[Sailor:] Darken ship.
All hands, darken ship.
The smoking lamp
is out above deck.
[Narrator:] The sick bay presents special problems
in the evening.
Blue jackets plunged into inactivity
because they are sick or injured grow restless
during the long days in their bunks.
Days are long, nights longer still.
What can be done to ease the tension,
to help the men relax, so they’ll rest and sleep better?
This man is tired of lying in his bunk.
Tired physically, tired mentally.
When you’re sick, the simple act of washing
your face and your hands, and brushing your teeth
And so evening care begins with passing out the necessary gear.
Patients who cannot take care of themselves are given help,
Another valuable part of the evening routine
requires only a pair of trained hands, a little rubbing alcohol,
and a towel.
A good back rub stimulates circulation,
relaxes tired muscles, and relieves fatigue.
Give the patient as much privacy as possible.
Loosen his clothing, and turn him over
on his side or abdomen, whichever is more comfortable.
Uncover the entire back.
Place a towel on the bed.
Pour a little alcohol into you hands, and rub the back.
Use the heels of the hands and the fingers,
and rub with a firm circular motion.
Start at the shoulders, work slowly down the back, gently
but firmly rubbing away the fatigue,
rubbing away the tension.
Go all the way down.
As you rub, you have a good opportunity
to observe the condition of his skin,
and to be on the lookout for the reddened areas which
indicate the beginning of pressure sores.
They may appear at any place
where bones come close to the surface of the skin.
For instance here at the shoulder blade,
or down here at the base of the spine.
When pressure sores first appear, they look like this.
Just a reddened skin area.
They can usually be prevented if you rub the danger spots frequently,
keep the bed linen smooth and dry,
change the patient from one position to another frequently,
so he doesn’t lie on the sore area.
If neglected, the skin breaks,
becomes ulcerated, and looks like this.
Finish the back rub with long, firm strokes.
Keep your eyes open for those reddened areas
which mean the beginning of trouble.
Take a good look at the tips of the shoulders, at the elbows,
and at the ears.
Other likely spots are the hip area,
the outer side of the ankle and the heels, and at the knees.
The patient has been well-cared for, and he’s all right.
Just before you leave, the crumbs are swept out
and wrinkles smoothed out thoroughly.
The hospital corpsman knows that these details are just as
important as the alcohol rub.
The bunk is clean and smooth and tight.
The alcohol rub has stimulated his circulation,
and relaxed him.
You can see the response in his whole attitude
to care and consideration.
[Hospital corpsman:] Everything OK?
[Hospital corpsman:] All right.
Here’s some homework for you.
[Hospital corpsman:] Not bad.
[Narrator:] Beyond this welcome routine care,
there may be some additional care required
by each individual patient.
When you’re finished, all patients
should be relaxed, comfortable, and at ease
mentally and physically.
The patients come first,
as they always do.
Any unusual conditions are reported
to the medical officer, then the records,
which must be completed before the ward is secured,
and you’re ready to be relieved.
The senior hospital corpsman reports the day’s activities
to the night watch, and transfers to them
the responsibility of continuing the care of the patient.
Then the day watch can shove off.
The night men muster the patients
and check on their general condition.
They should see that each one
has been attended to before the standing lights are turned on
[Narrator:] During the long night, watch especially
for the acutely ill patients.
At least once every hour, a check is made on all the patients,
to see that they are safe and comfortable,
and that all is secure.