PENSACOLA, Fla. – Providers and corpsmen rush into the room assessing the situation that is unfolding as the monitors blare out an alarm. Thankfully, this was only a training exercise and members of Naval Hospital Pensacola’s Command Education and Training Department were on hand to observe the training.
The Command Education and Training (CEAT) Department at NHP is in charge of facilitating training requirements and needs of the hospital staff.
“We take care of all the staff-essential training at the hospital,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Joal Brown, leading petty officer, CEAT, NHP. “There is a lot of training out there that some people just don’t know about. We facilitate getting training information out to the staff and tracking the compliance and completion of that training.”
The CEAT Department also ensures that all training conducted throughout the hospital is compliant with the set standards.
“If every department in the hospital did their own training, then they would not be getting trained the same way,” said Brown. “We unify that training across the board so that everyone has the same training.”
The department is a one-stop shop for all the staff’s training needs. It conducts operational training like tactical casualty combat care as well as resuscitative medicine, like basic life support, advanced cardiac life support and pediatric advanced life support to name a few.
One of the ways training is accomplished is through the use of NHP’s Simulation Lab, which is an automated lab with electronic training mannequins that can simulate real people by blinking, breathing, moving their eyes and even speaking.
“It’s true-to-life training,” said Cmdr. Joseph Gomez, department head, CEAT. “This helps to teach people how to react in certain situations. If someone wants to do a certain procedure, we can replicate various scenarios [and patient presentations] utilizing the mannequins.”
The lab is completely electronic, so the training team can track everything being done to the mannequin, from how long it took someone to find the issue to whether they did the procedure correctly.
“Any situation we think we could possibly see in the hospital, we can [create] it in the Simulation Lab,” said Brown. “Our staff can conduct training on many different situations without risk to anyone.”
Another one of the CEAT responsibilities is orientating new personnel to the hospital. Upon checking into the hospital, all new personnel must attend Command Orientation. During the three days of training, personnel learn what is expected of them and what they can expect from the command. It also covers information about the surrounding area such as the places that are off limits, schools in the area, programs available to the Sailors and their families and other pertinent information.
Always looking for new ways to educate and train the staff at the hospital, the CEAT Department has implemented a pilot program called Hospital Corpsman University. The program stemmed from observations by Capt. Maureen Padden, commanding officer, NHP, during visits to all of the Navy’s medical treatment facilities and Marine Corps battalion aid stations in 2011 and 2012. She recognized that training for corpsmen had changed over the years and that corpsmen needed more hands-on clinical training when they arrived at their first duty station.
“HMU is an outstanding program,” said Brown. “There is not as much hands-on [training] taught at [Hospital Corpsman School] these days because it’s mostly computer based. When they get to us, students have that book knowledge, but are a little [deprived of] the physical portion.”
The HMU program was conceptualized with the CEAT staff to assess what impact inserting hands on training would have on new corpsmen arriving to the hospital. The result was a nine-month course that rotates 14 corpsmen each training cycle through different areas of the hospital to allow them the ability to get hands-on experience in multiple clinics. For now, HMU is only a prototype program, but the outcomes could lead to other HMUs across the Navy.
When asked about the importance of a department dedicated solely to training, Brown had this to say, “It’s a very big asset to the hospital. We manage the training to make sure everyone is up to date with requirements that can easily go by the wayside with the busy schedule everyone has here.”