April 29th 2016

“Working in a Field Hospital was a great experience.”

Corporal Mark Dempsey

Constructing a ward, an emergency department and an intensive care unit in less than 15 hours was the challenge faced by a Nottingham-based Army Reservist while on deployment in the Middle East.

Corporal Mark Dempsey, aged 46, a reservist with 212 Field Hospital in Beeston, recently travelled to Jordan where he helped to construct a tented field hospital visited by the King of Jordan and other VIPs.

Mark works as a Recovery Practitioner at Nottingham City Hospital in his civilian career, and was attached to 34 Field Hospital, which saw him working in the emergency department to treat simulated casualties.

Mark explained: “Working in a Field Hospital was a great experience. The first task was to set up the different tented areas of the hospital, which required a lot of heavy lifting, before organising the equipment to make sure that everything we needed to operate correctly was in good order.

“It was really motivating to see everyone getting stuck in, which really boosted morale and helped us to feel like a team. Working in the emergency department I felt a little out of my usual comfort zone of post-operative care, but I grabbed the challenge with both hands and threw myself into learning everything.”

He explained that though different to his civilian employment, his time in Jordan had given him a new experience of working in healthcare.

He added: “The healthcare profession is a very controlled environment, whereas to work efficiently in the field you have to be adaptable and flexible to new ways of working. During my deployment I have learnt and developed both physical and mental discipline skills which I know will be valuable to my employers, who are supportive of my reservist commitments.”

Nottingham City Hospital is part of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust who received a Gold Award in the Employer Recognition Scheme in 2014.

“It was really motivating to see everyone getting stuck in."