25-year-old Stephanie Castrie of Manly West is currently on her first ship attachment with HMAS Choules and enjoying the chance to get some sea time in her role.
Royal Australian Navy Nursing Officer and former Wynnum High student completed her nursing degree through the Australian Defence Force undergraduate scheme at Australian Catholic University (ACU) and says she’s really enjoyed her time on Choules.
“It’s a great ship and I work in the sickbay with a good team of medics.” Stephanie said.
“It’s hasn’t been too busy, but you always want it to be quiet because it means people aren’t getting injured or sick.”
Although the tempo is not high at the moment, Stephanie, a Navy Lieutenant, did get to test her trauma management skills on the recent Exercise SEALION in Shoal Water Bay, Rockhampton, which focussed on Army amphibious operations.
“We tested our medical capability as if we were on the incoming Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships,” Stephanie said.
“There was a high level of trauma care that we exercised as we were practicing dealing with mass casualties.”
Stephanie has enjoyed the challenges and experiences she’s had and is hoping that her nursing career leads towards the new capability of the LHD’s.
“Being able to get on a ship and do sea time nursing is the best,” Stephanie said.
“I really want the chance to deploy overseas and get the seagoing experience and trauma experience associated with my job.”
Stephanie’s family has ties with all three services with her father being ex-Army and her younger sister currently in the Air Force.
HMAS Choules is the Royal Australian Navy’s Landing Ship Dock and provides the Defence Force with a number of capabilities to support amphibious operations and Humanitarian Assistance missions.