By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Anastasia Puscian, Naval Medical Center San Diego Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO - Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) hosted the first Operational Medical Symposium (OMS) with 1st Marine Logistics Group (1MLG) Oct. 24 to 28.
OMS provided an opportunity for NMCSD staff, particularly those who have not deployed before, familiarization training on Fleet Marine Force (FMF) medical equipment, the mission capabilities of the shock trauma platoon and forward resuscitative surgery system as well as gain some experience in tactical medical care, care under fire, and tactical evacuation in a simulated combat environment.
"Understand that when you raised your right hand and swore an oath it's going to take you abroad," said Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Damon Sanders, OMS coordinator. "We're a nation still at war and with that, you're going to deploy, and when you do deploy you need to know your job. You need to be familiar with what's happening out there and not for the first time when you get there. We needed to take the steps here to make sure they have that [training and familiarization]. Not only mentally but physically prepared to go into combat operations."
During the OMS, NMCSD staff with field medical experience along with Hospital Corpsmen and Marines from 1MLG, based at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., provided training and education to active duty staff on the actual equipment used in field medicine culminating on the final day with NMCSD's Tactical Combat Casualty Course which exercised two simulated combat scenarios where Hospital Corpsmen were able to apply their new technical skills on simulated injured patients.
"It's almost as realistic as it can get. Without actually being there and having hands on casualties," said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Richard Cheek, TCCC participant. "It's the best training I've seen and anyone that goes through it, I guarantee they will say the same thing. There are a lot of people who put a lot of time and effort into to make it as realistic as possible."
Approximately 360 doctors, nurses and hospital corpsman participated in 90 minute training blocks of the five medical echelons of care used by Navy Medicine. Echelons begin at the point of wounding, illness, or injury (the lowest level), and provide a continuum of care extending through prolonged rehabilitation.
"We wanted to bridge the language gap with this training," said Sanders. "One of the problems we have been having and noticing is there is a language barrier between the junior medical staff and the green side [Marines]. We wanted to focus our training on the junior corpsmen straight out of [hospital] corps school, the junior nurses fresh out of school and our doctors who no longer after internship go through a general medical officer tour to get seasoned but go straight to their residency."
NMCSD routinely trains for mission readiness through combat operations courses such as Field Medical Training Battalion, Field Medical Service School and TCCC.
For more information on NMCSD visit: http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcsd/Pages/default.aspx