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Second Class of Corpsmen Completes Trauma Training in Chicago

By: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class John Paul Kotara II, Navy Medicine Public Affairs , Navy News 
Published: 6/5/2018 3:41 PM

​WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Fifteen hospital corpsmen completed the Navy Medicine's second iteration of trauma training June 1 in Chicago.

The latest iteration of the hospital corpsman clinical trauma training utilizes a partnership between Navy Medicine, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and John A. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County (Cook County). The hands-on training comprises eight days of classroom training and six weeks of trauma training focused on trauma resuscitation, trauma intensive care unit, burn unit, and the emergency department.

"At my clinic on base, I was trained in the basics, such as taking vitals, how to do small procedures and how to administer medication," said Hospital Corpsman Mardi Artis, who participated in the training. "I have worked with patients, but start-to-finish, to actual trauma - I can't get that in a clinic setting."

The first class graduated Jan. 18, 2018 at Cook County after 12 weeks of classroom and trauma training. This most recent iteration is built on several lessons learned to maximize the educational experience the corpsmen received.

"The class went from a crawl to run speed within a week," said Artis. "We went from learning about it to a hands-on experience - it was a very quick transition."

Unlike the initial proof-of-concept, the recent 15 corpsmen had previously completed their first tour at a medical treatment facility. Upon completion of the trauma training, the HMs will be assigned to an operational assignment, allowing them to implement their new knowledge and experiences.

"Because these students are arriving from medical treatment facilities and naval health clinics, unlike the first group, many of them have had some form of patient care experience," said Chief Hospital Corpsman Yesenia Minaya, who supervised the working group that designed both iterations of training and was the senior enlisted instructor for both. "Therefore, we removed the first five weeks of clinical non emergent training and focused on trauma. One of the goals of this training is to equip HMs with trauma knowledge and skills to better prepare them medically to serve on operational platforms. This experience will help them become more familiar and comfortable handling emergent situations in operational platforms where the number of medical assets and resources may be limited."

While attending, the students assisted trauma surgeons with a range of life-threatening injuries, helping to stabilize the patients. Active duty senior independent duty corpsmen and civilian providers supervised all student work while in the clinical trauma environment.

"We have seen a wide variety of conditions while attending this training," said Artis. "We have seen trauma patients who are unconscious when they come through the door and have been treated and released. We also see the unfortunate side when the patient doesn't make it, but knowing we gave it our all makes me proud."

The trauma training experience was one of several Hospital Corps initiatives developed to meet the U.S. Navy surgeon general's goal of achieving maximum life-saving capabilities through educational programs.

"The training is building the confidence of the students," said Larry Griffis, Navy Medical Education, Training and Logistics Command instructor. "The doctors and nurses are taking them in like parents, and the students are absorbing all that knowledge. The engagement and initiative is 100 percent on both sides - it is phenomenal."

Navy Medicine is a global health care network of 63,000 personnel that provide health care support to the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, their families and veterans in high operational tempo environments, at expeditionary medical facilities, medical treatment facilities, hospitals, clinics, hospital ships and research units around the world.

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