CAMP DELARAM II, Helmand province, Afghanistan - In an ever-changing combat environment, doctors and corpsman are charged with saving lives.
To help others expand their knowledge 1st Shock Trauma Platoon, Bravo Surgical Company, 1st Medical Battalion, Combat Logistics Battalion 15, offers medical classes to Navy corpsman and all that are interested.
The Navy doctors and corpsman are in direct support of Regimental Combat Team 2, and the regiments' subordinate units.
The platoon teaches an array of classes that many corpsmen attend daily to refresh themselves, and to learn new procedures that may save a patient's life.
"We go over everything. From symptoms to how to assess certain injuries," said Navy Lt. Hannah A. Castillo, 27, a critical care nurse, from Ijamsville, Md. "The classes are a refresher for the corpsman."
"We see a lot of trauma and emergency cases, and the 'docs' come so they can get a better foundation and understanding of basic anatomy and procedures," Castillo said.
Hospitalman Ricardo A. Sias, senior line corpsman with Alpha Company, 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion, regularly attends these classes.
"The classes cover different parts of the body and how to treat different problems," said Sias, 21. "We're not taught as much as the doctors. I stop the bleeding, open the airway and send them to a higher echelon of care, and these classes help me do that better."
Sias routinely sits down with his company corpsmen and passes what he has learned in the class so that the other corpsmen can also put into practice what he has learned.
"Marines get sick and they tell me this side of my stomach hurts and I think back to what I learned in the classes to treat the Marines," said Sias, from Salinas, Calif.
"I write as much as I can down and when all the corpsmen sit down together to talk I tell them everything I learned in the classes so they can also implement what is being taught in treating their Marines as well," Sias added.
In addition to learning how to diagnose symptoms, the corpsmen also learn how to operate the medical equipment when there is a casualty.
"I've been here for three weeks and every chance I get I go to the classes," said Sias, from Salinas, Calif.
"We have a lot of explosions and a lot of the injuries are due to blunt trauma," said Sias. "These classes teach me more about the human anatomy so I can better treat the Marines if they are injured."
After briefly attending these classes Sias was put to the test when two patients were sent here after an improvised explosive device detonated and injured them.
"We were just starting to go to these classes and I was standing outside. We found out that there was an IED that exploded and a Marine was on his way here, and I was there to help bring equipment and supplies to the doctors."
"Another patient, injured by the same IED blast, had an eye injury, and we watched them use the equipment, take X-rays and saw how they treated the patient."
Sias and other corpsman continue learning so they can better treat their Marines, and others that are brought here.
This work, Corpsman build on knowledge of others, by Sgt Shawn Coolman, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.