It takes more than just awareness to respond to someone showing signs of distress. It takes conviction of care, compassion, and competence to help that someone in need, which describes precisely what Hospitalman Grace Pridmore did.
Pridmore, assigned to Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC) Bremerton Detachment Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, was acknowledged for her selfless effort by Capt. Shannon J. Johnson, NMRTC Bremerton commanding officer, for identifying another sailor at risk and taking quick action to help get the sailor to the appropriate level of care, possibly saving a life.
“I knew my friend had been going through a lot since she arrived to her command and sadly her condition got worse as time went on” said Pridmore, of Kellyville, Oklahoma, and a 2019 graduate from Kellyville High school.
“I saw her well-being starting to quickly depreciate. Seeing this problem rapidly spiral out of control, I knew I had to be there for her as much as I possibly could,” explained Pridmore. “She fully explained everything she was going through, and I took quick action to get her to someone with the appropriate level of training to help her. I knew from my training that this was the right decision. I contacted my chain of command for additional guidance to ensure we were complying with the COVID-19 guidelines.”
Pridmore declares her chain of command went above and beyond – just as she did to help out the sailor in need. “I stayed with her until she got transferred to higher care. I continued to talk and visit with her as she was receiving this care so she wouldn’t be alone. With the resources and training my chain of command provided me I knew I could be the friend to help her. I will always stick by her side no matter how hard times get,” stated Pridmore.
During the ongoing effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19, Pridmore has also found herself providing daily support against the pandemic, from directing traffic to assuring personal protection equipment is worn in order to ensure worker and patient health is maintained.
“At the clinic, we continue to see patients during this time. I ensure that our employees, active duty and civilian, remain healthy to go to work. Without them the shipyard could not operate properly, so their health is extremely important,” said Pridmore.
Although Pridmore has only been part of Navy Medicine for approximately one year, her interest in the career field has been long term. During high school, she attended Central Technology Center, a vocational school, for additional nursing and medical education and training.
“I have been interested in the medical field since as long as I can remember. I have been actively chasing this goal since I was a junior in high school, getting my certified nursing assistant, certified medical assistant, and phlebotomy licenses before I graduated high school. I’d seen other students in my school make the decision to join the Navy. I started researching everything the Navy had to offer. I didn’t have any money for college, and I didn’t want to be in debt so this just made sense to me. I could become a corpsman, and do what I love then eventually get a degree,” related Pridmore, convinced that the Navy was for her.
“The Navy to me seemed like the best route for medical in comparison to the other branches,” continued Pridmore. “I also see it as a steppingstone to my bigger goals of the future, like becoming a registered nurse. Being in the military was a way for me not to do the traditional thing and go straight to college after high school, but I get the opportunity to travel and learn about life.”
Pridmore attests her personal story is simple, growing up in a ‘very small town’ in Oklahoma with her mom and sister, proving herself in school and employed by age 16 as a waitress until entering the Navy.
“I have always put my full effort into everything I do, that’s how I was raised. I’ve been blessed enough to be surrounded by people that love and support me and made me into the person I am today. They taught me good moral values that I always keep in mind,” said Pridmore, adding that Navy Medicine has shown what it takes to be in her chosen field.
“I have gained leadership skills and learned how to push myself. You can’t get this kind of experience anywhere else,” Pridmore said. “I find it very gratifying that I can make people feel safe in their workplace and the satisfaction of helping others to feel safe in their occupation.”
When asked to sum up her experience with Navy Medicine in one sentence, Pridmore replied, “Life’s not about how hard of a hit you can give, it’s about how many you can take and keep moving forward.”