherwise you end up in a foetal position in the shower. 

The first patient was a heroin addict who was going an unhealthy shade of blue. While Jeff and Dixie were pinking him up again, Rita was busy trying to get his pregnant girlfriend to go somewhere nicer to have her baby. This only served to wind up the now awake and angry junkie, and it also wound up Jeff, who tutted and rolled his eyes a lot. They were forced to leave the pregnant woman behind, but I was fairly confident we’d see her again.  

jeff rita dixie casualtyWithout even time for a quick sandwich  they were off again, this time to a man who was crushed in some machinery. It was one of those horrible injuries which was almost certain to end in death. Again Rita got over-involved, bonding with the man and persuading him to ring his long-lost daughter. Jeff tutted and rolled his eyes a bit more, but this time I think Rita really was doing her best for the patient. It was a really upsetting scene, well acted and well written, and quite hard to watch.

Luckily the shift ended on a more upbeat note, with Rita delivering the junkie’s girlfriend’s baby. I knew we’d see her again. The birth was straightforward, but Jeff and Dixie had their hands full wrestling the junkie to the ground and trying to stop him stabbing his girlfriend’s mother with a corkscrew.

big mac casualtyThis is the kind of thing Big Mac would be good at. He’s not just a porter, you know. Ok, he is just a porter, but he’s a porter with potential and Scary Louise has spotted that potential and wants him to apply for a job as an emergency health care assistant (or similar – I forget the exact job title). But will he have the confidence to go through with it? He did ever so well this week, looking after a man called Wardrobe and his dog. Wardrobe got his nickname because he used to get locked in the wardrobe by his alcoholic father. Big Mac got his nickname because he’s big and his surname starts with Mac. You can see the parallels already. Anyway, that was a nice story, too, because Wardrobe had a cute dog who was named after his late wife (Betsy, not Mrs Wardrobe, because that would be a silly name for a dog), and Big Mac ensured that man and dog weren’t separated either by Zoe “Get that thing out of my department” Hanna or the RSPCA.

Next time: A hidden bag of cash and a marriage proposal.

(More Casualty here)


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2 responses to “Casualty: Ambulances – not always a barrel of laughs

  1. I think Rita’s great, and this episode was indeed really moving in places.