Careers in Healthcare S2 E2 Pride Month: Robin Communications Officer

Robin is a communications officer. In this episode, they talk about how they got started in the NHS and the amazing support received from her team and the LGBTQ+ staff network.

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Robin is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. They moved to Scotland from Norway in 2014, to study Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh.

Robin's career pathway

While they were studying, Robin worked in care homes. They found it really rewarding and loved building relationships with the patients and residents.

Robin continued to work as a care assistant while they did a masters in Evolution of Language and Cognition. They wrote about the use of pronouns in different languages and how pronouns change over time.

After they completed their masters, Robin decided not to go into academia and found a job in customer services. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Robin found themselves unemployed, but soon found a new role as a residential co-worker, supporting adults with learning disabilities and autism.

Working with Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living

Robin started their career in the NHS as a graduate trainee through the Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living Professional Careers Programme. They’re in a group with other graduate trainees, which they’ve found really exciting because the trainees are working in different Health Boards.

Seeing all the different roles that people are in, being able to make those connections with others and getting lots of support has been life-changing for Robin. They’d never had support like it in other jobs.

Robin brought their love of the English language as well as the skills and experience learned in previous jobs to the communications officer role. They say the pandemic really highlighted the need for accessible communication, particularly from a healthcare service. They felt it very important to make public health information easy to access, easy to understand, and easy to digest.

Top skills for becoming a communications officer

If you want to be a communications officer, Robin says you need to be organised, creative and a people person. They spend time during the working day responding to public queries by email and on social media. Robin gets to flex their customer service skills, helping people find information on NHS Inform or on the NHS Lothian websites. They also create and manage a weekly staff newsletter and social media campaigns.

A Million Paths was a recent campaign that Robin worked on, which included interviews with nursing colleagues. It also highlighted the education pathways into a nursing career.

Robin's experience at NHSScotland

While working in the NHS, Robin says they have had a very positive experience as an LGBTQ+ person. Robin is a member of the NHS Lothian LGBTQ+ staff network. The network was supportive of them when they first came into the organisation. The network also helped Robin come out to their team, who have been very respectful and very supportive as well.

Robin says that their lived experience as a disabled trans person has had a positive impact on their role as a communications officer. It gives them a different perspective. Their compassion, sensitivity and empathy help when talking to patients and members of the public. It’s also shaped a lot of campaign proposals they have shared with their team.

Earlier this year, Robin led on a campaign for Transgender Day of Visibility. The objective was to highlight that LGBTQ+ colleagues are given the space, freedom and respect to be who they are within the organisation.

Robin says it was an important thing for them to work on and they collaborated with the LGBT staff network. The campaign included career stories from trans people that were shared on social media and the NHS Lothian website.

Robin's advice for you

Robin’s advice to LGBTQ+ people planning their future careers is that your lived experience is something that adds to what you bring to a role. Never be afraid to highlight your identity where you can, and use it to make a change.

Find out more 

We hope you enjoyed learning about Robin's work as a communications officer. Find out more about different roles in NHSScotland by visiting our blog.

If you’d like to read about NHSScotland careers, including those in business and administration, explore our careers.