08 / 3 / 2016 10am
RAF Reserve Corporal Rochelle Gopee is an associate practitioner nurse from Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
Each year, reservists have the opportunity to take part in a two week long training exercise known as annual camp, which is designed to help reservists grow their leadership, team working and communication skills.
Last year, I was given the chance to go to the Isle of Wight for annual camp. The two weeks consisted of a range of challenging exercises including navigation, camouflage and concealment, weapons handling and, by far my favourite task, extracting a casualty out of the battlefield. We were to perform initial first aid on the ‘casualty’ whilst surrounded by smoke and the sounds of gun fire. This scenario helped me to improve upon my skills gained in the NHS, such as making decisions under pressure and working successfully with colleagues to deliver excellent patient care.
My NHS trust allowed me to have two weeks of special military leave to go on annual camp, as they recognised the value of the skills I was going to be developing and which I could then bring back to my team at the hospital.
Since becoming a reservist I feel that I have been able to take more ownership of tasks and lead them through to the end. I have also been able to share my experiences with colleagues to bring my reservist training full-circle. This highlights the significance of the additional skills developed as a reservist, and I look forward to growing my career both within the NHS and the military.