I obtained my Children’s Nursing degree in the summer of 2011. While searching for a staff nurse position, I came across an advertisement for an APT at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
The job sounded so interesting that I didn’t want to waste the opportunity to be involved in such a fascinating field – so I took a leap of faith and applied.
I am glad I did as I started working as a trainee APT in the December of 2011. When I started my post the original qualification route was changing and so I waited to start the Level 3. Under the guidance of my manager, pathologist and colleagues I utilised my time as best I could and learned as much of the knowledge and skills required for working in a hospital mortuary.
In 2014 I started the Level 3. I was excited about starting it because it was a sign of progression in our profession and I was thrilled to be part of it. I was part of the first intake for the new course and this involved travelling to Hartlepool every so often for in house training. The course work itself is essential for our role but sometimes I found it tricky to find the time to do it due to work commitments but it was manageable.
We had also formed good friendships and a great support network within our class which I definitely think made a difference. I knew that we could all depend on one another as well as our module leader Michelle Lancaster - as we all wanted each other to succeed – and this helped boost morale.
A couple of months after starting the Level 3 I decided that I wanted more experience in the forensic side of post-mortems and joined Queen Street Public Mortuary, Aberdeen in 2014. This is a small but busy facility which is primarily focussed on finding out the cause of sudden & unexplained deaths under instruction from the Procurator Fiscal. I have been here two and half years and I love it. The job itself can be challenging at times but I like the idea of being involved in a unique field.
Five years ago I made the scary decision to change my career path and at times I was unsure I had made the right decision. However last year I became the first in Scotland to achieve the RSPH Level 3 Diploma in Anatomical Pathology Technology. Not only has this achievement helped me validate my choice but it also allowed me the opportunity to attend the University of Chester to carry on my studies and obtain the Level 4.