Th role of nurses (ER vs Casulty) : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

'Casulty' is a kind of tamer, british version of ER which has been on TV for years (more than ER has). I used to really love it, but since ER i've found the pace much slower and more boring. However, i have noticed that the nurses play a much larger role in Casulty then they do in ER - there is only two or three main leads who are doctors and all the rest are nurses. They treat parients and become far more involved in the situations then the nurses at county. If u go to the a and e department in england - u are far more likely to be treated by nurses then by doctors. Is this a true reflection of the two countries?? Would u prefer to see more nurses play more significant roles or now that Carol has left are you happy to see the significant characters all be doctors (Ive only seen up to 'sand and water' because england has only just started screening them!)

-- Vicki Baker (, March 08, 2001


IMO ER is not a true reflection of most Emergency Rooms in the US (for instance they have far more traumas than most ER's). Like the UK, people are almost always seen by a nurse first (for minor injuries anyway). Then when they are seen by a doctor it is for a relatively brief amount of time. As far as the nurse situation. I really don't care. Abby has become the token nurse now. However, sometimes I wonder if the writers and producers have ever even visited a medical school because they have one of the most wharped version of a teaching hospital that I've ever seen.

-- Emma (, March 08, 2001.

"However, sometimes I wonder if the writers and producers have ever even visited a medical school because they have one of the most wharped version of a teaching hospital that I've ever seen."

The creator of ER, Michael Crichton, graduated from Harvard medical school. Up until earlier this season, Neal Baer was one of ER's writers and producers. He also graduated from Harvard Medical school and was an intern at Children's Hospital in LA. I think there is at least one doctor on the writing staff. ER calls medical specialists around the country for input and clarification. Often there is a medical consult present during the taping of episodes. Bottom line, however, is that ER is a TV drama, not a documentary.

-- Patricia (, March 08, 2001.

Sometimes a bit of accuracy must be sacrificed for the sake of drama.

Despite what most cop shows would have you believe, most cases are not solved in a day or two.

-- Dan (, March 08, 2001.

Michael Crieghton et al may have gone to medical school but their depiction of medical students in the ED is very wrong. Med Students have 4, 6, 8, 12 week rotation through the various specialties & elective available to them. There are no students who are parked in any department for months. ER was a little more realistic in the beginning with Carter because they showed him on clinical rotations other than surgery or emergency medicine. [Remember he could not graduate or something until he did pediatrics?] But that went the way of the Dodo bird for, I guess, dramatic reasons. Carter went from a surgery resident to emergency medicine so there would be a reason for him to be in the ED. Lucy only did 3 rotations in the years she was on the show, emergency medicine, surgery & psychiatry. Abby obviously is only going to be seen in the ED. I only hope the writers let her go back to school in the fall. The medical students now only appear in the ED when it fits with the storyline & are never seen again. In a real teaching hospitals there are medical students all the time. I have often complained privately that for a teaching hospital, Elizabeth & Peter are forever operating or seeing patients on consult without any residents or students anywhere. For such a busy ED, there are effectively only 3 attending physicians & 3 residents. These people obviously work every day, 16 - 20 hours at a time. There is no ED run that way. But this is television. So I try just to enjoy the show & not nitpick [too much] the details.

-- (, March 08, 2001.

Obviously you have to take the show with a grain of salt. It's because I know that there are MD's that serve as consultants that I'm suprised that the depiction of a teaching hospital isn't more realistic.

-- Emma (, March 08, 2001.

I remember reading an interview with Neal Baer(former executive producer and real life doctor) last year where he said that they tried to be as realistic as possible but for the sake of the storyline and dramatic effect they took dramatic licence with some things. Two examples he gave were that normally doctors and nurses would wear surgical masks in the trauma scenes, but as a lot of the shows drama came from those trauma scenes, and they wanted to show the character's responses it would be more difficult from behind a mask ( although obviously they have the actors use surgical masks when doing actual surgeries in the OR).

The other area he said they had taken major dramatic licence with was the fact that Carter( and Lucy and Abby for that matter) would never had spent so much time during medical school in the ER in real life.

I often look at ER and see things I know I wouldn't see in a real life ER ( eg the way people who should be in the waiting area find the way into the treatment areas or watching through the doors of the trauma room ).

But my attitude is as long as I can see a good reason for taking dramatic licence I can live with it. Only when it gets to a completely unbelieveable stage do I object. ( eg Peter getting fired in Mars Attacks and the fact that anyone with half a brain would have called in a lawyer for wrongful dismissal. This one is fresh in my mind as it only aired here in Australia last week)

-- rb (, March 09, 2001.

Didn't Carter also do a rotation in Ophtomology (sp, sorry!)?

-- Jenn (, March 09, 2001.

Just on the point about the limited number of doctors in the ER. For a while a friend of mine and I have debated whether the ER characters are only a few of the staff in the ER or all of them. She claims that, as most episodes cover 1 day (ie there are sixth others for other non-character staff to work), there are other staff that we never see. She claims the name board has more names than there are staff. I always thought it was the patients names that were listed first on the board, and the staff names were added to the patients they took, ie. they could repeat for the number of patients they had. If anyone understands what I'm talking about and has any idea they might help us resolve the debate.

-- Mags (, March 12, 2001.

I believe it is the patient's name that goes on the board; the doctor then "signs up" for a patient. As for the docs of "ER" not being the only doctors to staff the emergency room, it seems unlikely that such a busy county ER would be staffed by only those folks. In the earlier seasons they would mention other doctors; in the OR there would be surgeons other than Benton/Romano/Corday, etc. present (a really good example of this is in the Pilot).

-- Katy (, March 12, 2001.

Taking this back to Casualty vs. ER for a second, I'm the same as the person who posted the original question in that I used to be a huge fan of Casualty until I started watching ER. I think I've seen maybe two episodes of Casualty this series and they were so slow it was painful. But yes, the nurses are used more in Casualty than they are in ER, and this could be for a few reasons. 1, they have a major identity criss when it comes to hooking doctors up to doctors (or anyone outside the hospital, for that matter), so we need lots of nurse around for the docs to go out with. 2, in Casualty the main character is Charlie (nurse), and in ER it is Mark (attending). 3, the creator of ER was an actual medical student (Michael Crichton went to med school at Harvard but didn't go into practice 'for the good of his patients'), the creators of Casualty were not. They went to research the programme in Bristol and the first person they talked to was the nurse manager. Also, if you look at Casualty, every single doctor in the department is usually in on a trauma, while in ER there are maybe one or two plus up to four nurses, even if they ARE supporting characters.

On one of the other threads to this discussion, Carter's med school rotations. As far as we saw, he did emergency medicine (yeah, like we could miss it), surgery, and paeds - only because he had to. However, we do know from the Pilot episode that, before starting in the ER, he had done dermatology and psychiatry - (Benton: 'Those are the well dressed specialties)

-- Elizabeth Routledge (, April 23, 2001.

i think er is great so does my mate laura. we both both fancy carter dave, lukca .we think abbys mom is a phsyco and needs therepy i hate abby 4 going of with carter and being horrible to luka.we also think liz and mark's baby ella is brill we also think kerry and kim shauld get back together .we think casulty is crap compered to er. we love bentons son resse whos deaf hes so cute .

-- katy carter and laura claridge (, July 19, 2001.

i believe dramas such as casulty can reflect on real life events and are more educational then soaps like eastenders or neighbours. characters eal with day to day issues and are very natural they do an excellent job so keep it up is all i can say to the producers and the actors

-- melanie hughes (, February 04, 2002.

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