Originally Posted by dango
Now that sounds very , very interesting , elaborate , any scary stories .?
A couple close calls medically but oddly enough, taking care of crew embers was the best part of the job.
Running the programs as a one person medical department was tedious, and stressful. As an Independent Duty Corpsman (IDC) on submarines I went through basic enlisted submarine school, radiation health technician school, then IDC school for about a year and a half combined. Then once you graduate you are guaranteed to go to a submarine.
Once there an IDC is the medical department. This puts the IDC in charge of medical readiness, ensuring that all routine physicals for the crew are up to date, all shots, all routine labs, and dental screenings, prior to getting the ship underway. The medical department representative (MDR)is in charge of preventive medicine, and food safety, so good is inspected before being loaded. Food service personnel are trained in food handling and safety by the MDR. Electrical workers and ships divers are trained in CPR by the MDR. Potable water is tested by the MDR. Binacle reorts incident reports, accident injury reports, water testing reports, are prepared and submitted by the MDR.
The IDC also acts as the Radiation Health Officer. The RHO recieves radiation dosimeters for issue to the crew for tracking exposure to ionizing radiation recieved form Naval nuclear power and weapons. The RHO recieves, inventories, issues, and processes these dosimeters and tracks expisure for each crew member. The RHO prepares reports to the commanding officer as well as annual reports to Naval reactors and BUMED. The RHO participates in audits of the radiation health program by the CO, Submarine squadron and Naval reactors. The RHO is trained in decontamination procedures and routinely performs and participates in drills to practice decontamination procedures.
The IDC also acts as the ships Gas Free Engineer to test enclosed compartments for suitable atmosphere prior to personnel entry into those spaces For maintenence.
Then the IDC performs first aid, diagnostic and treatment of the sick, maintains medical records of medical encounters, prescribed medications, prepares messages for release and inquiry on serious medical cases while underway. Requests MEDEVAC for cases outside of his scope of care while underway. The IDC administers inpatient care to the seriously ill or injured while underway until the crew member recovers or is not able to be safely maintained onboard.
In port he aranges appointments for crew members for routine screenings and physical exams, specialist referrals, etc. the IDC also tracks personnel who may have medical conditions which may be considered disqualifying for submarine duty or radiation work. In those cases he assembled medical/administrative packages to disqualify or seek waivers for those personnel.
Being a onean department the IDC is always in call. He is always responsible for all medical care of coordination if care and medically related information of his entire crew of 130-160 personnel. He must keep the chain of command informed of any changes in the medical status of personnel.
The IDC works directly for the executive officer of the ship. The IDC is the only enlisted department head on a submarine and attends all department head meetings, weekly planning meetings, daily situational briefings while underway.
Basically for 3-4 years you don't have a life that exists outside of the orbit of that ship. I've had phone calls from a crew member with appendicitis while I was in line for a ride at Disney World while I was on leave with my family for the one week of leave that I took that year. I've had a phone calm while a deer was closing in on my tree stand on a Saturday morning, from a crew member with kidney stones. I've cleaned up on another submarine where a sailor committed suicide, so their doc didn't have to go through that being his last memory of one of his own crew. I've tried to resuscitate a jumper who threw himself off of a carrier across the pier from us. I've rescue breathed for one of my own who got jumped in a bad parking lot and returned to the ship and stopped breathing until an ambilacr got there. (he made it and to this date I don't think he has any idea how close he was to dead). I've treated a bad leg infection while on patrol with IV antibiotics for three days. Had to give daily updates through radio message to ensure we could stay on mission or would have had to pull off mission to MEDEVAC if the situation didn't improve.
A few pieces of operational excitement but wedding talk about those.
A busy and stressed as I ended up, I've done three boat tours. The people onboard are some of the best I've ever worked with. Submariners are a unique breed, they tend to be no-nonsense in their approach to things. They take what ghey do seriously. They also like go have fun. They pick on each other relentlessly, but they Wong let anyone else give a shipmate any crap.
If you ask any submariner what they miss, I bet they tell you "it's the people".