3rd Med Bn train for casualty scenarios
CAMP HANSEN, OKINAWA, Japan -- Sweat drips down the faces of the U.S. Navy corpsmen as they tightly grasp the stretcher and rush a simulated casualty to the first responders of Shock Trauma Platoon.
Corpsmen with Company B, 3rd Medical Battalion, executed casualty scenario drills June 22-27 on Camp Hansen to learn how to provide force resuscitative care.
During the training, the corpsmen learned and implemented steps for treating a casualty, according to Petty Officer 1st Class Xiomara A. Azinge, a hospital corpsman with Company B, 3rd Med. Bn., 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force. The training included scenarios that required corpsmen to complete each step involved in triaging a casualty, with the culminating event consisting of combat scenarios to test their newly acquired skills.
When the corpsmen first receive a casualty, they bring the patient to the platoon to be treated for their injuries or stabilized before being transported for further treatment.
“The Shock Trauma Platoon is where they first treat the patients and give immediate and primary care to keep them alive,” said Azinge, a Bronx, New York, native.
If the casualty does not need surgery or further treatment, they are then taken to a holding area or treated with the en route care system.
“The holding area is to check their vitals and ensure everything is going as planned,” said Azinge. "Then we have the en route care system. When the patient is ready, (it) enables us to transport critically injured but stable casualties to a higher level of care."
In the final scenario, the corpsmen received six simulated casualties with life-threatening injuries to triage, testing how they react under additional pressure and added stress, according to Azinge.
“We don’t just work when everything is nice and calm,” said Azinge. “The whole point of this training is to exhaust the body and mind to see how (the corpsmen) function under pressure. That’s exactly how it’s going to happen when they deploy.”
Corpsmen of all experience levels participated in the training, which allows for the more knowledgeable service members to assist and provide insight to the newly arrived corpsmen, according to Seaman Lilweti A. White, a corpsman the company.
“We’re constantly getting new people in the unit who are not familiar with the set up and what we do,” said White, a Birmingham, Alabama, native. “I’ve worked in plenty of settings and (am) used to seeing patients. So it’s just about getting comfortable with your job.”
By the end of the scenario, the corpsmen had a better understanding of what it is like to work as a team and efficiently treat casualties in a combat-type environment, according to Lt. Cmdr. Angela Dougherty, the Company B commander. The more frequently the corpsmen train in garrison, the more proficient they will become in the field.
“Hands-on training is the best for learning,” said Dougherty, an Arvada, Colorado, native. “You train like you fight; you fight like you train.”