By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Yasmine T. Muhammad, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton
Representatives from the Women’s Health Office at the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery presented lectures, power point presentations and hands-on training to providers from Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton (NHCP) and surrounding branch clinics for long acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) training Oct. 28.
The training was held in an effort to lower the number of unplanned pregnancies among active duty personnel, which can affect the military’s mission readiness through gapped billets and increased medical costs.
Some of the reasons for unplanned pregnancy include lack of patient knowledge, lack of access to medical care and lack of trained medical providers.
“Currently female service members have to go to their local clinic, then are referred to the hospital OB-GYN clinic, where they then can have their LARC device placed,” said Lt. Cmdr. Enchanta Jenkins, NHCP obstetrics-gynecologist and one of the training coordinators. “By training everyone here and then asking them to go back and train other individuals, we can help to prevent unplanned pregnancy.”
The training is meant to increase clinical knowledge and awareness and provide state-of-the-art family planning counseling and LARC skills.
“I feel like the training was extremely beneficial,” said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Mercado, NHCP Family Medicine physician and faculty member. “Not only have I expanded my own knowledge and ability on the contraception push, but now I am able to better train residents on the importance of it as well, therefore helping us to provide better care for our female patients.”
Training is currently being given at the larger MTFs in areas such as Portsmouth, Virginia, San Diego, Camp Pendleton, Camp Lejeune, Bremerton, Pensacola and Jacksonville, Florida and is set to be completed around spring 2015.