Zanna Orage

TCAA Operations Team Leader

I started my clinical career as a Technician with the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) for six and half years – Technicians are members of the emergency ambulance crew where we’d respond to a wide range of emergency and urgent care incidents.

I then joined the Children’s Air Ambulance (TCAA) as a non-clinical crew member and my favourite part of the job was that every day was different, one day we could be flying to Scotland and the next we could be in Truro! I enjoyed seeing the patient’s stories and knowing that I was a part of making a difference to that child’s life, every parent or guardian I’ve met have all been very appreciative.

Within my first few months at TCAA I then progressed to Operations Team Leader as I saw it as a progression opportunity and was so pleasantly surprised to have gotten the job, as I had only been at TCAA a short while. I’m enjoying getting stuck into the new role, I cover crew member shifts when needed, and I’m also still picking up bank shifts as a Technician at EMAS as it’s nice to keep my clinical skills up and touch base with everyone.

Throughout my healthcare career I’ve been fortunate not to experience any gender bias or barriers, but I did when I worked in car sales. I experienced so much gender negativity and sexual harassment that I left without having another job to go to, so it’s great to be at an organisation that’s inclusive and champions equality, as I haven’t had any barriers or bias here at TCAA.

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is ‘Inspire Inclusion’ and to me inclusion means that it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you come from, if you have the right skillset, anything you want to do is possible. So, anything that’s legal and doesn’t cause harm to anyone – I encourage you to go and do it, safely and well, and be proud of it.

My proudest achievements outside of work accomplishments have been completing a half marathon and walking 100km for charity, it was tough going, but on both occasions, I dug deep and still completed them and nobody can take it away from me – and that’s what I encourage others to do with their dreams and aspirations.

My key message this International Women’s Day is, not to let anyone tell you that you can’t do anything, because you can do anything you put your mind to. And to be comfortable in your own skin, we’re all different and we all have a place, so love yourself and I really advocate body positivity, especially with the next generation coming through.