ARABIAN SEA (NNS) -- A hospital corpsman with Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 15 learned about anesthesiology by shadowing Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson's (CVN 70) only certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) during a surgery Jan. 29.
Lt. Chad Moore was an enlisted optician at Naval Air Station North Island 13 years ago. Today, he offers Sailors with medical career intentions a chance to explore the many facets of what it takes to do his job. His wish, no matter the number of Sailors who participate, is to provide an avenue to the nursing or nurse anesthetist professions for any and all interested.
"He's a hands-on teacher," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (AW/CAC/SW/FMF) Jamie R. Lee, who is pursuing a nursing degree. "He'll explain what should happen and then talk you through it. It was my first intubation on a patient today. I was hesitant - I mean, it's a human being, not a mannequin and not for practice. But, once you get past that, the human body is easier to work with."
Lee learned of the different medications required for an appendectomy - from muscle relaxants to help facilitate intubation to anesthesia used to keep the patient unconscious during the surgery.
Moore and Lee remained in the operating room from pre-operation until waking the patient up, after a successful appendectomy, almost three hours later.
"It was very good - he's very good," Lee said. "Some people just want you to watch them work, but he's actually trying to teach you. He gave out really good information."
Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (SW/AW) Lekeshia Atchison, Medical Department's Medical Records leading petty officer who is working toward becoming a CRNA, is one of 12 Vinson Sailors who have taken advantage of Moore's offer to train.
"He's a great teacher. He went step by step, almost like a maintenance requirement card," Atchison said, who also shadowed Moore during an appendectomy on a Vinson Sailor. "He explained what he was doing and why as he brought the patient into the room, talked to them and prepared them for surgery and finally took them out to the ICU. It taught me a lot."
If a Sailor desires to become a CRNA, they have a long road ahead of them, Moore explained.
"I hope this gives Sailors a better opportunity than I was provided, and they gain a sense of direction if they didn't have one already," Moore said.
To enter into a CRNA program a Sailor would first have to attain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and have one to two years of critical care experience. At the completion of the program, a Master of Science or a Doctor of Nursing Practice is awarded and the recipient takes a board certification exam to earn the CRNA credential.
Because proper anesthesia selection and administration can mean the difference between the life and death of a patient, the CRNA training process has to be both demanding and competitive. Moore explained the program is worth the effort as nurse anesthetists are in high demand, receive high pay, and job satisfaction is very high both in the Navy and out.
"It requires a lot of specialized training," Moore added. "There are a lot of applicants and a small number of people will come through - those that are most qualified to take care of the patient."
Carl Vinson and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 are conducting maritime theater security operations in 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
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For more news from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.