Monday, September 14, 2009

After all mandatory paperwork was completed this morning, I made it up to ICU rounds just as it ended. Although all 16 beds are full, curiously there are only 4 patients with battlefield injuries - others have medical problems (including a terrible - sounding thing called Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever) or nontraumatic surgical complications. I didn't realize that casualties from all coalition forces come here to Landstuhl, so now in the ICU there are patients from Poland, England and Uganda, as well as a couple of civilian contractors and retired military guys living in Germany. Apparently there is a population of about 50,000 military personnel and dependents in the area that are cared for in this facility.

The ICU is pretty small and predictably chaotic, with the usual assortment of doctors, nurses, RT etc, with the addition of some residents and medical students. Flights from "downrange" (Iraq and Afghanistan) come daily, but apparently nobody today needs immediate surgery. I'm carrying a cellphone in case there is an emergency. My role seems to be like a fireman: I'm not needed every day, but they say it's good to know that I'm around when a case arises.

The hospital is only 2 stories tall but spread out over a large area (thought to be more difficult to attack). Besides the usual hospital services, there is a cybercafe, food court (Burger King, Subway, pizza) and convenience store. I haven't been around the rest of the base yet, but the facilities here at Landstuhl (Army) do not seem as upscale as what I saw from the transport van yesterday at nearby Ramstein Air Base (Air Force).

If it stays quiet, I may do an exploratory running tour of the base (a 5 km course was included in my orientation papers). Unfortunately the only bike shop in Landstuhl is closed for vacation until next week - I think I can rent a bike at the Air Base, but it's a 15 minute cab ride to get there.


  1. We all miss you here at PRMCE OR. Good to hear things are going well and you are fitting in! Hope you get the bike soon! Send pix. Dee & Michele

  2. Hey Jay...all is good here. Ryan is at EYSO. Hope you are doing well. I'm very glad to hear that you aren't busy with new trauma. Send photos when you can. Madi says HI!
    Love ya!

  3. Sounds very interesting. How is the weather over there? Is there anything that you or the soldiers need or would like? Enjoy, Kelli

  4. I am a nurse at PEMC in the IV dept, I lived in K-town for many years as an Air Force Brat, and you are right about the accomodations, but the experience will be second to none!! I will soon be graduating with my ARNP and it is a desire of mine to work as a civilian ARNP for the Army medical corp at Landstuhl Medical center. I am moved by your choice to volunteer your time for this cause, I wish you the best and know you will take great memories with you from Germany. Get to Heidleburg if you can, not to far from there, the castle and university are fabulous! Best of luck and God bless.
    Robin W.