“I couldn’t do your job”

“No, you couldn’t”

I Couldn’t Do Your Job is a one act verbatim, which shows an honest insight into what it is like to be an NHS Paramedic. The Iceni Theatre Company created this play by interviewing paramedics over a 5 year period.

The play features five actors playing Paramedics and telling their tales of the job to an Interviewer. The Interviewer’s dad is a Paramedic and he wants to find out more about the role and why his dad does this job.

The stories told within the show touch on both the highs and the lows. The highs of saving a life and the lows of not being able to save someone and attending a traumatic or distressing call.

The show began light hearted with the funny stories we all love, like the light bulbs stuck where they shouldn’t be. This provided comedic relief as the play progressed and became more serious, shining a light on serious issues such as the privatisation of the ambulance service and how the pandemic impacted paramedics.

The play highlighted a really important issue of the mental health of paramedics. Their job is an incredibly important one and we often take them for granted. But they attend traumatic calls and regularly see people on the worst days of their lives, we rarely think about the effects this must have on them. The show informed the audience about the prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder within the ambulance service, surprisingly it’s actually higher than in the Military.

This issue is beautifully portrayed by Jake Turner in the role of Aiden – a paramedic that can’t cope with the things he had seen and had to deal with. Aiden is diagnosed with PTSD and offered therapy, but is only able to attend 6 sessions before it is cancelled due to – yes you guessed it, budget cuts. People with PTSD usually need at least 20 session. This shows how we don’t consider the effects on the people that help us.

The staging is simple which puts more attention on the performers as they tell the stories. It makes the play powerful and poignant.

It felt quite fitting to see this show on the day we can all help the NHS by voting the tories out! Politics was touched on, as the constant budget cuts have a profound impact on the ambulance service. More and more cuts mean the service fails to hit targets which could eventually mean it’s no longer fit for purpose and the government can privatise it.

I knew this show would be right up my street. I’m a student nurse by day, and have my own share of funny stories and sad ones too. This play shows both sides of it – the hilarious stories to the heartbreaking ones that deal with mental health, suicide and paediatric cardiac arrests.

This play is incredibly important right now – with the NHS on its knees it shines a light on the issues faced by the workers that do the best they possibly can for the general public. It’s an completely unfiltered view of what it’s like for the people that help us all. The people you hope you never have to call, but will be there if you do.

I Couldn’t Do Your Job was so powerful and moving, it brought tears to my eyes. And I mean it when I say, everyone needs to see this play now. Go and see it whilst you can.

🎟 pr invite

Rating: 4 out of 5.


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