My name is Lt David Young from C Coy, Essex Army Cadet force. By night and weekends, I am a CFAV in the ACF and detachment commander of Leigh on sea detachment, during the day I am a registered nurse, specialising in aeromedical transportation. My life involves wearing many different hats, including my ACF beret.
When the pandemic started, my day job was as a Flight Nurse and nursing officer for an emergency assistance company. This involves arranging the treatment of British citizens abroad who had the disease, arranging their treatment in a foreign country and arranging their repatriation back to the UK. As the pandemic took hold, I was grounded due to the international travel ban, so as many nurses outside of the NHS, we all started to return to 'do our bit'. I chose to join the nursing bank at one of my former acute NHS hospitals. Returning to the NHS seemed a natural thing. Having spent nearly 18 years working in acute hospitals, I still felt worried about the disease, the health of our colleagues and the possibility of spreading it to our families. Yet, as a nurse, I thought that it was natural to want to care for those patients with this disease.
As mentioned, I wear different hats. I am also a clinical nurse advisor for the NHS track and trace system, as well as studying part-time at university. As well as my nursing duties, I still try and find time to arrange a weekly Zoom Parade meeting for my detachment. Delivering lessons is very different via a video link, with a fast learning curve in acquiring new IT skills, but it is great to catch up with the cadets and adults while we are under lockdown.
Having discussed this many times with other nurses, we do not consider ourselves 'heroes', because as nurses, we train and work to care for others. As the motto of the Royal college of nursing states 'tradimus lampada' meaning 'we carry the torch'. As a nurse, I hope I have done my part shining a light to help us out of this dark period in our history.