Back to Top Skip to main content

Defending the Homeland: NMRTC Bremerton ensures Operational Readiness and a Medically Ready Force

Three healthcare workers wearing masks Rear Adm. Blake L. Converse, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, recently contacted Capt. Shannon J. Johnson, Commanding Officer, Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC) Bremerton, on behalf of his submariners, thanking her command’s leadership and Sailors for their support to the Pacific Submarine Force during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. (Official Navy photo by Douglas H Stutz, NMRTC Bremerton public affairs officer)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Health Readiness

‘Swabbie’ might be older generational slang for a Sailor, but current Navy Medicine swab testing support for the Fleet has been timely, as well as progressive.

Navy Rear Adm. Blake Converse, commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, recently contacted Navy Capt. Shannon Johnson, commanding officer, Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Bremerton, on behalf of his submariners, thanking her command’s leadership and Sailors for their support to the Pacific Submarine Force during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.

“Through these uncertain times, your team took care of my Sailors in a disciplined yet compassionate manner,” wrote Converse. “It is clear that NMRTC Bremerton has every Sailor in their best interest. Your efforts contribute to the submarine force’s mission readiness.”

Supporting mission readiness has long been a responsibility for the ready medical force of NMRTC Bremerton, ensuring that Navy ship, squadron, shore and submarine personnel are collectively a medically ready force and operationally fit to perform and deploy when called upon.

According to Navy Cmdr. Robert Uniszkiewicz, NHB/NMRTC Bremerton COVID-19 lead and Public Health Emergency Officer, the effectiveness of  the swab testing for the submarine fleet homeported in the Pacific Northwest is a direct extension of the protective measures implemented at all commands to help curtail the spread of COVID-19.

Image of Hannah Carlson wearing a mask
Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Hannah Carlson, assigned to Naval Hospital Bremerton's Urgent Care Clinic, oversees daily clinical duties during the command's ongoing effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Carlson's efforts the past months have her highly regarded as the linchpin for the UCC.  (Official Navy photo by Douglas H Stutz, NHB/NMRTC Bremerton public affairs officer)

“Testing is not as important as physical distancing, wearing facial coverings and proper hygiene practices, explained Uniszkiewicz. “However, with these measures in place, large scale surveillance testing has provided another layer of confidence that our units preparing to deploy are both ready and safe to do so.”

The swab testing itself is unique simply because having a foreign object inserted into the nasal passage is not a common experience. The hospital corpsman inserts the swab – similar to a longer version of a Q-tip – deep into a person’s nose where it is whirled around for several seconds to collect secretion sample necessary for testing.

Taking the sample is just the initial step. Uniszkiewicz noted that NMRTC Bremerton has not been alone in the task of ensuring units are ready to deploy. It’s been a team-effort across the board with a number of support layers in place.

“Our testing efforts would not be possible without the collaboration with Madigan Army Medical Center laboratory. Additionally, serviced commands are stepping up by conducting their own contact tracing for which our Preventive Medicine team has conducted training. For large scale testing, it has been a tri-service effort to meet the demands for supply, transport, and tracking in order to preserve (COVID-free) ‘bubbles’ around units before deployment, during deployment, and after deployment when they return,” explained Uniszkiewicz.

At NMRTC Bremerton, there are noticeable safeguards added, e.g., waiting room seating has been changed to be six feet apart and areas to stand are also marked six feet apart. Per Department of Defense directive, it is also mandatory for all staff, patients and visitors to wear either a facial covering or mask. Only one visitor is allowed per patient and frequent cleaning of ‘high touch’ areas is now standard procedure, even more so that in the past. Although non-urgent surgeries have resumed and face-to-face encounters have gradually increased, virtual appointments are continuing to be offered.

Screening and testing protocol is also in place for all those eligible for care at NMRTC Bremerton.

“Screening upon entry to the facility is an invaluable mitigation strategy to keep COVID-like illness out of the hospital proper and direct it toward our Urgent Care Center and tents.  This, along with universal use of facial coverings, reassures our patients, their families, and our staff that we are dedicated to keeping them as safe as possible within our facilities,” Uniszkiewicz said.

The screening process really begins prior to an appointment as patients are contacted for pre-screening checks. Once a person arrives at the command, there are staff directing traffic flow to guide them. They are directed through the screening process which begins with a series of questions. Depending on the replies, the patient will be directed to either a treatment tent or testing area, or given the ‘green light’ to enter the hospital following the protective measures in place.

Additionally, before entering the hospital or clinic, if a person does not have a facial covering, they will be provided one to wear at all times when in the hospital.

At NHB/NMRTC Bremerton and across the Navy, medical providers and staff are ensuring patients are properly cared for in the COVID-19 environment, while still maintaining operational readiness.

You also may be interested in...

RHC-Europe Soldiers compete for Army Best Medic title

Article
1/21/2021
Soldiers in the snow, pulling a sled of materials

Army Sgt. Metcalf and Spc. Galdamez prepare to compete in the 2021 Command Sgt. Maj. Jack L. Clark Jr. U.S. Army Best Medic Competition later in the month at Fort Gordon, Georgia.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

MHS Transformation results continue during COVID-19

Article
1/21/2021
Military personnel in a supply room, reaching for the top shelf

The MTF transition has enabled the DHA and the Services to increase standardization, eliminate duplicative contracts, and realize cost efficiencies by beginning the management of an enterprise-wide program.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | MHS Transformation

DOD recommends adults 75 and older should seek COVID-19 vaccine

Article
1/19/2021
Nursing home members, wearing masks, wait in a line to get their COVID vaccine

This age recommendation differs slightly from that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends vaccinations for those 65 and older.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Is It Your Time to Get the Vaccine? | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine for Adults Age 75 and Older

LTG Place Vaccine Roll-Out Video

Video
1/18/2021
DHA Seal

DHA Director LTG Ron Place talks about coronavirus vaccines, their safety and efficacy, and encourages everyone to do their own research to get vaccinated.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Partnerships, COVID-19 are catalysts for enterprise virtual health

Article
1/14/2021
Image of Mr. Adler with text: "Partnerships, COVID-19 are catalysts for enterprise virtual health."

Jamie Adler, the lead for the DHA’s Virtual Health Clinical Integration Office, discusses the future of virtual health (VH).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Connected Health

NH Guantanamo Bay Lt. named as Subspecialty Officer of the Year

Article
1/14/2021
Navy Lt. Ara Gutierrez, Naval Readiness and Training Command Guantanamo Bay, was selected Navy Medicine’s Medical Technology Subspecialty Junior Officer of the Year for 2020.

Gutierrez said she was genuinely surprised and honored to represent medicine’s "hidden profession.”

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

COVID-19 hinders blood donations during National Blood Donor Month

Article
1/14/2021
Navy Capt. R. Wade Blizzard, commanding officer of U.S. Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia, donates blood for the Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Units Diego Garcia walking blood bank on Dec. 17, 2020. The walking blood bank is a list of eligible donors who can provide blood in case of emergency. (U.S. Navy photo by Navy Seaman Apprentice Stevin Atkins)

Life-saving blood is in high-demand by the Armed Services Blood Program, as the COVID-19 has negatively impacted donations.

Recommended Content:

Armed Services Blood Program | Public Health | Coronavirus | Holiday Observances

MHS refractive surgery experts discuss warfighter readiness

Article
1/13/2021
Image of Mr. McCaffery looking at a monitor with an eye on it

Refractive surgery is any surgery that eliminates the need for glasses or contact lenses.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

COVID presents new set of challenges for DOD environmental health

Article
1/12/2021
Group of Marines, snowshoeing through the snow

One of the most important factors to take into account when maintaining one’s overall fitness is physical environment.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness in a Pandemic | Reintroducing Total Force Fitness | January Toolkit | Coronavirus | Total Force Fitness

DOD Launches “My MilLife Guide” Text Message Program to Boost Wellness

Article
1/11/2021
The new My MilLife Guide program supports the wellness of the military community.

DoD has launched My MilLife Guide, a new program that sends text messages designed to help the military community boost overall wellness while navigating stresses related to COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health | Operation Live Well | Health Readiness

Navy corpsman provides multitude of support to hospital

Article
1/8/2021
Two military personnel, wearing masks, in a supply room looking at the shelves

“Thinking outside the box is what makes a great person, let alone a Sailor," Tie said.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus

MTF facilities, markets set to resume transition heading into 2021

Article
1/6/2021
A military nurse, wearing a mask, prepares a needle for a vaccination

Butler says transition on track.

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Coronavirus

BACH healthcare workers and first responders vaccinated for COVID-19

Article
1/6/2021
Soldier gives a nurse a vaccine in her left arm

BACH now joins other Defense Health Agency military treatment facilities that have received the vaccine, marking the start of a phased-in vaccination program to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Toolkit

Countering seasonal depression during the COVID-19 pandemic

Article
1/5/2021
Man with his head in his hands, sitting in front of a Christmas tree

SAD, or sometimes called seasonal depression, is a subtype of a major depressive disorder.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Mental Wellness | Mental Health Care | Depression | Suicide Prevention

MHS operational innovations continue in battle against COVID-19

Article
1/5/2021
Two medical personnel, wearing full PPE, in an operating room

MHS innovations in 2020 include a new registry for real-time COVID-19 data and a system to free up hospital beds and protect patients from the disease.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Research and Innovation | Innovation | Technology
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 60

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.