USNS Mercy is one of the largest hospitals in the world, and today it is nearly empty of patients. Project HOPE volunteers and others are preparing the few remaining patients for discharge this morning, because at 3 pm the civil service mariners plan to be pulling up anchor and getting underway for Singapore.
Chelsea Spindel, RN, is at work in an ICU, one of five such units with a total of 99 beds. One of them is an Isolation Unit for patients with diseases that could be spread by coughing, but it is not in use at the moment. The single remaining person in the general ICU here is a Cambodian man resting behind the privacy screen while watched over by his wife and daughter. Another patient who just left the unit was a woman who had been the victim of a serious car accident. Chelsea, whose nursing specialty is Pediatric ICU, will be returning soon to her position at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
Mary Levitz, Family Nurse Practitioner, has now finished providing care to hundreds of Vietnamese and Cambodian patients on and off the ship. She will be going home to Tupper Lake, NY, to continue her regular clinic work with her American patients. She is seen here on an inpatient ward that has been cleared and secured as part of the day’s preparations. This is one of the fifteen inpatient wards on the Mercy that have a total of 900 beds. Fresh with clean sheets and blankets, the beds will soon be lowered for a new influx of patients after Singapore.
Thanks for reading - Mary Hamill, Ph.D., Project HOPE PAO
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