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    Navy Nursing: A Glimpse of Healthcare’s Front Line Workers During Times of Crisis

    U.S. Marines and U.S. Navy Sailors Administer Vaccines at Globe Life Field CVC

    Photo By Cpl. William Redding | U.S. Navy Lt. Armando Valero, a Medical Officer with 1st Marine Logistics Group (1st...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Royce Dorman 

    Federal Vaccine Response

    The year was 1918, and the world was at war. They called it “The war to end all wars,” but in February of 1918 nothing seemed close to ending. As a matter of fact, this was the beginning of what would become known as the Spanish Flu or the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, which at the time was still an epidemic (the latter indicating that a particular disease or virus is spreading rapidly in small community, while the former indicates rapid spread across several countries).

    According to the National Library of Medicine’s online journal, the Spanish Flu spread largely as a result of the war; hitching a ride on troop carrier vessels headed to the front in Europe. It was also exacerbated by the incredible carnage of the war. This being the first war where causalities would sustain terrible wounds such as partial dismemberment or deep open wounds, it created an environment in which disease could spread quickly. Unlike the flu of 1918, the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t occur during a war nor have there been large amounts of casualties in which the virus could be easily spread. However, the world is very much a global economy, with citizens from all countries able to travel quite easily and frequently both domestically and internationally.

    “In the face of this historic struggle, it’s an honor to work alongside first responders from the Arlington Fire Department and American Medical Response to ensure public health, vaccinate Texans and restore the American way of life,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Hannah Harding, a Critical Care Nurse with 1st Marine Logistics Group.

    Now, in what some are calling the beginning of the end of the COVID pandemic, Navy nurses along with other military medical professionals are helping to administer COVID vaccines all over the United States. In the North Texas community of Arlington, Marines and Sailors from 1st Marine Logistics Group based out of Southern California have been on the ground for about almost two months.

    “The whole-of-government approach to the vaccine distribution is inspiring," said Lt Cmdr. Michelle Brown the Chief Nursing Officer with the Marines and Sailors from 1st MLG. "Having the opportunity to work alongside Federal and City Partners for the last 8 weeks has been an amazing experience. The remarkable quality of care patients receive at the Community Vaccination Centers, reflects the dedication and collaborative efforts of every team member involved. The Arlington vaccination team has administered over 130,000 vaccines to the citizens of Arlington. This was only possible with the help of FEMA, local fire and police departments, and the state of Texas.”

    While nurses are administering vaccines and assisting in other nursing related duties, the bulk of their work here in Arlington, and their sister site in Baton Rouge, is largely administrative. The Nurses are in leadership roles with the majority of them being female. The lead data officer, lead supply officer, the chief nurse and the chief medical liaison officer for the team in Arlington are all women. These leadership roles also include some nurses who are in charge of platoons composed of Marines and Sailors.

    “The direction of Navy nursing is evolving, and it will be our generation that sees it come to fruition,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Stephanie Cushen, a Critical Care Nurse with 1st Marine Logistics Group. "Nurses are not just nurses anymore. We wear many hats and are employed over a wide range of roles within the military. We also need to cultivate ourselves and our skills not just within our specialty but to cross train in multiple specialties to mold into well rounded nurses and leaders.”

    The unique partnership of civil and federal entities really captures the whole-of-government effort to fight the pandemic. While the pandemic may be coming to an end the work of Navy nurses continues. This is just another chapter in the storied almost 113-year history of the Navy Nurse Corps.



    Date Taken: 04.19.2021
    Date Posted: 04.21.2021 16:08
    Story ID: 394169
    Location: ARLINGTON, TX, US 

    Web Views: 79
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