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"Shifts Happen"
Season 10, Episode 4
Air date October 23, 2003
Written by Dee Johnson
Directed by Julie Hebert
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Shifts Happen is the 4th episode of the 10th season of "E.R."


Pratt is left in charge of a busy night shift with only Coop and a few med students to help. Both Neela and Pratt make mistakes with their patients.

Abby is looking for a loan for a secret endeavor; she finally gives in and begs her ex-husband to co-sign it. Romano gets his prosthetic arm.

Abby visits Luka and finds him in the middle of saying goodbye to Gillian. Corday and Dorset are still involved, although she wonders if it's too soon after Mark's death.

NBC Description

WILL GRAVEYARD SHIFT BECOME NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD FOR BRASH DR. PRATT?: A confident second-year resident Dr. Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) wants to show off during the graveyard shift but his heroics sometimes backfire, especially in his contempt for an asymptomatic husband (guest star Paul Cassel) who temporarily loses his speech and in the case of a boy (guest star Kendall Schmidt) whose treatment is delayed after he swallows a quarter.

As Dr. Weaver (Laura Innes) decries the "incompetence" of her staff, she too makes a grievous error while a screaming man (guest star Richard Cox) with a broken leg must wait endless hours and Neela (Parminder Nagra) deals with a little girl (guest star Rhyon Nicole Brown) who arrives with her beloved grandmother whose status is DNR -- "Do Not Resuscitate."

Elsewhere, Abby (Maura Tierney) finds herself desperate for money and credit and later meets both Dr. Kovac (Goran Visnjic) and his new girlfriend.

Likewise, Dr. Corday (Alex Kingston) warms up to Dr. Dorset (guest star Bruno Campos, "Jesse"). Paul McCrane, Ming-Na, Sherry Stringfield and Sharif Atkins also star.


  • Although in the opening credits, Noah Wyle does not appear in this episode.
  • Kristin Minter makes her final appearance as desk clerk Miranda "Randi" Fronczak in this episode.
  • The episode is dedicated to Mitch Hébert.
  • The title is a play on the phrase "Sh*t Happens"


Cooper (to Pratt): I like your style, man.
Pratt: Oh yeah? Get your own.
Romano: You are a screw-up, Pratt and just to make myself clear, I didn't like you before I knew that.
Abby (to Richard): I need a favor.
Richard: Abby, it's 8:00 in the morning.
Abby: Yeah, I know. I don't have a lot of time. I need you to co-sign a loan.
Richard: Why don't you just declare bankruptcy?
Abby: Look, I'm not in trouble, OK? I just need you...
Richard: You want me to support you?
Abby: No. I never asked for alimony, I didn't contest anything in court, I didn't take the damned furniture.
Richard: You could have if you wanted to.
Abby: Look, you must know how much I hate to do this. I wouldn't do it unless it was absolutely necessary. I don't want your money, I just want your signature.