livchristie
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Hello,I am currently in sixth form studying alevels in PE and business as well as BTEC science and i have been looking into a future career in the military, I have always wanted to work in emergency medicine a role similar to a paramedic but within the armed forces.I have been looking at the combat medic and would like to know what it involves but have heard its more of an 'admin' role is this true? .I have also been looking at becoming a nurse within the military and i have seen both the registered and student nurse route, the student one would be my preferred choice but i have heard its very competitive, is this true? if so approximately how many student nurses do they accept per year? when i have been looking at the nursing role there isn't much information on the day to day jobs, is it like caring on wards etc or is there a front line/emergency element?Since i have done my alevels and the combat medic dosen't require them, i don't just want to waste the qualifications therefore is it worth going down the combat medic route if i have spent time in further education or would it be best to progress onto university and go down the nursing route, or will there be advancement within the combat medic role?My final question is in terms of future progression, if i was to join as a combat medic both physically and financially, is there opportunities to progress for example commission as an officer/ go up in the ranks, if so what are the potential progression routes? and what does the pay roughly scale at (is it similar to a paramedic) as the websites say £20,000 but i just wanted some sort of information on what that actually means.Thank you, any information/advice would be much appreciated.
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RAF_Adam
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Hi

Have you already had a look at all of the relevant role pages on the three armed forces own Recruitment websites?

I can only advise from the RAF point of view, you'll need to speak to the Army and Navy teams for details of their entry.

Firstly, in the RAF, there is no 'combat medic' role. The RAF Medic role is primarily an admin-based role. There can be opportunities to get paramedic training later in your career, but it's not guaranteed and that's not what the focus of the role is.

The Student Nurse role is very competitive. We have a few slots each year and a LOT of applications. As long as you meet the entry and eligibility criteria listed on the role page then you can submit an application. The reason it's competitive is that you'll be employed and paid by the RAF while you do your degree and we're paying for the degree. So you're not in the same financial situation that a civilian nursing student is in post qualification etc.

Once qualified you'll spend the first posting, possibly a couple working at Birmingham Hospital building up your experience. After that you could be posted to a medical centre on any RAF station in the UK or around the world, or elsewhere you're required. You'll be posted every 3-5 years, so you'll do different elements during your career.

Career progression is based on you primarily. Promotion is by competitive selection, but you will go up in salary on the MOD pay scales (Google RAF Pay scales, they're easy to find). And yes, with the relevant experience you could also apply for your commission to become a Nursing Officer later on in your career.

Kind regards
Adam
RAF Recruitment
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livchristie
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Okay, Thank you for the quick reply!
Once the current situation has passed I will go to my local careers office to find out more
I had already assumed that the student nurse role would be very competitive due to the amazing opportunities it creates, is there any advice you could give on how to better my application or relevant things/experience i should do & get leading up to me applying?
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the_worrier
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I can offer my opinion. I joined the RAF as a student staff nurse in the 90’s and commissioned from the rank of Sgt some years later. I am still serving.

When looking at making yourself competitive for selection for the student nurse entry route think about having some kind of relevant experience. The first time I applied I was sent away for 6 months to get some experience. I volunteered in a hospital chatting to patients and making/handing out brews; chatting to the nurses looking for a steer on likely interview questions. Yes, it was a pain after a day at work but it was fine and once there I enjoyed it. Part of what sets a Service nurse apart is our ability to crack on when things get difficult. Good luck.
Last edited by the_worrier; 5 months ago
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Kerzen
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The last three paragraphs of Adam's post pretty much reflect the position for candidates who apply to the Royal Navy as nurses, livchristie. There is a much stronger Tri-Service feel to the Armed Forces today and this applies to nursing too - RN Nurses will, at some point, be working with their colleagues from the RAF and the Army.

As far as the RN is concerned, shore-based roles would be most likely to be at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, Derriford Hospital in Plymouth or the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth. Nursing staff form a large part of the RFA Argus complement when she deploys; there may also be scope for deployments on one of two new carriers as well, as they have enhanced medical facilities because of their size.

There is a lot of competition for entry as a Nurse, especially at Student level and it requires a high score in the RT, the entrance test. Nursing applicants are processed slightly differently to applicants for most of the other roles - their processing involves a board which they have to pass to be offered a start date.

I am wondering whether you would also be interested in the role of Medical Assistant. They work in Ministry of Defence Hospital Units too, but there is more scope for them to be deployed to ships, on a Type 45, one of the newer classes of ship, for instance. They also serve on submarines.

One MA you may have heard of is Kate Nesbitt, who was awarded the Military Cross for her bravery in Afghanistan when she was attached to 3 Commando Brigade.

These are all good jobs, as are the matching roles in the RAF and the Army. It's a question of making sure that you have the entry requirements (check what is required for Naval Nurse (Student) to make sure that you will have what is required) and then working out what would be the best fit for you. Ultimately, the one you choose has to be the one you are happy about doing every day.

https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/careers...-nurse-student

https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/careers...ical-assistant
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Kerzen
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(Original post by livchristie)
Okay, Thank you for the quick reply!
Once the current situation has passed I will go to my local careers office to find out more
I had already assumed that the student nurse role would be very competitive due to the amazing opportunities it creates, is there any advice you could give on how to better my application or relevant things/experience i should do & get leading up to me applying?
You would find it helpful to be doing something which helps you to develop the skills required for nursing, something which allows you to care for people or help them in a practical way. I'm not sure how things are in your area, but some people are engaged in voluntary roles at the moment (while observing the current regulations, of course). I saw a team delivering groceries to housebound people the other day. When things have settled down, there may be other voluntary possibilities.

I wonder whether these would be good for you?

https://www.sja.org.uk/get-involved/...ts-ages-10-17/

https://www.redcross.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer

I would try to make a point of doing things, whatever they might be, which show that you work well in a team, too.
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livchristie
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(Original post by the_worrier)
I can offer my opinion. I joined the RAF as a student staff nurse in the 90’s and commissioned from the rank of Sgt some years later. I am still serving.

When looking at making yourself competitive for selection for the student nurse entry route think about having some kind of relevant experience. The first time I applied I was sent away for 6 months to get some experience. I volunteered in a hospital chatting to patients and making/handing out brews; chatting to the nurses looking for a steer on likely interview questions. Yes, it was a pain after a day at work but it was fine and once there I enjoyed it. Part of what sets a Service nurse apart is our ability to crack on when things get difficult. Good luck.
Thank you for your reply, I am definitely going to look into getting some more medical based experience to help me when it comes to selection and in general.
How have you found your career as a nurse if you don’t mind me asking?
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livchristie
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(Original post by Kerzen)
The last three paragraphs of Adam's post pretty much reflect the position for candidates who apply to the Royal Navy as nurses, livchristie. There is a much stronger Tri-Service feel to the Armed Forces today and this applies to nursing too - RN Nurses will, at some point, be working with their colleagues from the RAF and the Army.

As far as the RN is concerned, shore-based roles would be most likely to be at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, Derriford Hospital in Plymouth or the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth. Nursing staff form a large part of the RFA Argus complement when she deploys; there may also be scope for deployments on one of two new carriers as well, as they have enhanced medical facilities because of their size.

There is a lot of competition for entry as a Nurse, especially at Student level and it requires a high score in the RT, the entrance test. Nursing applicants are processed slightly differently to applicants for most of the other roles - their processing involves a board which they have to pass to be offered a start date.

I am wondering whether you would also be interested in the role of Medical Assistant. They work in Ministry of Defence Hospital Units too, but there is more scope for them to be deployed to ships, on a Type 45, one of the newer classes of ship, for instance. They also serve on submarines.

One MA you may have heard of is Kate Nesbitt, who was awarded the Military Cross for her bravery in Afghanistan when she was attached to 3 Commando Brigade.

These are all good jobs, as are the matching roles in the RAF and the Army. It's a question of making sure that you have the entry requirements (check what is required for Naval Nurse (Student) to make sure that you will have what is required) and then working out what would be the best fit for you. Ultimately, the one you choose has to be the one you are happy about doing every day.

https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/careers...-nurse-student

https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/careers...ical-assistant
Thank you for getting back to me!
Yes i have heard of her and her achievements, would you be able to give me more information on the medical assistant role as i’ve never really considered it before, would you say that’s more ‘frontline’ emergency work compared to the jobs of a naval nurse?
Thank you
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Kerzen
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(Original post by livchristie)
Thank you for getting back to me!
Yes i have heard of her and her achievements, would you be able to give me more information on the medical assistant role as i’ve never really considered it before, would you say that’s more ‘frontline’ emergency work compared to the jobs of a naval nurse?
Thank you

What I would say to you about 'frontline' emergency work is that the situation has changed over the last decade because of the change in the UK's involvement in military activity in the world. When the Royal Marines were in Afghanistan, medical services were there in support, which is how Kate came to be with 3 Commando Brigade and the recipient of the Military Cross.

Now that the conflict there has changed, there is no need for medical staff to be there or in most places in the world. If medical staff are land-based and abroad, it's going to be in areas where there is no conflict like Gibraltar.

Having said that, this doesn't mean that Medical Assistants aren't on ships. I'm not sure whether this fits your idea of 'frontline' emergency work, but a scenario which might happen might be if a Royal Navy ship has Royal Marines aboard who are intercepting narcotics smugglers. If one of the Royal Marines sustains an injury when boarding a suspected vessel, the Medical Assistant would be involved in the care of that injured person.

It might be that the situation which would appeal to you would be qualifying as an MA and then doing the All Arms Commando Course before becoming attached to the Royal Marines. They go on exercise in places like Norway and have medical staff in support; the opportunities to be 'frontline' would be of that kind.

https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/careers...ical-assistant

https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/careers...anches/medical
Last edited by Kerzen; 5 months ago
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the_worrier
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(Original post by livchristie)
Thank you for your reply, I am definitely going to look into getting some more medical based experience to help me when it comes to selection and in general.
How have you found your career as a nurse if you don’t mind me asking?
Generally rewarding but with occasional spells of tediousness (like any job, I guess). The role requires flexibility and a fair amount of putting the ‘Service before self’ so be ready for that (like any Military role). If your desire is to be regularly deployed now is not the most thrilling era of the last 25 years but stuff will crop up.
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livchristie
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(Original post by the_worrier)
Generally rewarding but with occasional spells of tediousness (like any job, I guess). The role requires flexibility and a fair amount of putting the ‘Service before self’ so be ready for that (like any Military role). If your desire is to be regularly deployed now is not the most thrilling era of the last 25 years but stuff will crop up.
Thank you,
I will definitely look at all the roles before i make any decisions
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