Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Gretchen Albrecht
Gilbrech, also a 2003 graduate from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, had considered joining the Navy while in college, but decided to stay close to home and family. “After working at my job for five years, I decided to look into it again. I wanted to go explore different places and potentially go overseas,” said Gilbrech, adding that a friend’s husband was in the Army, so she had been exposed to military medicine while in college. “I wanted to serve a greater purpose. I had considered the Army first, but the duty stations with the Navy were much more appealing.”
Navy Medicine has taken her from Inpatient Pediatrics to the Pediatric Intensive Care unit at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, to Labor and Delivery ward and Pediatric Clinic at Naval Hospital Jacksonville to her current assignment with the Pediatric Clinic at NHB. Gilbrech has held such positions as clinical resource nurse and charge nurse, clinic nurse and division officer, along with pediatric advanced life support instructor, basic life support instructor, Nurse of the Day coordinator, and electronic health record MHS GENESIS super user for NHB’s Pediatric Clinic to help the staff with system knowledge and use of the system.
Gilbrech attests that the best part of her Navy Medicine career revolves around the other staff members she has worked with and for from the Navy Medical Corps, Nurse Corps and Hospital Corps, as well as numerous support personnel. “It has been an interesting experience seeing the bigger picture and meeting some great people along the way. It’s a sense of, we are all here for the same reason. We can relate with each other, provide comfort when needed and help each other carry on when times get tough. You are never truly alone. I never interacted with my chain of leadership outside my work area when I was a civilian nurse,” related Gilbrech.
Being selected for the Navy’s Perioperative Nurse Training Program, done through a very competitive process contingent on already having shown and proven the necessary medical-surgical nursing knowledge and skills, the ability to function independently, able to handle stress, have good subordinate management skills, has proven that Gilbrech is readily capable for perioperative nursing, a highly-technical, critical patient-care arena. Being selected adheres to the Navy Medicine’s renewed emphasis on operational and mission readiness.
Her skill will be of paramount importance as the Navy and Marine Corps move towards more distributed operations that will call for casualty care and survival depending on individual medical personnel whether on ship or shore. “I was just selected for the Perioperative Nurse Training Program, so I believe I will be more operationally ready as Navy Medicine is heading towards that goal,” stated Gilbrech.
When asked to sum up her experience with Navy Medicine in one sentence, Gilbrech replied, “Being part of Navy Medicine has been a challenging, yet rewarding experience. The opportunities are endless as long as you are willing to put in the time and hard work to get to where you want to go.”
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