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Military nurse in training

Hello Everyone – An Update From Alex

University has finished. I must have worked hard, because I received a first class honours degree in nursing, but now comes the ‘simple’ task of proving that I can do the job.


I had some leave after my course had finished and was able to visit New Zealand with my boyfriend. It was amazing. I introduced him to lots of my family over there (which I think was a bit overwhelming for him) and took part in many walks through the mountains and swims in the glacial lakes. It was beautiful and a really nice break from reality.


Following on from my course, I was lucky enough to receive a work placement at the naval base in Portsmouth. With this in mind, I moved all of my things out of the flat in Birmingham and said some sad goodbyes to friends and some of my favourite cafés. After I’d said my goodbyes, I stuffed my car full and drove it all the way down to my new room at HMS Nelson, the naval base at Portsmouth. My room is in a bit of state at the moment, but I’m making it more homely (with some lovely fairy lights and books), and I’m sure I’ll fill the empty cupboards in time. The rooms are bigger here and they also come with an en-suite which is really convenient. The only down side is that there is no kitchen. There is a mess (canteen) facility, but when I’m working shift patterns I’ll miss two out of the three meals every day, so I’ll have to get creative with sandwiches. Any suggestions would be gratefully received.


I arrived here a few days before we needed to, to start work and give myself time to settle in, as did my friends who have been posted here. We’ve been helping each other get used to the new base and the surrounding town and docks. It’s helpful that I’ve been here before – it makes it much less disorientating.


Work started on Monday 20thApril. We had a day of inductions and then my first ward shift was on Tuesday. It was a bit scary, but at the same time, very exciting. I’ve been placed on a Respiratory ward, which means that there’s a big mix of patients, many with conditions such as asthma, COPD, pneumonia and other lung-related issues. So I’m sure that I’ll get some really good experience very quickly. One of my friends who finished the nursing degree in Birmingham six months ago is on the same ward. He’s been very helpful in talking me through what the work is like and also telling me what to revise.


So I hope that you’re all well and wish me luck for my first few weeks. I’ll keep you posted and let you know how it’s going in my next post.


SAC Doyle (soon to be Corporal Doyle)