Critical care nurse wins top navy reserve award

A Scottish critical care nurse has been recognised by the Royal Navy as one of its most promising reservists.

Sandi Bern, a cardiothoracic nurse at the NHS Golden Jubilee National University Hospital in Glasgow, was named the Royal Navy’s top reserve recruit of the year.

“A lot of the skills I’ve learned as a reservist I can use in my own job and civilian life”

Sandi Bern

Ms Bern started training as a navy reservist in 2021, alongside her duties at the critical care unit of NHS Golden Jubilee, and graduated within a year.

Another year later, she achieved the rank of leading hand – equivalent to corporal in the army – giving her the title of leading naval nurse.

Now, Ms Bern has been handed the award of top reservist in initial training from the 2022 intake.

Commodore Jo Adey presented Ms Bern with The MacRobert’s Boatswain’s Call at a ceremony in December, in recognition of her achievement.

Ms Bern said her navy training had been useful in her work as a critical care nurse, as well as being rewarding for her personally.

“A lot of the skills I’ve learned as a reservist I can use in my own job and civilian life,” she said.

Sandi Bern, right, being presented with The MacRobert’s Boatswain’s Call by commodore Jo Adey

“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.

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“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.”

Ms Bern has worked at NHS Golden Jubilee since she first registered as a nurse six years ago and commits 28 days per year to navy duties.

Her line manager, 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.”

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