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Royal London nurse swaps A&E for Afghan war zone

PUBLISHED: 08:00 02 July 2010 | UPDATED: 16:13 05 October 2010

Senior sister Sian Page worked at Camp Bastion

Senior sister Sian Page worked at Camp Bastion

AN EAST End nurse who swapped an emergency room for a field hospital in a war zone was thanked for her work on the frontline this week. Sian Page left her job as Senior Sister at the Royal London Hospital to work in the emergency department at Camp Bast

AN EAST End nurse who swapped an emergency room for a field hospital in a war zone was thanked for her work on the frontline this week.

Sian Page left her job as Senior Sister at the Royal London Hospital to work in the emergency department at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan for four months with the Territorial Army.

And after returning to work in A&E at the hospital in Whitechapel, the 28-year-old was thanked by her commanding officer who presented staff with a painting.

Sian, who lives in Blackwall was deployed in October last year with the.

And it was not long before she saw that things worked differently on the frontline, as medics spent their days battling to save soldiers from losing their limbs following the blasts.

She told the Advertiser: "However well trained you are nothing can prepare you for the impact of seeing real life casualties in front of you.

"I did see things that I would not have seen here which could be shocking.

"At the Royal London I would see a lot of blunt injuries from falls or road accidents, but there I was always seeing blast injuries.

"And the days were very varied compared to working here as there would be hours of doing nothing and then the camp would suddenly be bombarded with a lot of casualties."

But Sian hopes that the training she and her fellow medics received to treat haemorrhages and carry out major transfusions will be used in the NHS and at the Royal London which is home to the capital's biggest trauma centre.

She added: "You can always learn something from working in a different environment with different people.

"And now I have more confidence knowing I have been in an environment which is so testing."

Commanding officer of the 256 Field Hospital unit, Peter Gilbert, presented the hospital with a painting of a medical response team to thank Sian and chairman of Barts and the London Trust Stephen O'Brien for supporting the unit.

Colonel Gilbert said: "We are very much pushing the boundaries in Afghanistan. "People are being horrendously injured in ways that are difficult to comprehend but the care is being pushed forward.

"There are people out there surviving, who you would not expect to survive.


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