By Tim Jensen, USNH Yokosuka Public Affairs
YOKOSUKA, Japan – U.S. Naval Hospital (USNH) Yokosuka is expanding volunteer opportunities for the local Yokosuka community by starting a new Medical Assistant Program in collaboration with the Red Cross.
The Medical Assistant Program is a 10-week volunteer program that kicked off on Monday with 8 volunteers rotating in clinics throughout the hospital once they complete an initial 2-weeklong training.
The medical assistants will have 48 hours of classroom training and four hundred hours of clinical on the job training from this program.
The medical assistants serve in a variety of functions with a little broader scope than the current Red Cross volunteers already at the hospital.
According to Capt. Young, Director of Nursing Services, “the medical assistants will be able to take vital signs, assist with procedures, general patient care assistance, and also doing some administration tasks such as answering the telephone.”
Young also mentioned experience the assistants can take away from the program.
“This program is a way to get a good taste of the medical field and I hope leads to a bright future for the assistants,” said Young.
Lt. Alea Depauw, program administrator and clinic registered nurse, helped coordinate the program and watches over the assistants as they go through the program.
“I created a curriculum and worked to recruit the instructors throughout the hospital to teach the initial training for the assistants,” said Depauw. “Our team is teaching these assistants the necessary skills specific to working at this hospital,” she said.
Depauw also elaborated on how much of a positive impact this can have on the hospital and local community.
“Since we are a medium community sized hospital, one person can make a difference,” said Depauw. “This program gives some family members in our local community a chance to make productive use of their time and get them started in the medical career,” she said.
Amanda Rolsen, Senior Station Manager of Japan, at the Yokosuka Red Cross coordinated in screening of the applicants and talked about importance of this program.
“The Red Cross looks at the needs of the community and within the military community spouses often leave school and work opportunities to follow the military member’s career,” said Rolsen. “This program allows spouses to experience the medical field and help them decide what educational or work opportunities they wish to pursue,” she said.
According to Rolsen, this program provides additional work experience not only for the assistants and community but also USNH Yokosuka staff.
“This program gives the hospital staff the opportunity to share their love for the medical field while receiving help in the clinics,” said Rolsen.
USNH Yokosuka hopes to continue the program in the future. If you are interested in the Medical Assistant Program, please talk to a representative at the hospital or the Red Cross for how to apply.