David worked as an avionics aircraft technician in the RAF for 29 years during which time he maintained and repaired Jaguar and Tornado aircraft. David now uses his knowledge, skills and experience gained from the RAF to change procedures in a clinical setting at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust.
David says, “I served as an avionics aircraft technician in the RAF for 29 years. My career included the maintenance and repair of both Jaguar and Tornado aircraft, I essentially retired from the service at the same time as the Tornado Aircraft.
I attended the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Step into Health initiative event in May 2019 after hearing about it from fellow service leavers and researching it online. At the end of the event, I met the Armed Forces leads at my local trust, Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn. We exchanged details, I sent in my CV and we set about arranging some appropriate work experience.
I had an initial meeting with the electrical and biomedical engineering supervisor, who gave me an overview of their role. A few weeks later I attended a two-day work experience at the trust; one day in the medical equipment library and one day with the electricians in estates management. Both days served the purpose of identifying potential roles and orientating around the hospital. This gave me valuable insight to the hospital working practices and ultimately introduced me to my current line manager.
The Step into Health programme made me realise the potential job opportunities available in the NHS for Service Leavers. The NHS is similar to any large public sector organisation and experiences many of the same challenges as the Armed Forces, which is very relatable. I have found many transferable skills and solutions from my service training and experience.
It goes without saying that the relief of getting a job, especially locally, had reduced the worry and stress on my family. Almost as important as my family is my personal wellbeing, including job satisfaction, which I am glad to say, has never been better. I have no regrets about my career transition, I really enjoy my current role and have learnt so much already.”
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