Hospital Corpsmen give fellow servicemembers routine, preventive and emergency health care. They help care for their families back home. They take part in relief missions, providing aid for hurricane or earthquake victims. Whether they are working in a hospital or on a ship, at a clinic or in the field, Hospital Corpsmen are always ready to give top-notch medical and dental assistance to the men and women of the United States Navy.
The duties performed by HMs included:
- Assist in prevention and treatment of disease and injuries.
- Care for sick and injured.
- Administer immunization programs.
- Render emergency medical treatment.
- Instruct Sailors and Marines in first aid, self aid and personal hygiene procedures.
- Transport the sick and injured.
- Conduct preliminary physical examinations.
- Perform medical administrative, supply and accounting procedures.
- Maintain treatment records and reports.
- Supervise shipboard and field environmental sanitation and preventive medicine programs.
- Supervise air, water, food and habitability standards.
Dental Assistant Corpsman perform duties as a general dental assistant to include dental infection control, dental treatment room management, preventive dentistry, comprehensive dental assisting, and intraoral radiography. (Check out the video below)
After completion of “A” school, Hospital Corpsmen are assigned to Navy medical treatment facilities or operational Navy or Fleet Marine Force units. Follow on assignment varies, based on initial tour, but may include Dental strand or other Advanced Technical training “C” school, overseas assignment or a normal sea or shore tour. Women are assigned to most ships and field medical support units of the FMF. Women are not assigned to submarines, with the SEALs, or some units of the FMF. En route to their first permanent duty stations, most male HMs will be assigned to either Field Medical Service School, Camp Lejeune NC, or Camp Pendleton CA, for specialized training in the knowledge and skills required to perform medical services in the field with the Marine Corps and/or the “Seabees.” During a 20-year career in the Navy, HMs spend about 40 percent of their time assigned to fleet or FMF units and 60 percent to other types of duty.
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Learn more about all the enlisted ratings with our Owners and Operators Manual.