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In May our Vets2BSN Project students, faculty and staff were treated to a wonderful tour of the USNS Mercy by our gracious hosts, LTJGs Leland Comer and Anthony Waite.  These U.S. Navy Nurse Corps officers are both mentors for our Military Student Nurse Mentoring Organization (MSNMO) which matches currently enrolled Vets2BSN Project BSN students with an active duty or civilian nurse mentor throughout his or her program.  Mentors serve as a resource to the student checking in on a weekly basis on classes, provide additional content knowledge, identify areas for improvement and growth, and help with networking and career development.

The USNS Mercy is essentially the U.S. Navy’s floating hospital ship.  It was originally built as an oil tanker in 1976 and was later converted to a hospital ship in 1984. Its primary mission is to provide rapid, flexible, and mobile acute medical and surgical services to support Marine Corps Air/Ground Task Forces deployed ashore, Army and Air Force units deployed ashore, and naval amphibious task forces and battle forces afloat. Its secondary mission is to provide mobile surgical hospital service for use by appropriate U.S. Government agencies in Humanitarian Civic Assistance (HCA), disaster or humanitarian relief or limited humanitarian care incident to these missions or peacetime military operations.

 Students were treated to a full tour of the ship which included:
    • Intensive care wards: 80 beds
    • Recovery wards: 20 beds
    • Intermediate care wards: 280 beds
    • Light care wards: 120 beds
    • Limited care wards: 500 beds
    • Operating Rooms: 12
    • Casualty reception
    • Radiological services including CT
    • Main laboratory plus satellite lab
    • Central sterile receiving
    • Medical supply/pharmacy
    • Physical therapy and burn care
    • Intensive Care Unit
    • Dental services
    • Optometry/lens lab
    • Morgue
    • Laundry
    • Burn Treatment
    • Angiography
    • Blood Bank
    • Oxygen producing plants

The USNS Mercy went underway in May to participate in Pacific Partnership 2016, an ongoing series of Disaster Preparedness missions. Focusing on local Subject Matter Expert Exchanges, Pacific Partnership 16 continues to "Prepare in Calm to Respond in Crisis". Countries that have invited Mercy include Timor Leste, Malaysia, Indonesia, Republic of the Philippines and Vietnam.

Thank you again to LTJGs Comer and Waite for this wonderful opportunity to support our Vets2BSN Project students.  Click on the photos below to enlarge the photos for viewing.

View of the flight deck

Operating room

Dockside view 

Tour sign

(story submitted by Dr. Paul Tontz, Academic Counselor, Vets2BSN Project)

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