Source: United States Navy (Medical)
NORFOLK, Va. (Jan. 9, 2024) – One hundred twenty-six Sailors participated in a historic bioskills procedure lab onboard Naval Station Norfolk, Jan. 9.
Sailors from 29 different commands attended the lab, which was held to provide realistic training to operational forces to prepare for upcoming deployments.
In the bioskills procedure lab, Sailors learned various emergency techniques such as a thoracotomy, cricothyrotomy, and intraosseous infusions.
Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Mandy Plante, assigned to Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic, led the effort to organize the one-day training for hospital corpsman and stretcher bearers assigned to ships on the waterfront.
“I was so excited to be able to organize this training,” said Plante. “Seeing the reactions of so many of the corpsman, how appreciative they were to be able to do the training, and how valuable they said it was—it made all the time and effort into organizing it so worth it.”
Plante worked with Teleflex, who provide many items on ships’ authorized medical allowance list for emergency medicine. The training was offered for free to be able to learn how to use the products and perform advanced procedures.
Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Tia Jeter, assigned to USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98), expressed how helpful the training was to improve her medical knowledge.
“I actually got to be hands-on for a cricothyrotomy, chest tube, and endotracheal tube,” said Jeter. “Since I’m a hands on learner, it made me feel extremely comfortable and confident. I was in an environment where I could ask questions and that made me feel extra comfortable as well.”
Plante said SURFLANT was the first Navy command to organize real-world medical training of this caliber, which provided a rare, invaluable opportunity for our warfighters.
“If something goes down, I want to be able to help in any way I can,” said Jeter. “I want to be confident and feel confident when I do it. So getting an idea of it today along with my actual independent duty corpsman, I have no worries when I get back to my ship.”
Moving forward, Plante has discussed plans with Teleflex to hold another similar training in the future.
Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic mans, trains and equips assigned surface forces and shore activities, ensuring a capable force for conducting prompt and sustained operations in support of United States national interests. More than 70 ships and 34 shore commands make up the SURFLANT Force.