Back to Top Skip to main content

Navy corpsman: Carrying the legacy

Navy Seaman Brandon Taylor, a corpsman, inserts a decompression needle into an essential care simulator manikin during shock trauma section drills. The drills focused on sharpening life-saving skills and capabilities. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Justin Huffty) Navy Seaman Brandon Taylor, a corpsman, inserts a decompression needle into an essential care simulator manikin during shock trauma section drills. The drills focused on sharpening life-saving skills and capabilities. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Justin Huffty)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

SAN ANTONIO — The screams of the wounded and dying filled the stale room as medical workers rushed to check for pulses, resuscitate the unconscious and stop the bleeding. The darkness was pierced by red and green lights that illuminated pools of blood on the floor. Nervous hands scrambled to find the proper medical equipment amid the chaos of the combat environment that surrounded them, working frantically and disregarding their own safety.

Fortunately, none of this is real; it's a simulated casualty exercise, part of the training every future Navy hospital corpsman undergoes. The rate is actually the largest and most decorated in the Navy.

“We walk through the hallways and see the faces of all those who have given up their lives just to be part of that legacy,” said Seaman Patricia-Chase Sewell, corpsman “A” school student. “I can't imagine a greater honor, just the pride of being able to be here – and recognizing that this is something that thousands of people want to do but can't."

Sewell explained that she left college after two years of studying nursing to be part of something much bigger than a degree. It was more important for her to follow in the footsteps of past corpsmen.

“I couldn't imagine doing anything other than serving other people and helping other people,” said Sewell. “I can be in the military. I can wear the uniform and do something that I'm proud of and always will be proud of.”

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Cesar Borrero, left, an x-ray technician, and Seaman Andrew Ott, a field medical technician, fasten a pelvic stabilization device to an essential care simulator manikin during shock trauma section drills. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Justin Huffty)
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Cesar Borrero, left, an x-ray technician, and Seaman Andrew Ott, a field medical technician, fasten a pelvic stabilization device to an essential care simulator manikin during shock trauma section drills. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Justin Huffty)

Navy hospital corpsmen attend 14-week “A” school at the Medical Education and Training Campus in Joint Base San Antonio – Fort Sam Houston, Texas. In the last few years, the curriculum, which is developed by Navy Medicine Education, Training and Logistics Command, has been revamped to more closely align it with the needs of the modern, expeditionary Navy and Marine Corps.

Navy HM1 Joy Lewis, an “A” school instructor, said the biggest difference in the school has been the renewed sense of ownership by the Navy, Navy medicine and the Hospital Corps. She said the instructors have gotten better at molding the next generation of corpsmen as well.

“The changes here at hospital corpsman 'A' school have always been for better medicine and to better understand how to treat personnel on a ship or on the ground with forces in the Marine Corps,” agreed Navy HM2 Briana Bartholomew, an instructor. “So we've incorporated a lot of the modern-day medicine and techniques in order for us to have the best medicine.”

When she went through the school years ago, for example, the curriculum did not allow the students to practice the techniques they learned during lectures. Instead, corpsmen had to get hands-on experience on the job.

“We went from an environment where it was a lot of sitting down and listening to lectures, and we discussed things that they may do,” said Lewis. “We changed that toward about 60 percent practical, so they're sitting in labs every day. They learn how to use a tourniquet, treat a patient and stop bleeding instead of talking about something that they may do someday.”

“Now, they understand how a system works through lessons they learn, by lectures on how a medical procedure works, and why they clean or sterilize the way they do,” added Bartholomew. “Then they work on mannequins, practice looking for a pulse and utilize needles.”

Along with the medical training, Bartholomew tries to instill in her students the values of leadership, motivation and love for the Navy. She wants her students to understand why they do the things they do, and step up when needed.

“My favorite thing about being an instructor is that I'm entrusted to be a mentor and a role model for the students that are coming into the Navy for the first time,” said Bartholomew. “Being entrusted to be a role model here, I find that a lot of students look up to us a lot. I never got looked up to before, so I feel like their hero. I want to strive to make sure that they understand everything that's here.”

According to Bartholomew, the most challenging part is motivating Sailors, and teaching them that they will often be the sole providers of medical care for the men and women with whom they are stationed.

“They're entrusting their lives to us,” said Bartholomew. “They're putting their lives in our hands. And if we have their lives, we need to make sure we're putting in 110 percent in everything.” To reflect that, the school's structure has undergone a revamp as well. Navy HM1 James Gafford, a tactical combat casualty care (TCCC) instructor, previously taught “A” school for two years. He said instruction has evolved from teaching both Navy corpsmen and Air Force medics in a joint environment, to focusing on the needs of the individual services.

“We moved into blocks, and with those blocks, we were able to really take a look at what the fleet is looking for as far as the performance of the corpsmen we were pushing out to them,” he said. Additionally, the course used to be heavily focused on providing care in medical treatment facilities (MTF). Now, the school has an increased emphasis on field training. Gafford explained that TCCC is a five-day course that trains students to provide medical support during combat. It teaches trauma life support in the field, and covers casualty drags, hemorrhage control, chest needle decompression, CPR, splinting and pressure dressings on medical dummies.

Because corpsmen don't always have access to all the equipment available in an MTF, students in the course have to rely on the equipment they will be carrying on their backs.

“Up until right now, they're taught to think in a medical treatment facility type of way,” said Gafford. “Well, here, we have to change their way of thinking just a little bit from combat medicine to ground medicine.”

Bartholomew added that another improvement to the program is that students are being eased into their roles in the fleet by going to naval hospitals or clinics after graduation. They're able to work with patients under supervision as part of Hospital Corpsman Skills Basic course, a three-month class to ensure corpsmen understand everything.

“The quality that we actually get, the response that we get from the fleet coming back to us to let us know, 'Hey, they are doing a good job,' has been higher than we've ever seen before,” said Bartholomew. “It's nice to know and rewarding that we're producing a product that we actually want to have out in the fleet to protect, heal or to be a comfort when we need them the most.”

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

NMC Camp Lejeune: 75 years of service expands to civilian community

Article
7/31/2018
Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, was commissioned as Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune in May 1943. Today, the medical center serves a military-connected community of approximately 155,000. (Courtesy photo)

Trauma verification helps providers keep skills sharp

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics

Leaders come together to rehearse military healthcare transition

Article
7/31/2018
Leaders from across the Department of Defense, the Army and Fort Bragg meet at U.S. Army Forces Command headquarters July 19, 2018, to discuss the upcoming transition of the administration and management of Womack Army Medical Center from the U.S. Army Medical Command to the Defense Health Agency. (U.S. Army photo by Eve Meinhardt)

There should be zero impact on delivery of medical services that support readiness of the force

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Acute Injuries

Infographic
7/25/2018
Service members in the U.S. Armed Forces frequently engage in high levels of physical activity to perform their duties, and such activity can potentially result in training- or duty-related injury.  This report summarizes the incidence, trends, types, external causes, and dispositions of acute injuries among active component U.S. service members over a 10-year surveillance period.

Service members in the U.S. Armed Forces frequently engage in high levels of physical activity to perform their duties, and such activity can potentially result in training- or duty-related injury. This report summarizes the incidence, trends, types, external causes, and dispositions of acute injuries among active component U.S. service members over a 10-year surveillance period.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Food Allergy

Infographic
7/25/2018
Individuals with a history of food-allergy anaphylaxis or a systemic reaction to food do not meet military accession or retention standards and require a waiver in order to serve in the military.  First-line treatment for anaphylaxis includes rapid administration of epinephrine.

Individuals with a history of food-allergy anaphylaxis or a systemic reaction to food do not meet military accession or retention standards and require a waiver in order to serve in the military. First-line treatment for anaphylaxis includes rapid administration of epinephrine.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Preparing for travel can prevent illness

Article
7/18/2018
Experts encourage overseas travelers to seek advice from a health care provider before leaving on a trip, and to make sure recommended vaccinations are up to date (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. De-Juan Haley)

Experts encourage travelers to be proactive about their travel medicine needs, including learning about the health risks associated with the destination and checking with their doctor to make sure they’re in good health

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health | Immunizations | Summer Safety

Global Influenza Summary: July 8, 2018

Report
7/8/2018

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | AFHSB Reports and Publications | Influenza Summary and Reports

Department of Defense Midseason Vaccine Effectiveness Estimates for the 2017-2018 Influenza Season

Infographic
7/3/2018
Department of Defense Midseason Vaccine Effectiveness Estimates for the 2017-2018 Season, U.S. Armed Forces, 2000–2015 Vaccine Effectiveness

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Operation Bobcat provides free healthcare to residents of Eastern Kentucky

Article
7/2/2018
Area residents line up outside Lee County High School in Beattyville, Kentucky to receive treatment at a health-care clinic being operated by the Air National Guard and U.S. Navy Reserve. The clinic is one of four that comprised Operation Bobcat, a 10-day mission to provide military medical troops with crucial training in field operations and logistics while offering no-cost health care to the residents of Eastern Kentucky. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lt. Col. Dale Greer)

The primary purpose of Operation Bobcat is to provide military medical troops with crucial training

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Civil Military Medicine | Civil Support

DHA PI 6025.07: Naloxone in the MTFs

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Procedural Instruction (DHA-PI), based on the authority of References (a) through (c), and in accordance with the guidance of References (d) through (h), establishes the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) procedures for prescribing and dispensing naloxone by pharmacists in MTFs to eligible beneficiaries, upon beneficiary request, or when the pharmacist determines the beneficiary meets the established criteria for being at risk for a life-threatening opiate overdose.

Two MHS providers achieve top scores in the patient experience survey

Article
6/4/2018
Recently, the MHS published its annual “Best of the Best” report, taking a closer look on MHS providers, departments and facilities who earned top honors based on JOES survey results.

The MHS recently published its annual “Best of the Best” report on medical providers

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | Quality and Safety of Health Care (for Healthcare Professionals)

Project Sea Raven delivers cutting-edge pathogen detection technology

Article
5/31/2018
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class James Bowes, senior preventive-medicine technician, places mosquitoes on a dish to view under a microscope. Project Sea Raven’s capabilities are not limited to just insects – it can test anything from blood to soil and water. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Tom Ouellette)

Project Sea Raven is now an integral part of USNS Mercy’s microbiology capacity

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Technology | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Morbidity Burdens Attributable to Various Illnesses and Injuries, Deployed Active and Reserve Component Service Member, U.S. Armed Forces, 2017

Infographic
5/23/2018
Morbidity Burdens Attributable to Various Illnesses and Injuries, Deployed Active and Reserve Component Service Member, U.S. Armed Forces, 2017

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Absolute and Relative Morbidity Burdens, Attributable to Various Illnesses and Injuries, 2017

Infographic
5/23/2018
Absolute and Relative Morbidity Burdens, Attributable to Various Illnesses and Injuries, 2017

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Hospitalizations, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2017

Infographic
5/23/2018
This report documents the frequencies, rates, trends, and distributions of hospitalizations of active component members of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps during calendar year 2017.

This report documents the frequencies, rates, trends, and distributions of hospitalizations of active component members of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps during calendar year 2017.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Morbidity Burdens Attributable to Various Illnesses and Injuries

Infographic
5/23/2018
Morbidity Burdens Attributable to Various Illnesses and Injuries, Deployed Active and Reserve Component Service Member, U.S. Armed Forces, 2017

Morbidity Burdens Attributable to Various Illnesses and Injuries, Deployed Active and Reserve Component Service Member, U.S. Armed Forces, 2017

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report
<< < ... 11 12 13 14 15  ... > >> 
Showing results 151 - 165 Page 11 of 44

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing: Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.