Medical Officer On Board Ships

Medical emergencies are not new in ships. There can be several kinds of causalities. In passenger ships there are trained doctors to take care of the ship. These doctors ensure that the crew members and the passengers are taken care off. Some of the ships also have medical rooms and all medicines that might be required in a ship. On the other hand in normal merchant ships professionally qualified doctors are not present. In these ships medical cases are handled by ship’s medical officers.

Medical Hazards on Ships

The navy officers are working day night on the ship any kind of health hazard is possible. We will discuss how these officers can take care of their health and how these medical officers can help. These medical officers in non cruise ships mostly take care of any medical issues on the ship.

Medical Officer Ships

Medical Officer Ships

They are not qualified doctor but they are given basic training. Along with this training and years of practice on the ship these medical officers become quite good with medical emergencies. They cannot operate nor do a surgery. They can provide basic first aid and give basic medication. It is these medical officers are the ones who decide if an officer has to be air lifted or the person can be handled in the ship itself.

Second Mate: Medical Officer

The medical officer on board ships is second officer or second mate. They are in charge of minor medicines. They can handle an emergency and help to diagnose the actual medical problem. Along with their other responsibilities in the ship the medical officer is given the responsibility to take care of the medical problems. The second mate often has the responsibility of watching the sea and keeping a track of the navigation instruments.

There has been a long debate on whether the merchant ships should also get professionally trained doctors so that the mariners can have a safer journey. So far no major progress has happened in this. The merchant ships still rely on the medical officer when it comes to medical aid. The passenger ships by default has trained and professionally qualified doctors who can even do surgeries.

Duties and Responsibilities

The medical officer on board ships can perform x-rays and scans and send the reports to the doctors on shore. These doctors also study the reports and decide the treatment course. Thanks to modern technology a mariner can get treatment faster when in a ship. These medical officers on board ships have helped a lot of mariners in the past. These medical officers are trained on medical terms and they often get refresher trainings. Well in spite of all these trainings the medical officers may not be considered as capable as a medical doctor when it comes to treatments. The second mates on any ships are licensed and they can only operate as long as the licence is valid.

Professional Certified Doctors: The Debate

The discussion is on that the medical officer on board ships may be replaced by professional doctors. However, this seems a rare possibility mainly because a medical doctor on these ships may be too expensive and difficult to maintain. The passenger ships are on cruise for a few days this is exactly why they can afford a full time doctor. The merchant ships go on a voyage that can at times even last for months. This is exactly why it is difficult to find doctors who would go on such long voyages.

The shipping companies have ensured that the ships are in constant touch with an on shore medical team. This team keeps a track of the medical emergencies in the ship. They study the ships medical cases and accordingly decide what should be done. The medical officer on board ships is allowed to consult this team if there is a case that needs intervention.

Apart from this the shipping companies also arrange for air lifting of navy officers when there is an emergency. These steps have ensured that the life of the mariners is better and their chances of survival have increased. We must say that the medical officers on board ships are doing a great job for the mariners.

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