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Military nurse in training

Accident & Emergency – An Update from Alex

Hello all, it’s been a while since I wrote my last post – sorry about that. It’s been a very busy time! I’m in my third and final year of the nursing degree and the workload has really jumped up.


Currently, I’m on placement in an A&E department at Birmingham and whenever I’m not there, I’m either sleeping, writing essays, preparing my dissertation or revising. It’s all going well so far. I’m really enjoying the A&E department, there’s always something going on and I really enjoy the variety of the work, and the organisation of it all. Thankfully for the people of Birmingham, there hasn’t been anyone come through the doors needing CPR, but that does mean I’ve not had any practice – which I think will be quite important. I’m really hopeful that I can stay in A&E for my job once I’ve finished the training as it’s the area that I have enjoyed and excelled in the most, however, the RAF already has so many A&E nurses, so it might be a while before I am able to specialise in anything like that.


The group of girls that I first started training with at RAF Halton back in 2011 have just finished their last week of university and so will start out (after a little bit of time off) on their first posting in a hospital as a military nurse. Mostly, they seem really excited, but also quite nervous, being a registered nurse is quite a responsibility. Most of them are hoping to be posted to Portsmouth MDHU (Ministry of Defence Hospital Unit), which is where I’m thinking I’d quite like to go when I finish. It’s quite Navy-run down there, which I really enjoy. Unfortunately, the last RAF-run MDHU closed last year (in Peterborough), so us RAF nurses are having to split out amongst the Navy and the Army – it doesn’t matter too much either way, as we all work the same in the nursing profession.


Stevie-Lee Goodwin (an army student nurse in my group – who was on placement at the Richmond home in 2012 when I was also there) and I are hoping to do a course on military mental health. This will allow us to go around the country and teach military mental health first aid to as many people as are interested. The course is in January and is paid for by the military – it sounds like it’ll be really interesting and hopefully it’ll allow us to make a difference by raising awareness – I might even be able to pop over to The Royal Star & Garter Homes to deliver the course, once I’ve done the 2 week training.


Anyway, that’s what’s been happening so far in my third year – I’d better get back on to my dissertation about Multiple Sclerosis! Just before I sign off, I just thought I’d tell you all about what my mum (Pauline Shaw) and a group of supporters are doing. They are taking part in a sponsored walk across the WWI battlefields in France. It sounds very intense and she bought new walking boots for the adventure, which she is trying to break in. If you get a chance, I know they’d all appreciate it if you were able to sponsor them. For more information, please visit, Pauline Shaw’s Just Giving page.


I hope you’re all well,

Alex (LAC Doyle)