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    NMCP Nurses Augment NMCCL After Hurricane Florence

    NMCP Nurses Augment NMCCL After Hurricane Florence

    Photo By Rebecca Perron | 181003-N-GM597-005 – Four Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) Intensive Care Unit...... read more read more

    PORTSMOUTH, VA, UNITED STATES

    10.04.2018

    Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Laura Myers 

    Naval Medical Center - Portsmouth

    Four of Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) intensive care (ICU) nurses spent nearly two weeks augmenting Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune (NMCCL) staff after Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina, Sep. 18 - 29.

    The NMCP ICU nurses, Lt. Zackrey Gray, Lt. Cmdr. Brian Burdick, Lt. Megan Holmstrom, and Lt. Christopher Connell, the ICU division officer, flew to the Camp Lejeune area from Naval Air Station Norfolk on a Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk to help by providing support to NMCCL’s ICU.

    Their arrival allowed NMCCL’s staff some time to go home to take care of their families and property. “Many of them had been in the hospital for five or six days and hadn’t been able to check on their homes,” said Gray. “A couple of them had their homes destroyed, but hadn’t even had a chance to check on them.”

    Hurricane Florence made landfall on Sept. 14 near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, approximately 55 miles south of the medical center, and dumped heavy rain on the area.

    The team was notified on Sept. 17 they would be flying to Camp Lejeune to help the medical center. They left the next morning and were working by that evening.

    Burdick explained that NMCCL’s mission essential personnel stayed behind, they could not evacuate, and then they worked around the clock with six ICU nurses divided into teams, working 12 hours on and 12 hours off to take care of their ICU patients during and after the storm.

    “They used us to supplement their ICU staff for their critical care setting,” Burdick said. “They kept us in their Critical Care Department because that’s where their most acutely ill patients ended up.” The patients who these nurses took care of ranged from active duty and retirees to civilian trauma patients.

    Connell added that his team bridged the gap between the ‘mission essential personnel only’ period of time to when all staff members returned to work for normal operations.

    For Gray, the impact that he noticed upon arrival was relief from the mission essential staff.

    “For me, what I felt was the most crucial moment was when we got there and they realized they did have help, they were all exhausted,” Gray said. “The reaction that they had to someone coming in to help them, let them get a little bit of rest, reset, was probably one of the most crucial things I noticed.”

    A message received from NMCCL leadership following the nurses’ return to NMCP stated, “The additional nurses augmented our ICU staff to ensure continuity of care for our patients here at Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune during the storm. Partnerships with neighboring medical centers like Portsmouth is what makes Navy Medicine unique; helping each other achieve the highest level of patient care - no matter the situation.”

    Connell echoed this partnership and said the importance of this mission for NMCP was being able to provide support on short notice and to be where his staff needed to be.

    “I think the biggest thing down there (for NMCCL) was that somebody was looking out for them,” Connell said. “They knew that if they put a call out, it’d get answered. It’s a different command, but it’s still the Navy.”

    As the U. S. Navy's oldest, continuously-operating hospital since 1830, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth proudly serves past and present military members and their families. The nationally acclaimed, state of the art medical center, including its ten branch and TRICARE Prime clinics, serves the Hampton Roads area; in addition to premier research and teaching programs designed to prepare new doctors, nurses and hospital corpsmen for future roles in healing and wellness.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 10.04.2018
    Date Posted: 10.05.2018 14:32
    Story ID: 295579
    Location: PORTSMOUTH, VA, US 

    Web Views: 175
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