A Mount Isa nurse has deployed to Iraq to help provide allied and critical health care to soldiers.
Leaving her position as nurse manager of North West Hospital and Health Service, Lieutenant Alexandra Rungie is now Officer-In-Charge of the holding facility at the Taji Medical Treatment Facility at Taji Military Complex in Iraq.
In her second deployment to Iraq, Lt Rungie returned to the facility she helped build four years ago and described it as somewhat of a "homecoming" for her.
"I helped build the intensive care facility in 2015 and was lucky enough to participate in the creation of a whole new facility," she said.
"It was challenging. We were here in the hottest part of the year, having built tents and lay foundations of the floor, so we had to begin working very early in the morning before the intense heat started."
She said it was "quite the opportunity" to return to the facility as OIC four years later, "to see how a lot of what we built is still the same and what we've achieved back then has stood the test of time."
As well as delivering allied and critical health care, the facility supports training scenarios for coalition forces and conducts mentoring programs for Iraqi Security Forces health elements.
Clinicians from Australia and New Zealand operate the facility offering emergency and primary healthcare to more than 3800 coalition soldiers based at the Taji Military Complex.
The complex is a long way from the Adelaide Hills, where Lt Rungie grew up on a four-hectare property at Aldgate.
"I was a Girl Guide heavily involved in scouting, then a Venturer before eventually joining the Rovers," she said.
After high school she went to the United Kingdom on a scholarship and worked as a volunteer with people with disabilities.
She then completed a Bachelor of Nursing degree at the University of South Australia before specialising as an intensive care nurse at the University of Adelaide.
In 2013 Lt Rungie joined the Army Reserve. "I was after a challenge in my career and a personal challenge as well," she said.
"I knew the Army would further my learning, improve my understanding of intensive care nursing and provide me with learning opportunities.."
Two months into a continuous full-time service contract with Second General Health Battalion, based at Enoggera Brisbane, Lt Rungie deployed with Task Group Taji as part of intensive care unit from April to November 2015.
She said her roles as both a civilian intensive care nurse and an Army Reserve nursing officer were complementary.
"I guess the brilliance of being a reservist is that you get to participate in both worlds, and you can link them all together and bring qualities to both positions," Lt Rungie said.
In late 2015, she took a job at the North West Hospital and Health Service at Mount Isa, where she worked as a nurse manager.
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