Career talk: Geraldine Brammer

What is your current job?

Occupational health manager at Surrey Fire and Rescue.

Where were you working before and what were your duties?

My previous position was with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust, as an OH Sister, it was a training post and I undertook my degree in OH there.

What qualifications do you hold?

I am an RGN, I have ENB 199 and ENB 998, accident and emergency nursing and teaching and assessing qualifications. I have a BSc (HONS) Specialist Practitioner in Occupational Health and the NEBOSH certificate.

What are the duties of your present role?

Managing all aspects of the OH department, including finance, sickness absence and the fitness department.

What do you hope to achieve in your role?

I feel I have achieved most of what I set out to do when I started here six years ago. However, I would like to maintain the quality of the service we provide and expand our health promotion services.

Who has helped you most in your career?

My husband. He has encouraged me so much and been very supportive. When I was studying for my degree and working very late into the evenings, he made me endless cups of tea and kept me smiling when I felt fed up. He has also been very understanding when I am late home sometimes from work. I will stop gushing now.

What is the best career advice you have ever been given?

Be patient, but determined, and keep smiling.

What advice would you give to people thinking of starting out or changing jobs in OH?

Go into it if you feel enthused about it and want to drive it forward. You will need to be diplomatic, but have steely determination.

What is the best thing about OH?

I know it sounds like a cliche, but meeting lots of different people, because anyone who knows me will know that I like to talk!

And the worst?

Having to learn to be more patient in certain circumstances has been difficult. For example, waiting for policies to be ratified and published.

What is the strangest situation you have been in at work?

Wearing breathing apparatus in the training fire house – boy, was it hot!

What is your essential TV viewing?

Anything to do with cooking.

Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?

My husband and daughter, as long as the lift engineer was on their way. Johnny Depp would be in first reserve, though.

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