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...

New electronic health record integrates all aspects of care

Article
4/19/2019
Maj. Gen. Lee Payne (right) is escorted into Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms by hospital Commanding Officer, Capt. Nadji Hariri, for a site visit on the launch of MHS GENESIS, the military's new electronic record-keeping system, April 17. (U.S. Navy photo by Dave Marks)

Air Force Maj. Gen. Lee Payne and his team of military healthcare professionals visited Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS | Military Health System Electronic Health Record | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Medical logistics Airmen enable lifesaving skills at NATO exercise

Article
4/18/2019
Civilian first responders from Romania participate along with Airmen from the 86th Medical Group, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, in a multinational medical exercise drill during Vigorous Warrior 19, Cincu Military Base, Romania. Vigorous Warrior 19 is NATO’s largest military medical exercise, uniting more than 2,500 participants from 39 countries to exercise experimental doctrinal concepts and test their medical assets together in a dynamic, multinational environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Andrew Layton)

Uniting upwards of 2,500 providers from 39 countries, the exercise is the largest medical readiness event in NATO

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Medical Logistics | Global Health Engagement

Hospital Corpsmen graduate from trauma training program at Naval Hospital Jacksonville

Article
4/17/2019
Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Kyle Hamlin, an instructor for the hospital corpsman trauma training program at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, helps motivate sailors during a Tactical Combat Casualty Care course. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel)

The Hospital Corpsman Trauma Training program furthers the Navy surgeon general’s goal to achieve maximum future life-saving capabilities

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

DHA ‘delivers’ nurses for babies

Article
4/16/2019
Air Force Col. Michelle Aastrom, 81st Inpatient Operation Squadron commander, discusses the intensive care unit capabilities with Army Maj. Gen. Ronald Place, Defense Health Agency, director, for the National Capital Region Medical Directorate and Transition Intermediate Management Organization, during an immersion tour inside the Keesler Medical Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, recently. The purpose of Place's two-day visit was to become more familiar with the medical center's mission capabilities and to receive the status of the 81st Medical Group's transition under DHA. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Every month Keesler Medical Center’s Labor and Delivery Clinic averages approximately 35 births

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Children's Health | Military Hospitals and Clinics

New equipment at Camp Lemonnier improves blood storage

Article
4/10/2019
Hospital Corpsmen 2nd Class Andrew Kays (right) and Christi Greenwood (left), deployed with the Expeditionary Medical Facility at Camp Lemonnier, receive training on the Automated Cell Processor 215 while Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Joshua Paddlety from Naval Hospital Sigonella, Italy, as part of implementation of the Frozen Blood Program here, March 13, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joe Rullo)

Frozen blood, which is stored at negative 70-degrees Celsius, can be used for up to 10 years

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Services Blood Program | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Is exercise that’s too intensive resulting in your angina?

Article
4/8/2019
Navy Hospitalman Kiana Bartonsmith checks a patient’s heart rate at Naval Branch Health Clinic Kings Bay in Georgia, one of Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s six health care facilities. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel)

Angina is experienced as a feeling of tightness or pressure in the chest that can also radiate out to your neck, jaw, back or shoulders

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments | Health Readiness | Heart Health | Preventive Health

Elmo comes to Madigan

Article
4/3/2019
Sesame Street's Walkaround Elmo visited Madigan Army Medical Center families on April 1 to celebrate the seven-year anniversary of Military Kids Connect and the recent relaunch of its website. (U.S. Army photo by Ryan Graham)

Elmo began helping military kids and families with deployments and other military stressors in 2006

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Madigan Army Medical Center's emergency room helps shape MHS GENESIS

Article
4/1/2019
Krista Marcum, a staff nurse in Madigan Army Medical Center's emergency room, offers an MHS GENESIS demonstration to Defense Health Agency staff visiting Madigan. Marcum said these demonstrations often lead to MHS GENESIS-related brainstorming and problem solving. (U.S. Army photo by John Wayne Liston)

The ER encourages a culture of end user engagement; anyone can make a suggestion for an improvement to MHS GENESIS

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Electronic Health Record | MHS GENESIS | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Heat Illness

Infographic
4/1/2019
Heat Illness

This report summarizes reportable medical events of heat illness as well as heat illness-related hospitalizations and ambulatory visits among active component service members during 2018 and compares them to the previous 4 years. Episodes of heat stroke and heat exhaustion are summarized separately.

Recommended Content:

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

Exertional Hyponatremia

Infographic
4/1/2019
Exertional Hyponatremia

Each year, the MSMR summarizes the numbers, rates, trends, risk factors, and locations of occurrences of exertional heat injuries, including exertional rhabdomyolysis. This report includes the data for 2014–2018.

Recommended Content:

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

Exertional Rhabdomyolysis

Infographic
4/1/2019
Exertional Rhabdomyolysis

Each year, the MSMR summarizes the numbers, rates, trends, risk factors, and locations of occurrences of exertional heat injuries, including exertional rhabdomyolysis. This report includes the data for 2014–2018.

Recommended Content:

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

Lyme Disease

Infographic
4/1/2019
Lyme Disease

Each year, the MSMR summarizes the numbers, rates, trends, risk factors, and locations of occurrences of exertional heat injuries, including exertional rhabdomyolysis. This report includes the data for 2014–2018.

Recommended Content:

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

MSMR Vol. 26 No. 4 - April 2019

Report
4/1/2019

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Modeling Lyme disease host animal habitat suitability, West Point, New York; Incidence, timing, and seasonal patterns of heat illnesses during U.S. Army basic combat training, 2014–2018; Update: Heat illness, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018; Update: Exertional rhabdomyolysis, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2014–2018; Update: Exertional hyponatremia, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2003–2018

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

Pacific Partnership 2019 introduces helicopter en route medical care

Article
3/29/2019
A Philippine Fire Department rescue worker lifts a simulated earthquake victim onto a Philippine Air Force rescue helicopter during the Pacific Partnership 2019 exercise in Tacloban, Philippines. The goal of the Pacific Partnership is to improve interoperability of the region's military forces, governments, and humanitarian organizations during disaster relief operations, while providing humanitarian, medical, dental, and engineering assistance to nations of the Pacific all while strengthening relationships and security ties between the partner nations (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Andrew Jackson)

The exercise is an important part of disaster risk reduction

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Global Health Engagement | Building Partner Capacity and Interoperability | Global Health Security Agenda

Pediatric clinic works to keep children healthy

Article
3/22/2019
Air Force Senior Airman Shania Stanford, 366th Medical Support Squadron pediatric clinic aerospace medical technician, checks Jude's vitals during an appointment at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The pediatric clinic takes care of Airmen and their families by ensuring the overall health of their children. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Andrew Kobialka)

The pediatric clinic’s objective is to care for children from birth to the age of 18

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Military Hospitals and Clinics
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 46 - 60 Page 4 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.