Navy corpsmen with various units supporting Amphibious Landing Exercise 2014 conducted shock trauma platoon training Sept. 21 at Clark Air Field, Pampanga, Republic of the Philippines.
The training allowed the corpsmen to refresh their perishable skills as well as give them an understanding of humanitarian aid in the Asia-Pacific region.
Throughout the afternoon, the corpsmen the corpsman practiced their lifesaving skills.
“What we are about to do is test our [intravenous needle] skills, which is important for us to do on a regular basis,” said Lt. j.g. Justin Wooley, critical care and shock trauma nurse for shock trauma platoon with health services detachment, Combat Logistics Battalion 13, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. “We often need to be able to give individuals fluids if they are unable to hydrate on their own.”
Constant practice is critical for corpsmen to maintain a proficiency and speed, according to Petty Officer 2nd Class Alan Alcala, a hospital corpsman with CLB-13.
“Doing tasks in a timely matter and people knowing exactly what they are doing is critical in our field,” said Alcala. “The faster we can conduct the treatment, the faster we can move patients up to the next echelon of care. Speed and keeping up with the skills we have is extremely important.”
In order to ensure the best possible care of their patients, the corpsmen practice their IV skills every two weeks, according to Wooley.
“It doesn’t matter if a corpsman has done hundreds of IVs before,” said Wooley. “We need to be constantly training to ensure we are retaining our skills.”
PHIBLEX 14 is designed to improve interoperability, increase readiness and enhance the ability for a bilateral force to respond to natural disasters or other regional contingencies. Philippine service members and U.S. Marines, from the 13th MEU, 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade and III Marine Expeditionary Force, have been training together to ensure the capability to conduct these missions.
Corpsmen are critical in achieving the purpose of PHIBLEX, as they train to be being ready to provide relief, according to Alcala.
“This can greatly benefit the Republic of the Philippines as well as the U.S. by distributing medical care or speeding up and shortening the level of time it takes for patients to get to the hospital for treatment,” said Alcala.
The afternoon of training ultimately left the corpsmen confident in their skills and prepared for any mission, according to Alcala.