3.22 A Change is Gonna Come – 10/4/01

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S3 E22 (10 Apr 01) : A Change is Gonna Come by Lillie Ferrari

Episode Summary

It’s Danny’s first day as a student nurse. He arrives on Otter Ward to find it deserted, he hears someone coughing, but after the warning form Julie, thinks it’s a windup. He finds a boy chocking and performs an ‘abdominal thrust’ as Keri and Janice arrive. Danny is shadowing Steve who makes it clear that despite comments from Victoria, he is not to be a dogsbody.

Keri gives Matthew (Greg Prentice), a recently diagnosed diabetic boy a lift home. He seems worried about his condition and would rather be living with his mother than with his father, with whom he’s currently living. Matthew’s sister is the only one at home and tells Keri how her parents recently divorced. Meanwhile, Matthew takes an overdose of insulin and doesn’t eat his dinner. He has a violent hypoglycemic attack (his blood sugar got too low) and Keri injects him with something (possibly glucagon…??) and readmits him. In the hospital, Matthew wants to see his mother and Keri finds out that the mother doesn’t even know her son’s ill. Matthew’s sister asks Keri not to call their mother, but when she can’t contact their father, she does. The father arrives shortly after the mother, Matthew hopes that his illness will help reconcile them but the parents’ argument is so loud that Keri asks them to go into the relative room where they decide, to Matthew’s sister’s annoyance (she still blames her mother for the breakup of her parents’ marriage as she had an affair) that the children should live with their mother.

Meanwhile, Victoria takes Guy to meet her father, Sir Charles Merrick, over lunch. Guy is late and Charles is very formal and keeps saying how talented Victoria is, to her embarrassment. It is clear that Charles isn’t keen on Guy. He tells Victoria after Charles has left.

Guy accuses Victoria of being a Daddy’s girl, she denies it to him, but admits it later to Jasmine. She advises Victoria to stop looking for her father’s approval, as she has been her whole life. When Guy surprises her with a trip to Manhattan, she visits Charles at his private practice and tells him how she’s always felt that anywhere she ever got was because of him and that she feels he’s running her life and judging Guy.

The main focus of the episode is Becky Carmichael (Kirsty Bruce), a patient on Otter Ward who is admitted with abdominal pains to which no-one knows the cause. Steve has formed a bond with her, she talks to him and tells him he’s the ‘best nurse on the ward’. Becky’s mother (Julianne White) seems to be going through a ‘second youth’ as she comes in wearing a t-shirt of Becky’s, encouraging her to wear makeup and organizing a joint birthday party. Janice tells her she still doesn’t know what is causing Becky’s pain as an ultrasound has ruled out appendicitis.

Becky confides in Steve how her mother is making things worse for her.

Janice tells Becky’s mother that the next step in trying to diagnose Becky would be to do a laparoscopy which is not recommended to someone so young without a very good reason. Becky’s mother takes offence when Janice suggests Becky talk to a councilor after she denies fiercely that there could be problems at home. Janice suggests having a chat with Steve, Becky’s mother tells her about the kiss.

Steve knows nothing of this until a parent tells him to get away from their child. Janice tells him of the accusation, he denies it and is disappointed she even asks him if it’s true. It’s clear that she believes him and is only asking because she has to.

Although Janice assures the investigators that all the time she has known Steve, she has never questioned his integrity, he answers all the questions the investigators ask him in the best way possible, Becky refuses to back down and Steve is suspended on full pay.

Janice has Becky taken off the ward to Keller for her laparoscopy. She briefly tries to hint to her that ‘all this’ has gone too far, but Becky still won’t back down. Jasmine eventually befriends her and gets her to admit that Steve didn’t kiss her, she only told it to her mother because her mother kept making out that Steve fancied her.

Meanwhile, Janice talks to Becky’s mother and finds out that she has recently been diagnosed with osteoporosis and is trying to give Becky some good memories before she becomes as frail as her mother was. Janice persuades her that what Becky needs is a mum, not a best friend and that she needs to tell Becky about the osteoporosis as she might have inherited it as well.

Becky’s mother starts acting like a ‘proper mother’ and her relationship with Becky seems more ‘like it used to be’.

Steve goes to Jasmine after he is accused of kissing Becky, as she is his union rep. but memories of their kiss are still affecting how they see each other. Jasmine goes to tell Steve the news about Becky in person and decided to call off their relationship when she sees Steve and Emma together.

When Steve is suspended, a locum, Nurse Maxwell (Daryl Fishwick), is brought in. She is old-fashioned and strict with the kids. Keri quickly puts her in her place, telling her that in Steve’s absence, she is in charge. Nurse Maxwell proves so unpopular with the children that two of them complain about ‘that HORRIBLE new nurse’:

After complaining about the porter service, telling a crying patient to be quiet, telling Victoria and Guy off for kissing in the corridor and having the cheek to tell Danny he’ll ‘gain some people skills’, nurse Maxwell has a ‘kick here’ sign stuck to her by two kids and we hear a yelp as she walks off down the corridor.

First Scene/ words

Danny: Student nurse Shaughnessy reporting for duty.

Julie: Ooh, look at him all bright eyed and bushy tailed.

Jasmine: First day in action eh? You haven’t got a clue what you’ve let yourself in for, have you?

Julie: Yeah, even if the kids turn out to be little angels…

Jasmine: …which I doubt.

Julie: It’s the nurses you’ve got to watch out for. First day windups come with the job.

Last Scene/ words

(Steve offers to buy Jasmine a drink to thank her for her help)

Jasmine: I think you’d better go home to your wife, eh?(After looking at each other for a while, Jasmine leaves)

(Alex S)

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