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What's Up Doc?

Posted on Sat Mar 12th, 2022 @ 7:26am by Captain Jamie Perth & Hospital Corpsman Second Class Geoff Landon

Mission: Just Another Routine Patrol
Location: Sickbay - Battlestar Prometheus
Timeline: Mission Day 2 at 0700

Geoff sat at the duty nurse's station in sickbay as he filled out the required inventory forms. Since Major Renquist's abrupt departure due to his illness, some of the medical staff had been tasked to perform additional duties. Geoff was handling patient intake and monitoring, but his regular duties involved daily inventory of the medical supplies. He was dressed in his green fatigues, the omnipresent black armband with the red cross snug on his upper left arm. He sighed as he shook the pen trying to get the ink flowing, before giving up and tossing it in the trash.

Jamie had spent the first part of his morning on a treadmill at the gym, having decided to pursue that option instead of a predetermined loop that traversed through the broadest deck of the ship. He'd done that a few times before on other vessels, and found the weaving in and out of other crew to be more of an annoyance than a challenge of agility.

Of course, going on a run at 05:30 and on a docked ship that was supposed to be awaiting a refit meant there wasn't much crew to dodge past. Still, he preferred the gym. This one was relatively well set up, with mostly new equipment. Much like how decently refurbished Prom's CASREC and the rest of sickbay was. The hull itself may be old, but the second most important thing - medical equipment - were of the higher-end models. The most important, of course, would be its people. That he had yet to find out.

He'd taken a quick shower, pulled on on a pair of duty trousers and a black scrub top, carefully velcroing his rank patch in front of it over the centre of his chest. A short dash back into his officer's quarters for a piece of toast, which he munched whilst making his way to sickbay.

Jamie walked through the back entranceway, bypassing the small triage and waiting area to sneak into the main CASREC. He was a fraction of a second late enough to avoid the small projectile flying across one of the staff stations, past his legs and towards the nearby bin.

"Oof!" he said through a bite of his toast, looking up to see a strapping corpsman at the desk, his arm outstretched and clearly having been the one who'd thrown the pen.

"Yeah nice, good aim," he added.

Geoff swore to himself as he saw the rank patch on the man's scrub top before he snapped to attention out of his chair. "Good morning sir. I'm sorry about that, but i didn't see you there," he said quickly. Geoff was a career enlisted man, and he still rendered honors to the rank the man held. The temporary CMO had told them the day before that they could relax the protocol when in sickbay, but his training was hard to shake. He checked the desk before finding the appropriate clipboard and offering it to the man, "Here are the evening rounds patient reports. It looks like Specialist Donahue is developing an infection in his leg according to the duty nurse."

Jamie finished the final piece of toast he had left, his other hand taking the clipboard from the corpsman. As previously known, there were only two patients in sickbay at the moment - Donahue as mentioned with the lower limb cellulitis, and Crewman Palmieri with his alcohol-induced rapid atrial fibrillation.

"At ease," were the first words out of the young doctor's mouth. He wasn't the biggest fan of militantly strict hierarchy - everyone was a team player and should be treated as such, with the understanding of each person's skillset and scope of practice. He wouldn't be happy if a junior member of his crew felt afraid to speak up and offer constructive suggestions just because of rank. A tricky balance at times, but Jamie had found that it all rested upon practical, common sense. He could see why relaxed protocol could be problematic on the battlefield, but less so in a multidisciplinary healthcare setting.

Jamie flipped through Donahue's observation chart. "Temp 38.1 overnight," he took note, before tapping over the nearby keyboard to bring up their patient's lab results on the computer screen. "White count's 11.2, CRP's 210..."

He scrolled through more numbers and mumbled some more, quietly digesting the information in his head, whilst deciding to simultaneously strike up a conversation with this Corpsman he hadn't gotten a chance to properly meet yet.

"It's Geoff, right?"

"Yes sir, Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Geoff Landon," he replied with a nod as he stood at ease. Captain Perth, he recalled from the brief meeting the day before. Geoff had been on duty when Jamie had introduced himself to the medical staff, but it had only been a passing meeting. His initial impression was that he looked particularly young for a CMO, but scuttlebutt was it was just a temporary posting. He also had taken notice how handsome the man was, but Geoff had tamped down that feeling. Jamie was his superior officer. He then reached down and picked up his inventory reports, "I'd just finished the triage inventory reports for the morning as well sir." He placed the multiple pages on the bar with a thunk.

"Please, 'Jamie' will be fine," he said, referring to the corpsman having addressed him as 'sir'. "I mean, you can 'sir' me all you want if the CO or other higher-ups are around."

Little did Geoff know that his temporary/acting CMO had already gone through the inventory several times the night before, but Jamie wasn't going to make a deal out of that. Perhaps the corpsman had indeed updated the list with supplies that might've arrived overnight, going out of his way to ensure everything was up to date.

Jamie took the papers and flipped through them quickly, before setting them aside to pick up Donahue's chart again. His other hand played with the eartip of the stethoscope hung over his neck, as he reviewed the antibiotic regiment he'd prescribed the day before.

"Have you been on the Prom for long? Or are you new, like me?" he suddenly and rather casually asked, almost as if he'd come to sickbay more for a random chat than to actually get work done.

Sensing the relaxed nature from Jamie, Geoff allowed himself to relax as well as he looked back at the man, "I've been assigned to the Prometheus going on two years si... I mean Jamie. Before I was a squad medic for 3rd squad, 2nd platoon, Bravo Company, of the 125th Marine Division based on Tauron. We got into a few skirmishes with some separatists over there, but other than that it was a cake walk." He grabbed his own stethoscope from the desk and placed it on around his neck before looking back at Jamie, "And what posting did they pull you from to take over for Major Renquist?" He was surprised the man was making small talk with him, most other medical officers paid little attention to the medics like him.

Jamie wondered if he'd be expected to know all the various Marine subdivisions, and a few years ago he thought he might, considering he'd been dating a Marine at the time. But of course there was no such expectation.

"Ah, I'm actually a reservist," he admitted. "Normally based on Virgon, at a civilian hospital. Beyond that, I'm on a part-time relationship with the Medical Corps. Mostly inter-facility transport work. Bringing patients from orbital stations down to planetside and vice versa, that sorta thing. That, and some educational stuff. Instructing courses, et cetera."

He continued, "So they called me up and asked if I could cover Renquist for this patrol. And I figured it'd be a nice way to tick off my service requirement for the month."

Geoff nodded and leaned slightly against the counter. "I guess that means I win the pool. The staff had a bet going to see if Major Renquist was being permanently replaced. That also explains why you want me to call you Jamie. While the Major doesn't like all the pomp either, he still demanded some military courtesy. Though none of us are complaining that you're here, the Major could be hell on wheels," he said as he offered a slight smile. While normally he would not have been so candid with the man, Jamie's relaxed nature put Geoff at ease. It was also no secret that sickbay would run a little smoother in the Major's absence.

"I take it you are in the trauma ward when your not with us Fleeties," he asked using the common nickname for the full time element of the Fleet.

Jamie shrugged. "Just your regular, generic emergency physician at a regular, generic civilian hospital." But to take Geoff's suggestion a little more seriously, he added, "I work at a 600-or-so bed hospital in my hometown of Glenvale Harbour. If you know Virgon, it's the next major urban area southeast of the capital. The same hospital I was born at, actually."

"I can't say I know Virgon well, but I'm sure it's a fine hospital. Sounds like you're a jack of all trades then," Geoff replied. While he normally had a good ear for different colonial accents, he was surprised that Jamie's was not so pronounced.

"And how about you? Where're you from?" Jamie asked.

"Caprica, Cap City to be precise. And I know what you're thinking, and believe me my parents were none too thrilled I joined the Fleet. But being a Fleet medic seemed more appealing than working the wards in one of the numerous hospitals back home," he said before pausing and looking back at him. "No offense." He smiled at the man and chuckled slightly.

"S'all good," Jamie said, before picking up the two charts again. "Anyway, should we do a quick round on our two patients? I reckon we should start Donahue on IV fluclox, two grams QID. And we'll see what rate Palmieri's running at. If he's still above a hundred, we'll give him some metoprolol to slow it down and see if he reverts with a bit of mag."

Geoff nodded as he came out from around the desk. "Of course, I'll grab the necessary medications from the dispensary. The duty nurse should already be making her rounds," he said before smiling slightly at Jamie. He watched the man enter the patient care area as he subtly eyed him. He shook his head as he caught himself staring. Walking over to the dispenser and removing his keys for the lock, he spoke softly to himself, "It's against regs Geoff, just leave it alone..."


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