Meet the team: GNAAS doctor Greta Pells

“If I think back to 16, this probably would be my dream job but it has taken me 20 years to get here. It doesn’t happen overnight.”

Greta, how long have you worked at GNAAS?

I joined GNAAS back in August of last year, but I have been working in the North East since 2007.

I am originally from Colchester, Essex.

Where do you work outside of GNAAS?

I work as a doctor in Sunderland Hospital in A&E

Talk me through your medical career?

I studied at Newcastle University and my first job was at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) as a junior doctor. I liked the emergency work but also love the outdoors too which is what pushed me to apply for Pre-hospital Emergency Medicine (PHEM) job.

There wasn’t very many PHEM jobs available in the UK, so I applied for a space and was selected and put down my first preference as working here up North and was lucky enough to get the job at GNAAS.

Did you know you always wanted to a doctor?

No, I actually wanted to be a zookeeper.

I don’t come from a family of doctors or anything but I did well in my A Levels and really enjoyed science.

My grades were good, so my teachers said if you love science but want to do a practical job that’s vocational, why don’t you go into medicine?

Why did you choose your field of specialty?

I chose it because it is a good mixture of being hands-on and practical with the science element, too.

That’s why I liked the idea of a zookeeper as it mixed science with medicine and behavior and of course, I love animals.

How is GNAAS different from your hospital role?

I would say there is a lot more ups and downs at GNAAS.

You go from extreme highs to real lows. It goes from 0 to hero.

At GNAAS you only tend to have to concentrate on one person and you really feel like you are making a difference.

What do you enjoy most about your job in the hospital?

I love being part of a team and how everyone comes together to make it work.

What do you find to be the hardest thing about your hospital role?

It is sometimes difficult to feel like you have done enough.

You can do your absolute best for an individual but with the numbers of patients it can be hard.

You also never really find out how a patient gets on after they leave hospital whereas at GNAAS, they come back to visit which is lovely.

How do you cope with difficult jobs?

Talk to the team to share our experiences and take the dog for a walk.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I have a campervan, so I love going in it to the beach with the dog.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Be consistent and you will get there.

If I think back to 16, this probably would be my dream job but it has taken me 20 years to get here. It doesn’t happen overnight.

What kick starts your day but it can’t be coffee?

A pint of tea!
I also have pet chickens too, so I am up at 5am to feed them and walk the dog.

Where would you live if you could choose anywhere?

Vancouver Island where my Dad is from!

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