An Update From Alex
I’ve been very busy since starting my new role – as I expected! There have been all the normal hospital induction programmes and getting to grips with the work of being a registered nurse. That’s all alongside being out in the wider military community and learning many of the extra bits we don’t get much exposure to while we’re at university.
I’m really enjoying the nursing work so far. It’s challenging, but I’m learning something new every shift and it feels like I’ve worked hard at the end of each day. I’m really enjoying working with a variety of staff members, some of whom are military and many of whom are civilian. Everyone has been very welcoming and supportive when I ask my myriad of questions every day.
It’s been quite busy with the military side as well. I’ve joined a horse riding club that runs once a month. I haven’t ridden for a long time, so it’s good to get back to basics. It was the PMRAFNS (Princess Mary Royal Air Force Nursing Service) Thanksgiving event on the first weekend in June to commemorate the introduction of the PMRAFNS in June 1923. We had a church service and nibbles afterwards. It was a good chance to meet and talk to the other RAF nurses that I’ll probably bump into around the hospital.
I also attended the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) congress in Bournemouth at the end of June. This is an annual conference for nurses to discuss issues surrounding the work we do. There were some really interesting discussions as well as some spontaneous and rather amusing singalongs. Alongside the debating time, they ran sessions on many different topics, such as the history of mental health nursing, Ebola, pain management and many others. It was a very busy, but interesting, few days.
As I’m sure you all know, it was Armed Forces Day on the 27th June! There were many big events going on around the country – I hope you got involved! We had a small fundraising event at the hospital to highlight the work the military medical staff do alongside their NHS colleagues. We were in three teams of four people – one team for each service. We brought three rowing machines into the main lobby of the hospital and had a rowing competition throughout the day. Each heat lasted 30 minutes of rowing between the four people in the team and then we got 30 minutes break. It was really hard work! I think we raised a fair amount, it was good exercise and although tiring, was fun.
During the second week of July, I attended a Tri-Service Critical Care Conference, which was really interesting. Although I am not a critical care nurse, it was open to anyone who was interested – and I am definitely interested. It was a varied two-day conference, with lots of talks and new bits of kit being shown off by the sponsors.
Anyway, that’s enough from me for now. I hope you are all well and I’m sure that I will speak to you soon!