Reserves Day 2019 – 208 Field Hospital

Reserves Day 2019 Army Reserve case study

Corporal Sarah O’Connor, QARANC, 208 Field Hospital

I am an Army Reservist serving in Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corp as part of 208 Field Hospital in Liverpool. I absolutely love being a Reserve, as it provides me with opportunities to travel, learn new skills and fulfills my desires for adventure and self-development. Since joining, I have worked alongside Regulars and Reservists in places such as California, France, Scotland and Norway and participated in primary healthcare delivery in Kenya.  My role is so varied, one exercise I may be patrolling through countryside evaluating where to site a treatment facility in a kinetic environment, and the next I could be learning how to deliver emergency obstetric treatment in a third world country.  

I am currently working in the Accident and Emergency Department in Southport Hospital, where my line manager and the hospital trust are very supportive of my military commitments as they recognize its benefits both in healthcare related training, and personal development. I know my exposure in the reserves to nursing in austere environments and under different pressures makes me stand out from my peers and benefits my career progression, as well as adding value to the trust I work for.  For example, the Army has supported me in gaining pediatric and adult immediate life support qualifications that I utilise in my NHS role.

I have learnt to Nordic ski as well in the Army, which is something that I did not have the opportunity to try previously, and next year I hope to compete for my unit at the Army Medical Services Ski Championships.

I have also been supported to achieve qualifications in doing my favourite activity, which is walking in the mountains. Last year, I gained status as Mountain Leader Trained, developing my leadership, management skills and overall confidence. This reflects the Army Reserves’ commitment to development of its soldiers through adventure training – the controlled exposure to risk that makes us stronger and more resilient back home in the current high pressure healthcare environment we experience as nurses.   

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Reserve Forces