Third Group Of Navy Corpsmen Graduate Stroger Hospital Training Program

Mike Krauser
September 06, 2018 - 1:25 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Mike Krauser


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Cook County’s Stroger Hospital, with the busiest trauma center in the nation, just graduated its third group of Navy Corpsmen who are part of a unique partnership giving them the closest thing they could find to battlefield experience.  

They train alongside doctors and nurses in a trauma unit that sees 5,000 patients a year. The busiest in the nation, due, in large part, to the violence plaguing Chicago. And the trauma unit’s director saID when they do it right, which is most of the time, the survival rate is 98-percent. 

Force master Chief Hosea Smith, Director of the Navy Hospital Corps, said when he started his service, there was nothing like this program and he and others had their first experiences with trauma on the battlefield.  

“Our main focus for these young sailors here, we don’t want them to see blood for the first time when something happens," Smith said.

Dr. Faran Bokhari, chairman of the Trauma and Burn Unit at Stroger, said, “the similarities between here and the battlefield are becoming more and more similar.” 

He said the sailors were dealing with situations, at times, where patients were brought in with upwards of 15 gunshot wounds and they became adept at treating them. 

The graduates include 20-year-old hospital corpsman Desmond Lane, from Long Beach, California, who told WBBM Newsradio he saw a little bit of everything, including gunshot wounds, stab wounds, injuries from car crashes and falls and overdoses. 

“I’ve seen a lot. A lot more than I should,” he said, adding “that’s what I’m here for.  I’m ready.” 

Initially the sailors were working 11a.m. to 11 p.m. 

That was moved to 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. after their first day, when Stroger had, what one ER doctor said, the busiest night in years. 

The program started as an informal arrangement with the Navy.