Rochelle Gopee is a 28-year-old acute response nurse working for the NHS. It’s a busy job with lots of responsibility and, as the name suggests, can be very high pressure. Which is why her time off is precious, and it’s why it’s important to make the most of it.
So how does Rochelle choose to use it? By being a nurse, with the RAFs Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, a role which means that she could be called on at a moment’s notice to assist with critical patient care either on the ground or in the air.
But why would anyone choose to double up in this way? Well, she’s not the only one.
“Working with other highly qualified NHS professionals in a military environment is great and you really get a sense of belonging,” says Rochelle. “There’s so much going on and plenty of opportunities for us to deploy or get involved with operations and exercises alongside our Regular counterparts.”
For Rochelle, being a part time volunteer reserve, a role she has happily had for the last five years, means that she uses her free time to add extra experience to her professional cv.
With the RAF she has been on Many military exercises and picked up additional skills in areas such as aviation medicine and leadership and survival.
And on top of that it presents endless opportunities to broaden her horizons in contrast to her day job.
“We work hard, but have a lot of fun along the way,” says Rochelle. “The trauma and leadership training within the Reserves has greatly benefitted my civilian career. Just as importantly, my civilian career keeps my skills that I have picked up in the military current and up to date.”