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NMRTC Bremerton nurse follows father’s Naval footsteps

Medical personnel wearing a mask, sitting down Navy Lt. Daria Seipeltyra was recently selected as Navy Medical Readiness Training Command Bremerton’s Junior Officer of the Quarter. She was recognized as a prime example of the Navy’s core values of honor, courage and commitment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kyle Steckler)

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Navy Lt. Daria Seipeltyra said she knew two things from a very young age: She wanted to be a nurse, and she wanted to join the United States Navy.

“My dad was in the Navy, and I always knew I wanted to join,” she said. “I joined the Navy with nursing in mind, too, though my path to the Nurse Corps wasn’t exactly conventional.”

Seipeltyra was recently selected as Navy Medical Readiness Training Command (NMRTC) Bremerton’s Junior Officer of the Quarter (JOQ), one of several quarterly categories used to recognize high-performing junior officers, enlisted sailors and government civilian employees who stand out from others in similar ranks or paygrades.

“As leaders, we just hope that all the choices we make are the right ones, and a little validation that you’re heading in the right direction never hurts,” she said. “I like to think I’m the epitome of a positive, approachable, servant leader. How can I help? How can I make you more successful?"

“When people know you’re there for them, they are more comfortable and happier doing their jobs. Happy people are more productive people, and the work environment improves drastically. It’s just that simple.”

Seipeltyra, the OB-GYN division officer at NMRTC Bremerton, is a self-proclaimed Navy kid. She was born in Florida but calls Arizona home. She said her 11-year naval career has, so far, mirrored her father’s, as they both began their naval careers as enlisted sailors.

“I liked the idea of being an enlisted sailor first,” she said. “I liked the idea of the experience I’d gain from it, but I always intended on commissioning as a nurse. My dad was enlisted first, too, as what would be considered an electronics technician today.”

“As a first-class petty officer, he commissioned as a pilot. He passed away during night operations in the Persian Gulf. His plane had mechanical malfunctions. He was a lieutenant commander with 21 years of service. That will most likely be my rank upon my completion of service, further enforcing my career mirroring his.”

Seipeltyra’s Navy story didn’t begin in the medical field.

“My enlisted rating chose me,” she said. “I had wanted to be a corpsman, but it didn’t work out, so I became a fire controlman. I was lucky enough to be able to promote quickly and, like my dad, was a first-class petty officer when I commissioned.”

Seipeltyra’s journey to Nurse Corps commissioning began almost immediately after enlisting via application to the Medical Enlisted Commissioning Program (MECP), a specific pathway for enlisted Navy and Marine Corps to commission in the Navy Nurse Corps.

After nursing school and her commissioning as a naval officer, Seipeltyra worked as a staff and charge nurse in the Mother Infant Unit of Naval Medical Center San Diego before transferring to NMRTC Bremerton and working briefly as a staff nurse in the hospital’s multi-service ward.

As the OB-GYN division officer, Seipeltyra said she has found her calling.

“The OB-GYN clinic guides patients through some of the most challenging and exciting changes in their lives.” she said, “Whether that be helping them bring new life into their family, or guiding them through the changes that naturally come with advancing years, and doing so with the utmost competence and compassion.”

“I was able to fall into my dream job here. I have loved every minute of this role. I just love the patient connection. Having a patient come back and remember you being their nurse, even after having transferred to a new command, sharing those memories, is such an amazing experience.”

Like many essential workers around the country, NMRTC Bremerton staff divined new and inventive ways of delivering top-notch healthcare to beneficiaries amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Seipeltyra said her staff has acclimated to this new climate with poise and professionalism their beneficiaries have come to expect.

“Our overall routine hasn’t changed tremendously,” said Seipeltyra. “We just have remained vigilantly flexible, with frequent schedule changes and adapting to the latest policies to ensure we are doing the most to protect everyone. Our providers stay current to the moment as knowledge is gained on how this pandemic affects our specific patient population.”

COVID-19 has certainly changed the way Americans go about their business, but according to Seipeltyra, at least one thing hasn’t changed.

“Babies don’t stop,” she said. “Health care doesn’t go on pause because of a pandemic. Now, more than ever, we have needed a constant presence to ensure the very busy clinic runs smoothly. On a regular day, someone needs to be the watchful eye that hovers over schedules, lingers on paperwork, has ears open to the front desk, guards the privacy of our patients and safety of our staff, all in addition to calming nervous minds. That is my job.”

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