A critical care nurse at a Clydebank hospital has been named as the Royal Navy’s top reserve recruit of the year.

Sandi Bern, who is a cardiothoracic nurse at the NHS Golden Jubilee in Dalmuir, was awarded the prestigious accolade just two years after she first began her training as a Royal Navy Reserve in 2021.

The 31-year-old from Chryston worked hard to complete various training programs including the leadership course in which she was named the top student.

Clydebank Post: Sandi Bern has worked at the NHS Golden Jubilee for six yearsSandi Bern has worked at the NHS Golden Jubilee for six years (Image: NHS Golden Jubilee)Sandi’s efforts didn’t go unnoticed as she was recently named the top Royal Navy reservist in initial training from the 2022 intake.

Sandi said: “A lot of the skills I’ve learned as a reservist I can use in my job and civilian life.

"We get really hands-on fire training with gas masks and do damage repair as well in small spaces as if you are on a ship that is filling up with water.

“There’s a lot of different experiences and you never hope you’ll find yourself in that kind of situation, but you’d be trained to deal with it if you did, so it’s quite exciting.

“There’s a great social aspect to it as well. You get to meet loads of different people and there’s great camaraderie.

“Everyone has different skills and backgrounds from the likes of engineers, dentists and nurses to lawyers so there’s such a range of people.”

After qualifying as a nurse from the University of West of Scotland six years ago Sandi began working at the Dalmuir hospital.

She spent 18 months in orthopaedics before moving to critical care.

The 31-year-old was following in the footsteps of her mum and dad who were both nurses.

As a Navy reservist, Sandi is asked to commit 28 days per year and is supported in her duties at the NHS Golden Jubilee.

The hospital has a Gold Award status – the highest badge of honour the Ministry of Defence awards to employers who support those who serve, veterans, and their families – in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.

Sarah Jane Faichney, a critical care charge nurse and Sandi’s line manager, said: “I’m delighted to be involved in the hospital’s support of Sandi's role as a Navy Reservist.

“She’s obviously dedicated to her Navy activities but remains fully committed to being a staff nurse within our busy Critical Care department.

“I am very happy to facilitate flexibility around her hospital shifts, enabling her to attend Navy Reservist training sessions and Sandi always returns very enthusiastic and keen to share stories of her training and fun adventures.

“As she progresses in her nursing career, it’s obvious she has acquired many transferable skills.

"I’ve seen this, particularly around the leadership she shows when in charge of a shift or when organising the team during emergency situations.”

Outside of work, Sandi leads an action-packed life as she revealed that she has doubled for stars on horseback in the popular Scottish TV series Outlander.

She explained that it was during her training as a nurse in 2014 that her love of horses landed her the role.

Sandi added: “I like to have a story to tell. I went into nursing because I like caring for people.

"When I left school I worked with horses for a few years as a groom and taught people how to ride and prepare the horses for competitions.

“There’s a caring element to that as well, but nursing was what I wanted to do in the end.

“The horses for Outlander were stabled at the yard where I worked, so I would finish up work and training then go and work on Outlander, mainly as a groom, but I did some double work for them too, doubling some of the actors when they were doing scenes on horseback.

“If they thought the scene was too unsafe for the actors, I would do it so that’s my claim to fame.

"It was an amazing experience.”