Future Navy Docs Experience Life at Sea

Story Number: NNS090810-02Release Date: 8/10/2009 4:29:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jymyaka Braden, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) welcomed aboard six first-year medical students from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Aug. 4 for a weeklong underway visit.

The ensigns have the opportunity to experience daily operations on a ship, interact with the crew and learn more about fleet medical operations.

Lt. Dave Dolan, Truman's radiation health officer, said the students were onboard to learn what the Navy does, how a carrier works and the relationship between enlisted and officers in the fleet.

"We have had them rotating from air department, safety and medical. They spend some time in medical and dental learning how sick call runs and what the corpsmen and docs do," said Dolan. "They have no hands-on experience as students in a classroom, but here they get to see how some of the concepts they learn about are applied firsthand. I hope they get a deeper appreciation for the everyday Sailor."

Dolan said it was also important for them to see how the enlisted people work and the time restraints the junior enlisted face to understand how to better serve them.

Ensign Gregory Czaja, a visiting medical student, said he has a greater appreciation for all the work that goes into making the ship run.

"You think you know how it works until you actually see it. I didn't really know anything before," Czaja said. "From walking around the ship, I can see potential injuries we may have to treat or prevent. As a medical professional, you have to be aware of heat conditions people work in, noise levels they're exposed to, trip hazards and taller people bumping their heads."

Another student, Ensign Michael Dore, said he was amazed at how much energy there was on board and how everyone was constantly moving.

"It's amazing how well the ship is run, how much pride the Sailors have and how friendly they were to us. We participated in the ship's cleaning 'happy hour' and were just glad to be able to contribute something," Dore said.

Dore said he also observed the different ways officers and enlisted Sailors interact within departments.

"That was a big thing for me because we don't interact with many enlisted people in school, but I see a medical officer on a ship is different than a medical officer in a hospital," Dore said. "It made me think about the kind of leader I want to be. In our job we want people to be comfortable, open up and tell us what's going on with them. You can't be welcoming if you're barking orders; it's a delicate balance."

The groups said the hospitality of Truman Sailors made a lasting impression on the group of future medical officers and leaders. The future medical officers learned the difference between in-port and underway procedures, the importance of safety, situational awareness, leadership styles and at-sea medical operations.

For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.

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