As the USNS Mercy sailed toward Indonesia with 19 Project HOPE volunteers onboard, not a minute was wasted.
During their travel time, the volunteers have integrated with their teams, become familiar with their work stations and participated in training courses, learning new skills they will need when they reach the first mission country.
Cortney Marsh, a Registered Nurse from San Diego, California and first-time Project HOPE volunteer says the sailing time has allowed her to get used to sea life and begin bonding with fellow HOPE volunteers and other volunteers she will be working with during Pacific Partnership 2012.
"We have a great mix of people from various countries like Australia and Canada to other volunteers from other non-government organizations like Latter Day Saints," says Marsh.
"We have classes almost every day from simple nursing procedures, like IV insertion, to learning more about the specific types of surgeries that will be taking place onboard," says Marsh. "One of the interesting things is learning about the different cultures and how the way we provide care may need to change depending on the country we are visiting."
Karen Rudderow, a nurse from Collingswood, New Jersey and a first-time volunteer with Project HOPE is also benefitting from training time, including learning how to load patients onto a Miller Board.
"It has been very interesting learning how the Navy works, and I have now been thoroughly oriented into how my section will operate,” she says. Capturing the sentiment of all on board, Rudderow adds, “We are now excited and ready to start seeing patients."
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