News: ‘Docs’ brush up on preventive medicine
Story by Pfc. Franklin Mercado
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Sailors with 2nd Medical Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group participated in a Preventive Medicine Petty Officers’ Course here, Sept. 18.
The course provided the attendees with an overview of preventive medicine and gave them an opportunity to expand their knowledge of preventive medicine roles and responsibilities.
“The intent is they expound on their knowledge of preventive medicine, and to be able to apply some or all of it later on down the road – confidently and accurately,” said Navy Lt. Michael Fisher, the commander for Alpha Surgical Company, 2nd Med. Bn.
Preventive medicine technicians are responsible for pest management, disease prevention and education and environmental health, which covers testing the air, water and soil for contaminants.
During the course, sailors were taught about different species of insects and the diseases they can carry. Specimens were brought to the course to give the participants a firsthand look at some of the possible agents they could face while conducting their job.
Seaman Ray L. Daniels, a corpsman with 2nd Med. Bn., was one of many sailors to participate in the event, although the course is designed for petty officers.
“The course is good no matter what your rank,” said Daniels. “Your job doesn’t change as you pick up rank. The more you know, the better. I’m glad I came to the course. I thought it was going to be hard to pick up some of the material, but it wasn’t.”
Daniels also mentioned he’s glad the course isn’t restricted to just petty officers because any sailor can be called on to do a job at any given time.
Fisher said the sailors attending the course will probably use this knowledge while on deployments in the future. He encourages more sailors to take part in such training.
“I think it would be beneficial for other sailors to cross-train and see what PMTs do on a daily basis,” Fisher said. “They can gain a better understanding of why we have and ultimately need and rely on preventive medicine [technicians]. They are often behind-the-scenes testing water, conducting food safety inspections, providing guidance on [sexually transmitted diseases], monitoring heat conditions, conducting pest surveillance and control and so much more.”
In order to ensure the base’s environmental safety stays at an appropriate level, 2nd Med. Bn. hosts this training every quarter.