The 43-year-old currently serves with the Australian Defence Force in Afghanistan as a member of the Australian Specialist Health Group and is based at the NATO Role 3 Hospital at Kandahar Air Field, where she works as a critical care nurse at the facility’s Intensive Care Unit.
‘One of the challenges is being there and either seeing or telling the casualties, who are now patients, about their status and the extent of their injuries,’ Lt-Cdr Storen said.
‘Also, watching them go through the psychological grief and trauma over losing a mate, it’s really one of the toughest things about my role.’
Lt-Cdr Storen’s impressive career includes working as a navy medic for 10 years where she specialised in hyperbaric and diving medicine.
‘I was posted to a diving team and travelled with the Navy’s elite clearance divers. This actually provided me with credits for a nursing degree,’ she said.
Being deployed to a foreign country isn’t new to Lt-Cdr Storen as she has previously taken part in multiple humanitarian missions to the South Pacific and Indonesia and participated in diving, submarine escape and rescue exercises.
But she is glad to be returning home in early 2014, where she misses the long summers and WA’s outdoor lifestyle.
‘I can’t wait to see my family again,’ she said. ‘I’m also looking forward to having the biggest glass of wine or two with friends.’