Thames Valley Nurse Heads to Afghanistan

18 September 2011, 05:00

A Thames Valley nurse, who is going out to treat troops in Afghanistan, has told Heart his military medical training is already helping his work here.

Today Tom Cromwell from the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading is going to Afghanistan for his first tour of the country.

The 23-year-old is an RAF reservist and told Heart back in June he'd been already to use some of his training at his day job;

"I've introduced military tourniquets into the department that we use in the military to stop catastrophic haemorrhage. That experience and that training has enabled me to make change in the department and hopefully when I get back from Afghanistan I'll do more change."

During his tour he'll be treating injured troops as they're being evacuated by helicopter and says this can only help his skills;

"I'll be the only nurse up in a Hercules at 35 thousand feet and if my patient starts becoming unwell, the pilot will turn to me and say 'what do you want to do?' - something like that pushes you clinically and professionally definitely."

Tom has spent a year going through the training and is currently doing battlefield first-aid and trauma before he goes.

It's something he is encouraging others in his profession to do. He says nurses who want to push themselves personally, mentally, physically and professionally should definitely join the military.