King's staff member explains role with the Army Reserve

King's Advanced Critical Care Practitioner Natalie Gardner talks to us about her roles in the NHS and the Army Reserve

Natalie Gardner

Hi Natalie, can you tell us a bit about your role?

As an Advanced Critical Care Practitioner, I work clinically as part of the critical care team. It is a hugely varied role but includes assessing and treating patients on critical care, prescribing their medications, performing procedures, such as inserting central lines or performing intubations, and attending all the major trauma calls in resus.

As well as working in your role at King's, you are also part of the Army Reservists. What does that role involve? How does it crossover with your role at King's?

I have been an Army Reservist for 13 years now. I work for 335 Medical Evacuation Regiment, which is a specialist unit consisting of emergency and critical care staff that deploy in roles to support field hospitals and medical evacuation teams. I have been deployed twice myself; once with the United Nations on a Peace Keeping tour, and once to Afghanistan for six months. The role aligns perfectly to the job I currently do within critical care, where I can use my clinical and leadership skills interchangeably.

What do you enjoy most about your role in the army?

Definitely the travel. I have travelled all over the world in my army role and had some amazing experiences. Some of my favourites include working with NATO colleagues in Poland and Estonia, flying a helicopter in Cyprus, mountaineering in Scotland, getting sailing qualifications, kayaking, mountain biking, horse riding, and paragliding to name a few!