Career Question for medics.

RNMA

MIA
Hey everyone, I'm thinking of joining up as a medic in the Royal Navy and was just wondering what being a medic was really like? I'm still not completely sure which branch i want to join as as too many of those available interest me. Any help you could give you be greatly appreciated.
 

andym

War Hero
Well,when i joined upi never had the pleasure of a sea draft,so i spent my time at Haslar on various wards and Depts.Had a great time.In 82 just before the FI i was attached to the Blues and Royals in windsor for the Ambulance strike!It was brilliant!The brown jobs just didnt know how to deal with us!WFT was revaille all about??????Being an MA afloat is pretty much like working in a Sickbay ashore but a bit wetter.Also should an Emergency (Tsunami etc)occur and your on hand then you will be assisting ashore setting up all manner of stuff,Medical facilities and other stuff that comes under MOFA or Medical Organisation for Action(landing parties etc)We used to have great fun doing Firat Aid training for other branches,giving peeps really nasty looking wounds with loads of fake blood!I enjoyed my PJT X Ray course,most interesting and a lot of fun films to see.Also Light rescue(casualty evacuation)was a hoot,during one excersise in Dolphin2 we were getting a casualty off a roof using an old War Pattern stretcher and some rope(was the most scabbiest bit i ever saw)the rope broke as the casulaty was vertical going down the wall.As the rope snapped around his chest he fell forward but managed to grab a bit of rope in passing.Luckily he landed on his feet still clutching the rope.eventually he let go as he fainted!A REAL casualty at last!
If youre out there Pony,do you remember this?????
I eventually went on to do my RGN Nurses training and my MA training was of massive help in making the course!I worked in ITU and CCU for 12 years before joining the Drugs Industry as a rep making HUGE amounts of dosh!
If i had my time again i wouldnt have changed t at all!Go for it Shippers!
 

RNMA

MIA
Hey mate thanks for that. From a post that you put on another topic that you where never posted to a ship, i was hoping that this may have been by choice or something that rarely happens, as i would hate to spend the entire navy career ashore, as obviously travelling around the world is on of the reason i'm joining, and giving aid to those across the globe hit by natural disasters for example is something i'd be very keen on.
 

andym

War Hero
it was a bit of both me being happy ashore and the RN selling off ships faster than you could photgraph them. :eek: :eek: At the time Haslar was one of the 1st establishments to give Junior Rates a single Cabin.To be honest i was quite happy working on an Orthopeadic ward and doing the odd stint to help out in the Psychiatric unit.Given the loss of the RNH's you will have a much greater chance to get to Sea than i did.I enjoyed the whole of my training immensly and if you make the right decision i hope you will enjoy it as well.Just make sure you have mugged up on your Anatomy and Physilogy and First aid,they will help you a lot.Any further info drop me a PM or email.When do you intend joining?
 
Join as an MA mate. You'll have a grin.

You can be general service i.e ships, submariner, commando, operating theatre practitioner. Your job will be a varied as you want it to be. As a baby MA there are only 5 sea drafts but once you get your killicks up then you will be sent to sea on your own looking after the entire ships company. plus you'll be one of the few people on board who can actually ask the skipper to alter course to allow you to land a casualty, not bad a killick telling a four ringer what to do. That said for a baby MA you could work at CDO LOGS reg which would put you in various areas around the globe, including sunny sennebridge!

Should you then want to progress you can get your ODP course and work in theatres, or you can apply for a radiology course, a pharmacy course your nursing course or even go grunter and become an officer.
Your basic training is carried out in Raleigh then you will be taken to Aldershot to do your medics training this will last for about a year with you going from Aldershot to plymouth or portsmouth based hospitals and back doing theory and practical training. You will then do your part iv training this can be done anywhere within the fleet, and is basically your consolidation period. After that your career is your own and its upto how far you go.

Derriford hospital is running a meet the navy couple of days soon so if you wanted to talk to MA's that would be best for you.
 

RNMA

MIA
Hey jolly_jack69, thanks very much for that extra advice. My mind is definately made up now and I will try and join as a MA. Unfortunately Derriford Hospital is not possible for me as I live in Northern Ireland and regretably there aren't really any meet the navy things over here, unless you ring up the barracks and wait for an appointment then travel over 60miles to get there to ask a question, lol. Thankfully this site, and you guys have help me a great deal in making my mind up.

Just one slight question if i can, how in depth is an MA's training?
 

andym

War Hero
The MA's training used to be one of the longest Non Artificer training,it was as long as the old SEN's training was.Its not the easiest in the world but we had some right numpties in my class and they managed to pass.When you go to the recruiting center and take your entrance test if you dont score high enough then MA training wont be an option.its a hard training regime but it has to be.I remember staying up late learning all my F Med's and their titles.We used to have a test on friday,if you passed you got weekenders,fail you stayed on board and took a retake!
You hae to learn Anatomy and Physiology,Pharmacy and Storekeeping,Medical Organisation for Action,Basic Nursing procedures,Light rescue,then learn to Diagnose then treat the patient along with minor Surgical procedures.On my 1st draft i was at Mercury on my 1st duty weekend when the bell rang.It was some Officer that had nutted a Cricket ball and had a nasty gash over his eye.A few stitches later and a HI card he went off rejoicing.i found out later on that it was the Skipper!Did a bloody good job(so the MO said on removing the sutures)if i say so meself.see if you can get hold of a BR888 Naval Medical Ratings Handbook.That will help you before hand.Just remember theyre not looking for a budding brain surgeon!
 
You will be examined on every theory block you attend and you have to pass every exam else you will be back classed or worse case you will be kicked out of training. The knowledge you need is quite in depth but if you get hold of a copy of ross and wilson anatomy and physiology it will give you an idea of what you need to know. Its one of the books used on course. Plus a health safety first aid manual would give you a heads up for the 1st aid exam. After that is Medical Organisation at sea etc and those subjects will be taught on course. Oh and learn to iron your kit you'll need it for Raleigh along with a sense of humour!
 

andym

War Hero
In WH Smiths they have have 2 books that are a must.It will sound stupid but it works.They are the Anatomy and Physiology Colouring books!Basically you read and colour each page and as you go the info gets inside your head and stays there.I have used these books with many student Nurses that have had trouble getting to grips with A&P.One tip is to put stuff you want to learn on a pice of A4 and tape it to the bog walls and door,you will be amazed how fast you will learn whats on the paper,i learnt the Mental Health Act in les than a week and could almost spout it out verbatim!When you do your block theory tests just remember it to see if youve taken it all in not to fail you.
 

RNMA

MIA
thanks for that. I ordered the book after your suggestion and it only arrived yesturday, so cheers.

Looks interesting and not too hard, lol
 

andym

War Hero
Try and get hold of a BR888 medical ratings Handbook.That will also help you with stuff like Medical Admin,all the forms and their numbers,of which you will have to learn!Enjoy!
 
I throughly enjoyed my time in the navy as an MA, but from the point of view of a career outside, if you have enough quals to do ODP or RGN training, then I would stongly advise you to do that. I did go to sea and saw a little bit of the world (well, the Med anyway!), but if seeing the world is your reason for joining then don't expect to be off travelling all the time. I was in 7 years and had 1 trip abroad in that time, the rest was either Plymouth or Portsmouth(Gosport).

I am a student nurse outside now, and the MA course is really standing me in good stead, but I wish I had done this at 17 instead!! Good luck with whatever you decide!
 

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