A BROMSGROVE actress who has appeared on both the big screen and in a number of hit-television series as a nurse, has taken up a new role in A&E at the Alexandra Hospital having qualified as a nurse for real.
Vicky Hall, aged 42, has appeared as a nurse in Line of Duty, Coronation Street and Doctors, as well as hospital-based Casualty, Holby City and Bodies, before deciding on a dramatic career change and training to become a nurse off-screen.
Vicky – who is originally from Newcastle but now lives in Bromsgrove – began her acting career at the age of just 14, working a weekend job in a fish and chip shop to pay for acting lessons.
She eventually managed to get a part in CBBC series Byker Grove, alongside TV legends Ant and Dec.
After roles in theatre and occasional appearances as an extra, she landed a lead role in Channel 4 comedy series, Teachers, alongside James Corden and Andrew Lincoln (star of The Walking Dead).
After Teachers finished, Vicky played parts in Derek (with Ricky Gervais), The Bill and Shameless, as well as a nurse in Line of Duty, Doctors and Coronation Street.
“I frequently played nurses, perhaps the universe was trying to tell me something…” she said.
Describing why she originally wanted to be an actor, she said: “It just sounded fascinating and the sort of thing that would cause me to meet strange and wonderful people – I was right!”
The birth of her two children changed Vicky’s outlook on life, and she decided working all around the country for long periods of time wasn’t for her anymore.
“I thought about what I would do next and decided it had to have all the excitement of acting, the need to really use my brain, and that I would be in demand,” she said.
“Emergency nursing just fit the bill.
“So I went back to school and did my GCSE science again, and when my children started school I started my degree.”
Having settled near Bromsgrove, Vicky was keen to stay local after enjoying her training placements at the Alexandra Hospital and having positive personal memories of the care she had received there herself.
“The Alexandra is a really busy and interesting hospital, but small enough that you get to know people easily,” she said.
“I love our Emergency Department, I am challenged every day. We are always encouraged to train and keep learning continuously, always upskilling.”
Vicky, who works part-time in A&E hasn’t given up her acting work entirely and still does a lot of voice-over work and advertisements.
Recently she played her easiest role yet – as an A&E nurse! – in the latest Ken Loach film called ‘Sorry We Missed You’ which was recently premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
“It is my proudest role yet. I was also hired to design their A&E set and to dress all of the extras as A&E patients, giving them a wound or a reason for their visit,” she said.
Vicky is proud of her acting career, but is keen to encourage others who may be interested to get into nursing, saying: “I would recommend working in an Emergency Department to anyone.
“You gain so much knowledge and confidence if you take the plunge and throw yourself in the deep end!”
We also chatted about Vicky’s story on this week’s Bromsgrove and Droitwich Standard Podcast –
To find out more about the wide range of exciting job opportunities on offer in Worcestershire’s hospitals visit: www.worcsacute.nhs.uk/jobs or follow on Facebook @WorcsAcuteNHS