'Both of my roles complement each other exactly'
Violet | Research Nurse
My name is Violet and I hold the rank of Warrant Officer Class One as a Naval Nurse in the Queen Alexander’s Royal Naval Nursing Service (Reserves) within the Royal Naval Reserves. I have been a reservist since 1979. My primary role within the reserves is the Ophthalmic Nurse Specialist onboard the Primary Casualty Receiving Ship facility (PCRF), RFA Argus. My civilian position is that of Ophthalmic Research Nurse in the Newcastle Eye Centre (NEC) at the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Both of my roles complement each other exactly as my skills gained from working in the NEC are exactly what I require to ensure I can fulfil my role within the reserves. Where as a serving in the reserves has gained me a nursing degree in Defence Nursing which included the ENB 998 course that in turn led me to complete an Msc in Academic and Professional Learning which included the Post Graduate Diploma in Education.
During my time in the reserves I have had access to many courses such as management and leadership courses which enabled me to improve my nursing performances in both services.
Service in the reserve forces is not all about learning new clinical skills it also includes great opportunities to develop skills in sports, adventurous training and helping others. I have been fortunate to have learned how to ski and sail during my service. I have attended major events such as both of the Royal Garden Parties, Buckingham palace in London and Hollyrood palace in Edinburgh. I have also taking part in ceremonial duties at Horse Guards Parade and the Ypres war memorial. I have even spent two weeks working at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.
There are also many challenges and activities that you can get involved with such as team sports and charity events, I have painted schools, assisted the redevelopment of gardens and stacked shelves in food banks. All of these events allow me to give something back to society for the many things I have gained from being a reservist.