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    ‘I am Navy Medicine: Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Rodney Graham’

    ‘I am Navy Medicine: Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Rodney Graham’

    Photo By Petty Officer 3rd Class Meagan Christoph | BREMERTON, Wash. (Feb. 14, 2020) Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC)...... read more read more



    Story by Petty Officer 1st Class ryan riley 

    Naval Hospital Bremerton

    Everybody who decides to join the military has their own reasons. Some join to travel the world or further their education. Some follow in their family’s footsteps to continue a legacy of service.

    Others simply join to try something new or different.

    “I joined while in college out of boredom,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Rodney Graham. “I joined with the intention to challenge myself by helping infantry Marines as a hospital corpsman.”

    Graham, from Caracas, Venezuela, graduated from Colegio Don Bosco de Altamira in 2008 and decided to move to America when he was 19 years old.

    “Caracas was an okay place to live, but as I got older crime increased and when given the opportunity to move to the United States I took it as I was an American born abroad,” said Graham. “My dad is a geologist. He met my mother while working as a geological surveyor in Venezuela.”

    After a semester, he decided to become a U.S. Navy Sailor in the Navy Medicine community saying, “My friends joined the Marines and someone had to take care of them.”

    It wasn’t long before he got his wish. Graham eventually found his way to the 1st Marine Division out of Camp Pendleton, Calif. It was there that he deployed twice with the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin (MFR-D) to the Northern Territory, Australia.

    “The first time was like going to Mordor (a grim, fictional world),” he recalled.

    MRF-D is a six-month rotation that started as an agreement between former President Barack Obama and former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and affords a combined training opportunity with Australian allies and improves interoperability between the two forces.

    While with MRF-D Graham trained alongside his counterparts in the Australian Defense Force (ADF) to strengthen combined field medical care.

    “We operated with the Australians to show them how we did certain things,” said Graham. “They then showed us their way and we integrated each other’s best practices to strengthen our teamwork.”

    Even though Graham initially joined Navy Medicine to work with the Marines, he said his favorite and most rewarding tour was working in the intensive care unit (ICU) while stationed at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Va.

    “The intensive care unit was the best time that I had so far,” said Graham. “I was able to practice critical nursing skills on a daily basis and I could observe a definite improvement in the patients that I worked with.”

    In the ICU Graham was responsible for completing head-to-toe assessments of patients, inserting and replacing IVs, documenting vital signs, assisting in bedside minor surgical procedures, wound dressing and changes, transporting patients between wards, drawing blood specimens for labs, and participating in code blues by performing compressions and respirations. A code blue is called when a patient experiences cardiac or respiratory arrest.

    “I enjoyed being part of a team that had a common goal of making people feel better,” said Graham. “While working in the ICU, I was surrounded by a great team.”

    Now assigned to Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC) Bremerton Graham has continued to help others just in a different way than the ICU. He was Family Medicine’s leading petty officer (LPO), but now holds the responsibilities of assistant career counselor.

    “As LPO of Family Medicine I had a direct influence upon my Sailors to reach their professional and personal goals,” said Graham. “As assistant career counselor I get to hone those skills further by providing Sailors with career guidance while in the Navy or when they are transitioning out of the Navy.”

    At NMRTC Bremerton, Graham was able to achieve an associate degree in Applied Health Science while going to America Military University online.

    He further helps his fellow Sailors as a command financial specialist, helping others with car buying, checking account management, credit and bankruptcy, and financial planning. He also is an assistant command fitness leader providing exercise programming and guidance throughout the year to ensure the members of their command maintain physical readiness.

    When asked how he supports the Navy surgeon general’s priority on operational readiness he said, “I screen and give Sailors the guidance that they require to meet operational environments.”

    Graham admitted that his time in Navy Medicine has been challenging that can be thankless at times but said he has “enjoyed the places I have been able to see and the opportunities I have been able to receive. If it wasn’t for my time in Navy Medicine, I wouldn’t have met my beautiful wife.”



    Date Taken: 02.20.2020
    Date Posted: 02.21.2020 16:05
    Story ID: 363656
    Location: BREMERTON , WA, US 

    Web Views: 329
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