News: Globally Sourced: Medical personnel from around the world join for combat training
Story by Sgt. Whitney N. Frasier
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – From hospital environment to combat environment, medical personnel from naval hospitals all around the world received training to apply the knowledge they already have and execute life-saving techniques with limited resources.
The medical personnel in training are preparing for a deployment within a month to Afghanistan.
“We have doctors, corpsmen and nurses here who are globally sourced,” said Navy Lt. Markeece L. Murriel, battalion operations officer, S-3, 1st Medical Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 15, 1st Marine Logistics Group. “Some came as far as Japan and Italy.”
The three-day field exercise covered different medical phases that the personnel may not have performed lately due to the different backgrounds the health care providers come from.
“It’s crucial they understand how the patient flow system works, from the point of injury to level 2 treatment facilities,” said Murriel, 38.
Level 2 treatment facilities are shock trauma platoons combined with a forward resuscitation surgical system. Shock trauma platoons alone only have limited capabilities of stabilizing a patient and the ability to collect and evacuate them when needed. Forward resuscitation surgical systems, or mobile operating rooms, provide the additional means to treat an injured member with surgery if needed.
“Another element of the patient flow system is sending patients to a forward support hospital,” said Murriel, from Jackson, Miss. “We are simulating transporting them there.”
These hospitals, commonly level 3 facilities, are usually located in a safe zone in other countries nearby. Patients who are seriously injured and can’t be completely treated at one of the Navy’s highly capable care centers are sent to these places, usually in route back to the United States.
Murriel explained they were taught to receive a nine-line medical evacuation report, as well as practice sending one. Nine lines are important because it gives a report on an injured service member and provides medical personnel with the information needed to prepare and treat the casualty and where the patient needs to be picked up by air support.
Murriel said in a combat zone, every second counts. Getting the casualty on the bird and learning how to communicate in flight is significant while transporting a member.
Due to the timeliness of treatment to injuries, the personnel in training were able to practice evacuating patients by loading them on and off a CH-53 Super Stallion helicopter and administer care while in air.
“This training is helping me get use to the type of atmosphere I am about to be in, it’s exhilarating,” said Seaman Leonard L. Garza, corpsmen and trainee, Alpha Surgical Company, 1st Med. Bn., 1st MLG. “Practicing it over and over again is going to help me advance medically and have most techniques memorized by muscle memory. This experience is what we all needed,” said Garza, 20, from Houston.
Preparing for a combat environment isn’t the only part of their job. Training for medical personnel is constant and is continued year round to ensure the injured are getting the best care possible.
“The most important part of our job is saving lives in combat,” said Lt. Kimberly Albero, critical care nurse and student instructor, A. Surg. Company, 1st Med. Bn., 1st MLG. “Realistic hands on training with the equipment and the crew they will be deploying with is what we are trying to achieve here,” said Albero, 26, from Virginia Beach, Va.
Some of the members have never worked with Marines. Being able to work together before being out in stressful situations in Afghanistan is crucial.
“They are doing fine,” said Murriel. “We are working with smart folks. They already are experts at their own trade, now we are just showing them how to do it with limited resources.”
This work, Globally Sourced: Medical personnel from around the world join for combat training, by Sgt Whitney N. Frasier, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.