Rebecca Gates graduated from Edinburgh Napier in 2010 with a Bachelors in Adult Nursing. After starting her career in the NHS, she now lives in Qatar and works as a robotics specialist.

Facebook logo on blue backgroundLinkedIn logo on blue backgroundTwitter logo on blue backgroundInstagram logo on blue backgroundYoutube logo on blue backgroundEnvelope icon on blue background

Who is Rebecca Gates?  

Rebecca Gates looking into the camera, smiling I qualified back in 2010 from Edinburgh Napier University with a Bachelor in Adult Nursing. I’m currently based in Qatar where I work for a medical devices company as a Robotics specialist. I support surgeons and the scrub team when they use a medical robot to perform partial or total knee and hip replacements. 

What was your time at Edinburgh Napier like? 

I loved my time studying at Edinburgh Napier. I was a mature student (26year old), so I took full advantage of all that Edinburgh Napier offered. The classes were interesting and very well structured. My placements helped me get good practical experience and there were a lot of extracurricular activities available too. It was good to work with fellow nursing students - it helped keep me motivated. I managed to do lots of travelling while I was at ENU as I got involved with an international nursing student group. 

You most memorable moment from university?  

My elective placement in New Zealand.  

Me and three other nursing students went to New Zealand for one of our placements. The programme leader, Carolyn Blight, and Edinburgh Napier went above and beyond to make the placement happen. It really added a lot of value to our program. 

Describe your career journey from graduating until now. 

I have had a very varied career.  

Initially, I took up a post in renal HDU which gave me excellent critical care skills. I then took a job locally in a private hospital that offered rehabilitation for people with addictions. While working there I maintained my clinical skills by remaining on the NHS nursing bank. I then took a job in HMP Edinburgh, as an Addictions nurse. While I was there, I completed my non-medical prescriber V300 course with Edinburgh Napier.  

I then explored the option of working in the MedTech industry after talking with a friend who worked for a global firm. I applied for a post that came up and got a job as a clinical trainer. In my first role in MedTech I was responsible for training people on devices ranging from infusion pumps, cannulas, airway management, rapid infusion. I travelled around the United Kingdom training end users on the company's portfolio of products.  

After a number of years doing that I moved firms and specialised in orthopedics and I am now a robotic specialist which has subsequently brought me out to the Middle East. 

What has been the high point of your career so far?  

Rebecca Gates looking into the camera wearing a face maskIt's hard to pin it down to one point. Every role I’ve had has had triumphs and challenges which I have gained invaluable experience from. I think my current role has been the most unique of them all, especially as I’ve been out here in Qatar during the Covid-19 pandemic. It's given me a global perspective on the pandemic, and I’ve found it interesting to watch how each country has had its own approach to tackling the virus. 

Have you had to overcome any challenges?  

Many! Working in healthcare is not an easy job; and in every role you have to overcome challenges. I would say my biggest challenge was putting too much pressure on myself and caring too much. I think anyone who is drawn to nursing has a caring nature, but one thing that you are not prepared for is the emotional strain of nursing. It's very easy for nurses to burn out as its hard for us to say no. That might mean not taking a break, not finishing on time, saying yes to that extra shift because they’re short... 

I think I’m better at setting boundaries now and I value self-care, so I don’t burn out but I’m still working on this challenge. 

What does the future hold for you? 

I’m currently studying towards an MBA in health management with Edinburgh Napier. I want to consolidate my knowledge that I have gained so far, and I hope this will enable me to travel more and gain a wider perspective on different healthcare systems. I would eventually like to return to the non-profit sector, such as the NHS, and hopefully add value after I have gained further experience. 

What advice would you give to your younger self?  

Have a five-year plan. I have had a very diverse career and it worked out well for me, but I have at times lacked direction.  

I didn’t realise until I left the NHS how well regarded it is around the world and what opportunities are available if you are an employee of the NHS. I would definitely encourage my younger self to take full advantage of these opportunities.
Published October 2020