Working as a clinical nursing specialist in the busy emergency department of St Vincent’s Public Hospital in Melbourne might seem challenging but Nathan Havlin was keen to challenge himself further.
As an Army Reserve nursing officer, Lieutenant (LT) Nathan Havlin has deployed to Afghanistan working in the Role 1 Medical Treatment Facility at Camp Qargha as part of Operation HIGHROAD.
Afghanistan is a world apart from Nathan’s childhood in Donvale.
On his first operational deployment since joining the Army Reserve in 2013 Nathan plays a key role in providing health support for coalition mentors at the Afghan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA) west of Kabul.
The UK-run medical facility has two Australians among its seven staff, providing basic health care and initial treatment.
As the only nurse, Nathan is always busy with no two days the same.
"Every day is different. I find myself in camp one day and out in a military training area the next for a field exercise," LT Havlin said.
"I recently went out field with the coalition mentors and the ANAOA instructors while they were teaching the officer cadets how to operate in the tactical environment.
"It's great to be part of the development of the future leaders of the Afghan National Army."
Working in a small medical team has given Nathan plenty of opportunities to learn and implement training to help the medics build their skills.
For Nathan, deploying to Camp Qargha has developed important nursing skills to take back to his day job.
"I've learnt some good skills I can take back to my job at St Vincent’s," he said.
"y work at Camp Qargha is unlike anything I have experienced in a hospital environment and it can only make me better at what I do."
The UK led ANAOA has ADF trainers and mentors who are developing the next generation of Afghan National Army leaders, along with partners from the New Zealand and Denmark as part of Operation HIGHROAD.
Operation HIGHROAD is Australia's commitment to NATO Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.
There are around 270 Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force and Defence civilians deployed on to Afghanistan.