Naval Nurse provides critical care for HMS Queen Elizabeth

HMS King Alfred reservist Leading Naval Nurse (LNN) Helen Green has returned from six months of providing 24hr a day cover for carrier operations as part of the critical care team on HMS Queen Elizabeth.

During the autumn, HMS Queen Elizabeth deployed on Westlant 19, one of the Royal Navy’s largest exercises with the USA and Canada.

The aim of the exercise was simple: to push both the F-35 and the entire HMS Queen Elizabeth team to their limits.

Last year’s exercise had allowed the team to gather the data and experience required to 'write the manual' for safely operating the F-35. This year, the focus of Westlant 19 has been on developing the combat techniques for exploiting the fighter's awesome capabilities in action, operating with the Royal Marines & USMC, and working as a carrier task group.

Operating carrier strike is far more than just aircraft flight deck operations and developing the medical capabilities for the carrier is a critical area that Reservists from HMS King Alfred have supported & help develop.

Amongst them is LNN Green, an NHS intensive care nurse in her civilian career, who has been working as part of the Role 2 Afloat Medical Team on board HMS Queen Elizabeth. This is a small team of specialist medical personnel with the capability to provide immediate emergency care to a critically ill or injured casualty.

During WESTLANT19, she and her team have been on standby 24 hours a day in case needed, but we have also been conducting multi-disciplinary training, research and practicing their medical skills with simulation.

There have been many highlights from my deployment on HMS Queen Elizabeth for WESTLANT 19 so far including being winched from the flight deck into a Merlin helicopter and seeing a pod of whales from the air

(LNN) Helen Green

LNN Green joined the Royal Naval Reserve four years ago and says that she have gained a huge amount, both personally and professionally from her reserve experience, as well as having the opportunity to try things I would never get to do in ‘civvy street’! Asked to describe her highlights from the Westlant 19 deployment, she says:

“There have been many highlights from my deployment on HMS Queen Elizabeth for WESTLANT 19 so far including being winched from the flight deck into a Merlin helicopter and seeing a pod of whales from the air. However, standing on the flight deck for Procedure Alpha leaving Portsmouth was such a special moment – I can’t wait to do it again on the way home!”

She joined the Royal Naval Reserve because she wanted to be pushed outside my comfort zone, to widen her experience as a nurse and to provide high quality clinical care. In the four years she’s been a reservist, working as a Reservist for the Royal Navy, she feels she has gained lots of clinical knowledge and experience which is directly relevant to her job in the NHS, but perhaps more importantly feels the Royal Naval Reserve training has also developed a broader skill set including leadership, mentorship, communication and decision-making.