Back to Top Skip to main content

Defending the Homeland: NMRTC Bremerton ensures Operational Readiness and a Medically Ready Force

Three healthcare workers wearing masks Rear Adm. Blake L. Converse, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, recently contacted Capt. Shannon J. Johnson, Commanding Officer, Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC) Bremerton, on behalf of his submariners, thanking her command’s leadership and Sailors for their support to the Pacific Submarine Force during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. (Official Navy photo by Douglas H Stutz, NMRTC Bremerton public affairs officer)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Health Readiness

‘Swabbie’ might be older generational slang for a Sailor, but current Navy Medicine swab testing support for the Fleet has been timely, as well as progressive.

Navy Rear Adm. Blake Converse, commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, recently contacted Navy Capt. Shannon Johnson, commanding officer, Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Bremerton, on behalf of his submariners, thanking her command’s leadership and Sailors for their support to the Pacific Submarine Force during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.

“Through these uncertain times, your team took care of my Sailors in a disciplined yet compassionate manner,” wrote Converse. “It is clear that NMRTC Bremerton has every Sailor in their best interest. Your efforts contribute to the submarine force’s mission readiness.”

Supporting mission readiness has long been a responsibility for the ready medical force of NMRTC Bremerton, ensuring that Navy ship, squadron, shore and submarine personnel are collectively a medically ready force and operationally fit to perform and deploy when called upon.

According to Navy Cmdr. Robert Uniszkiewicz, NHB/NMRTC Bremerton COVID-19 lead and Public Health Emergency Officer, the effectiveness of  the swab testing for the submarine fleet homeported in the Pacific Northwest is a direct extension of the protective measures implemented at all commands to help curtail the spread of COVID-19.

Image of Hannah Carlson wearing a mask
Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Hannah Carlson, assigned to Naval Hospital Bremerton's Urgent Care Clinic, oversees daily clinical duties during the command's ongoing effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Carlson's efforts the past months have her highly regarded as the linchpin for the UCC.  (Official Navy photo by Douglas H Stutz, NHB/NMRTC Bremerton public affairs officer)

“Testing is not as important as physical distancing, wearing facial coverings and proper hygiene practices, explained Uniszkiewicz. “However, with these measures in place, large scale surveillance testing has provided another layer of confidence that our units preparing to deploy are both ready and safe to do so.”

The swab testing itself is unique simply because having a foreign object inserted into the nasal passage is not a common experience. The hospital corpsman inserts the swab – similar to a longer version of a Q-tip – deep into a person’s nose where it is whirled around for several seconds to collect secretion sample necessary for testing.

Taking the sample is just the initial step. Uniszkiewicz noted that NMRTC Bremerton has not been alone in the task of ensuring units are ready to deploy. It’s been a team-effort across the board with a number of support layers in place.

“Our testing efforts would not be possible without the collaboration with Madigan Army Medical Center laboratory. Additionally, serviced commands are stepping up by conducting their own contact tracing for which our Preventive Medicine team has conducted training. For large scale testing, it has been a tri-service effort to meet the demands for supply, transport, and tracking in order to preserve (COVID-free) ‘bubbles’ around units before deployment, during deployment, and after deployment when they return,” explained Uniszkiewicz.

At NMRTC Bremerton, there are noticeable safeguards added, e.g., waiting room seating has been changed to be six feet apart and areas to stand are also marked six feet apart. Per Department of Defense directive, it is also mandatory for all staff, patients and visitors to wear either a facial covering or mask. Only one visitor is allowed per patient and frequent cleaning of ‘high touch’ areas is now standard procedure, even more so that in the past. Although non-urgent surgeries have resumed and face-to-face encounters have gradually increased, virtual appointments are continuing to be offered.

Screening and testing protocol is also in place for all those eligible for care at NMRTC Bremerton.

“Screening upon entry to the facility is an invaluable mitigation strategy to keep COVID-like illness out of the hospital proper and direct it toward our Urgent Care Center and tents.  This, along with universal use of facial coverings, reassures our patients, their families, and our staff that we are dedicated to keeping them as safe as possible within our facilities,” Uniszkiewicz said.

The screening process really begins prior to an appointment as patients are contacted for pre-screening checks. Once a person arrives at the command, there are staff directing traffic flow to guide them. They are directed through the screening process which begins with a series of questions. Depending on the replies, the patient will be directed to either a treatment tent or testing area, or given the ‘green light’ to enter the hospital following the protective measures in place.

Additionally, before entering the hospital or clinic, if a person does not have a facial covering, they will be provided one to wear at all times when in the hospital.

At NHB/NMRTC Bremerton and across the Navy, medical providers and staff are ensuring patients are properly cared for in the COVID-19 environment, while still maintaining operational readiness.

You also may be interested in...

USAF doctor strives to advance women leaders in military medicine

Article
9/1/2020
Photo of Dr. Yun

While the military has come a long way regarding females in the higher ranks, Yun sees more progress to come.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Women's Health

MHS GENESIS improves patient experience for military families

Article
9/1/2020
Image of a military doctor and a family

How the electronic health record benefits military children

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS | Coronavirus

WRAIR bids farewell to first all-female command team

Article
8/31/2020
Two soldiers, wearing masks, passing a flag

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, WRAIR dove headfirst into efforts to prevent, detect and treat SARS-CoV-2 with 22 research proposals and nearly $75 million dollars in funded projects.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Grateful for COVID-19 recovery, DHA employee becomes plasma donor

Article
8/26/2020
Woman eating a snack

DoD aiming for 10,000 units donated by end of September.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

Dr. Fauci delivers COVID-19 update at joint Grand Rounds

Article
8/26/2020
Two men in masks; one a military soldier, and the other wearing a suit.

Leading expert gives update on COVID fight to military medical community.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Airman uses SBAR to improve COVID-19 swab technique

Article
8/25/2020
Military personnel in full PPE at a car window demonstrating a swabbing technique

A Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation (SBAR) report is part of Trusted Care.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Elective surgeries resume within the San Antonio Military Health System

Article
8/25/2020
Two surgeons in an operating room

Patients whose procedures were delayed will be contacted by their surgical team or clinic.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus

Air Force updates medical courses with COVID-19 content, procedures

Article
8/24/2020
Two technicians in full PPE in a lab

COVID-19 has shed new light on the methods of conducting medical training and education.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Health Readiness | Combat Support

MHS Minute: A Call to Action for Convalescent Plasma Donation

Video
8/24/2020
Image of MHS Minute Carousel

Have you recovered from COVID-19, or tested positive for antibodies? Consider donating convalescent plasma. For eligibility requirements, and to find a donor center near you, go to https://www.militaryblood.dod.mil/Donors/COVID-19andBloodDonation.aspx

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

New Travis AFB patient transport system supports COVID fight

Article
8/21/2020
Soldiers in masks pushing a piece of equipment

New system amplifies Travis infectious disease patient capabilities.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

From Shoulder Pads to Shoulder Boards, Navy MSC Officer leads the way

Article
8/21/2020
Soldier in mask

Fisher’s interest in a career with Navy Medicine is rooted in family.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Army CID forensics team on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic

Article
8/20/2020
Three lab technicians in full PPE looking at computer screen

At the early onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we (DFSC FXD) understood the severity and global impact the virus would have...

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Air Force invention kills toxins on contact

Article
8/20/2020
Man in white coat doing experiments

An Air Force invention could be key to reducing the amount of airborne microbes...inside buildings and homes.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus | Health and Housing | Mold | Health and Housing

DOD Official Discusses Conditions-Based Reopenings, Future of Telework

Article
8/19/2020
Man in full PPE spraying down a chair with sanitizer

Esper was clear from the start about his priorities in a pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

NMHM looks back at the 1918 ‘Spanish flu’ for one Maryland county

Article
8/19/2020
Black and white image of hospital beds lined up in rows, occupied by sick people

The 1918 flu resembled a more severe cold.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 16 - 30 Page 2 of 53

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.