Army nurse Captain Hayley Claridge, is spending her winter in the tropical heat upskilling local nurses.
Ms Claridge, who grew up in Napier, is working in several Pacific nations as a member of the New Zealand Defence Force contingent taking part in the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) preparedness mission, Pacific Partnership 2015 (PP15).
Over six days, in two locations, the PP15 team from the USNS Millinocket worked alongside Federated States of Micronesia medical personnel to provide medical and dental treatment to more than 1700 people. The ship is now in the Solomon Islands, where the team is split between the islands of Guadalcanal and Malaita.
Ms Claridge's tasks included working at outreach clinics, mentoring clinic and hospital nurses as well as teaching Basic Life Support and other nursing skills to nurses.
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"It has been incredibly rewarding," she said.
"The focus of what I do is to help improve the expertise of local nurses, so they can best help their communities not only in their day-to-day nursing care, but also to respond to crises such as severe weather events, which sadly the Pacific region is all too familiar with."
Ms Claridge attended Napier Girls' High School, studied at the University of Otago then completed her nursing training in Napier.
She joined the Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps in 2002 and her operational deployments include service in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, after the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.
"There are no two days alike in military nursing," she said. "I love it, it's a great career."
The team is expected to return home at the end of July.