Published On: Fri, Jun 26th, 2020

Remarkable way former soldier is using his skills against Covid-19

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Former Army Combat Medical Technician Joshua Ryder was deployed to Sierra Leone during the ebola outbreak and is now working as a Trainee Nursing Associate in Stafford.

Joshua left the military in 2018 to return to the UK full time and give his daughters, Tia, 12 and ten year old Lola more stability. Now he’s using his experience in his work on the acute mental health ward – and also supports other wards where he can.

“Our patients have been brilliant,” he says. “Day to day, I’m involved with their physical well-being, calming them, making physical observations, doing ECGs and taking bloods.

“I take each day as it comes. We have got a good team here, a good mix of people with different skills, and we all support each other and do everything we can for our patients. It would be abnormal, with all the constant changes, if we did not experience stress and anxiety.”

Military and NHS veterans have played a vital part in helping the country tackle the coronavirus outbreak, bringing their skills and experience to help with testing centres, food deliveries and supporting hospital staff.

Last year, Joshua ran a half marathon for Mental Health UK and this year he’s running 100 miles to raise more. Supporting mental health is very important to him. “In the military I saw first-hand soldiers suffering from poor mental health,” he says.

“Soldiers opened up to me. Also one of my friends, who was also in the Army, committed suicide. I decided to go into mental health and I entered the NHS through the Step into Health programme, which has been brilliant. I was able to show them what I had done and my experiences counted.”



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