Tuesday, February 5, 2013

FTV 2/6/2013 Sick Bay

After checking out at the Tiki Hut, cadets are reminded to apply sunscreen

Third and final day in Jamaica, and I am the Rate on Watch (ROW). At 1125, I headed down the gangway and went to my post inside of the Tiki Hut, which is located on the dock at each port. In order to keep track of the comings and goings of cadets and staff each person is assigned a colored id bracelet which contains a computer chip, This electronic check out system allows for an immediate accounting of the who is on the ship and who is on liberty. 
Cadets on duty man the Tiki check point
This afternoon, a group of Jamaican Maritime Students came aboard to visit the Kennedy. They had a tour of our facilities and seemed to really enjoy our "home away from home".
In just a few hours we will be leaving Jamaica. We will be at sea for 7 days headed for Aruba! I cannot wait!

As we head back out to sea the T.S. Kennedy will no doubt hit some more rolling seas. In last weeks swells not many cadets had strong stomachs, and many  got sick. The Binnacle, or Sick Bay (maybe you'd know it better as Health Services) was filled with nauseous bellies and the need for saltines and ginger ale. Sick Bay is located at an easy access point for all of the cadets and crew, just adjacent to the ComCad office.

The Sick Bay suite has an examining room, an isolation room in case someone gets seriously ill or injured, and a treatment room containing the type of emergency equipment that may need for minor mishaps or for the occasional cut that may need to be stitched up. In general they provide cadets with all of the necessary medical care on the ship. They also have a supply of sunblock, hand sanitizer, and medicine for seasickness. 

Sick bay is well staffed with a doctor (Dr. King), a nurse practitioner (Judy), as well as an emergency room assistant (Jonathan), and a councilor Ms. Kathleen Shine-O'Brien. If there is anything we need, from an I.V. to someone to talk to, we have everything there in the Binnacle. In fact, it should be noted that outside of cruise ships and large military vessels, the TS Kennedy is one of the most advanced, medically equipped and staffed ships on the seas today.
The Kennedy medical team
For someone like me, who is known for having a very weak stomach, especially due to seasickness. I follow a regiment of a daily precautionary dose of Dramamine so I do not get sick. Luckily I did not feel sick  because duty for that day was a day of inside cleaning. I was on patrol to clean up seasick accidents that were occurring throughout the ship (Yuck!). Mr. Demarines, a 4/C from 2 Company, was very helpful as part of my cleaning crew. He grabbed a mask and some heavy duty gloves from Sick Bay and lead the way around the ship prepared to clean. It may seem gross, but we were the cadets on duty so it was our job to work together with Sick Bay in our efforts to sanitize the ship. This is all part of the regiment lifestyle we live on board the T.S. Kennedy; even if there is a job we don't particularly care for (ex. cleaning up after seasick cadets) it still has to be done in order to keep everyone else from getting sick and to keep our ship in tip top shape. But, I was still glad when my shift was over!

To understand how and why we get sickness read this
Hot Topic from the Dive and Discover website.
Try this activity that simulates seasickness, without really getting sick that is.
This activity will make a model of the inner ear

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