News

October 3rd 2014

ARMY RESERVIST: “I WANTED TO GO OUT AND SERVE FOR MY COUNTRY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE”

An Army Reservist, who has recently returned from Afghanistan, said she grabbed the opportunity to serve her country with both hands as she wanted to use her medical skills for the greater good.

Corporal Katie Haggan QARANC, aged 33, is currently serving with 212 Field Hospital B Detachment, based at the Army Reserve Centre in Beeston, Nottinghamshire. She has recently completed a 16 week tour of Afghanistan returning home on 13 August this year and is delighted that she had the opportunity to serve her country.

Katie explained: “I know several people who have been on previous military tours, in all trades so I wanted to put my training and expertise into practice too. I wanted to be able to help somehow and I knew I could offer my nursing skills to troops on the ground.”

As a civilian, Katie works as a Ward Sister at Royal Derby Hospital and believes that her Reservist duties have had a positive effect on her career to date improving her confidence, fitness levels and ability to think on her feet in busy clinical situations.

After joining the Army Reserve in 2009, Katie found that she had the opportunity to work in different areas of nursing than that of her day-job and take further knowledge of working in field-based nursing environments back to her colleagues at home.

Katie continued: “I missed out on deploying with 212 Field Hospital back in 2011 as I had not completed my basic training in time. I was very disappointed that I could not deploy with my own unit but knew I had to apply to deploy again if the opportunity arose.

“Last year the opportunity was advertised to go to Afghanistan as an individual with 34 Field Hospital who are based in York, so I sent my CV in. It was a while before I heard back but then in December last year I was sent the dates for my pre-deployment training, meaning I was to be mobilised in March this year.

“When I arrived in Afghanistan I worked on the Intermediate Care Ward in the Role 3 Hospital. We worked in teams that included both British and American soldiers. I was the Link Nurse for the pharmacy stores which meant I had the responsibility for maintaining stocks of medicines and helping to train some of our American counterparts on the use of medicines according to British policies.

“On a daily basis I would run the shift and assist in the emergency department when traumas came in. Any down time we had was spent catching up on sleep and doing some exercise. We worked in the same team of five people for the full 16 weeks so we sometimes arranged to visit the Americans side of camp and watch films or play sports together.

“Being deployed with another unit was a little daunting but I’m so pleased I had the chance to do this. I met some great people and I brought home some new skills too.”

212 Field Hospital are recruiting. To find out more contact Captain Mike Rutkowski 01904 668228 / 212hosp-roso@mod.uk