A critical care Nurse from NHS Golden Jubilee has been named as the Royal Navy’s top Reserve recruit of the year.
Sandi Bern, from Glasgow, began Royal Navy Reserve training in 2021 and within a year she was able to Pass Out, and then another year down the line she completed the Leadership Course as a Leading Hand rank thanks to her Nursing degree.
And following all of her hard work, Sandi was this year named as the Top Royal Navy Reservist in Initial Training from the 2022 intake.
In addition to completing her Leadership Course with Distinction, she was also named top student on that course.
In recognition of being the Navy’s Top Reservist, Sandi was presented with the MacRobert Trust’s Boatswain’s Call Award from Commodore of the Maritime Reserves, Commodore Jo Adey, at the Accelerated Rating Programme Pass out Parade at HMS Raleigh.
Sandi said: “A lot of the skills I’ve learned as a Reservist I can use in my own job and civilian life. We get really hands-on fire training with gas masks and do damage repair as well in small spaces as if you are on a ship that is filling up with water.
“There’s a lot of different experiences and you never hope you’ll find yourself in that kind of situation, but you’d be trained to deal with it if you did, so it’s quite exciting.
“There’s a great social aspect to it as well. You get to meet loads of different people and there’s great camaraderie. Everyone has different skills and backgrounds from the likes of engineers, dentists and nurses to lawyers so there’s such a range of people.”
As a proud and committed supporter of the Armed Forces for 20 years, NHS Golden Jubilee continues to support military leavers, veterans, reservists, families and spouses and cadets who work for the organisation.
Last year, the Golden Jubilee retained the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award - the highest badge of honour the Ministry of Defence (MoD) awards to employers who support those who serve, veterans and their families.
Sandi, 31, from the Chryston area in Glasgow has worked at the Golden Jubilee since she qualified as a nurse from University of West of Scotland (UWS) 6 years ago, following in the footsteps of mum and dad who were both nurses, and spent around 18 months in Orthopaedics before moving to critical care.
And it was during her training as a Nurse back in 2014 where her love of horses landed her a TV adventure in the Scottish hit series Outlander.
“I like to have a story to tell,” added Sandi. “I went into nursing because I like caring for people. When I left school I worked with horses for a few years as a groom and teach people how to ride and prepare the horses for competitions.
“There’s a caring element to that as well, but nursing was what I wanted to do in the end.
“The horses for Outlander were stabled at the yard where I worked, so I would finish up work and training then go and work on Outlander, mainly as a groom, but I did some double work for them too, doubling some of the actors when they were doing scenes on horseback.
“If they thought the scene was too unsafe for the actors, I would do it so that’s my claim to fame. It was an amazing experience.”
As a Navy Reservist, Sandi is asked to commit to 28 days per year and is supported in her duties at NHS Golden Jubilee, which has Gold Award status in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS).
NHS Golden Jubilee has proactively supported Armed Forces colleagues since its creation in 2002.
First recognised as a Supportive Employer of the Armed Forces Reserves in 2013, NHS Golden Jubilee signed the Armed Forces Covenant with the MoD in 2016 and first received the ERS Gold Award in 2017.
Critical Care Senior Charge Nurse, Sarah Jane Faichney, said: “As Sandi’s line manager I’m delighted to be involved in the Hospital’s support of her role as a Navy Reservist.
“She’s obviously dedicated to her Navy activities, but remains fully committed to being a staff nurse within our busy Critical Care department. I am very happy to facilitate flexibility around her hospital shifts, enabling her to attend Navy Reservist training sessions and Sandi always returns very enthusiastic and keen to share stories of her training and fun adventures.
“As she progresses in her nursing career, it’s obvious she has acquired many transferable skills. I’ve seen this particularly around the leadership she shows when in charge of a shift or when organising the team during emergency situations.”