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Madison sailor part of COVID-19 fight aboard hospital ship USNS Comfort

U.S. Navy Ensign Megan Arnett is responsible for testing patients for COVID-19.

NEW YORK — A sailor from Madison is serving her country and helping in the COVID-19 treatment effort aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort.

U.S. Navy Ensign Megan Arnett, a member of the patient transport team, is responsible for testing patients of unknown COVID-19 status to determine correct unit placement before transporting them onto the ship. Comfort cares for trauma, emergency and urgent care patients without regard to their COVID-19 status. The ship is working with Javits New York Medical Station as an integrated system to relieve the New York City medical system, in support of U.S. Northern Command's Defense Support of Civil Authorities as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I think it's really awesome that we came up here, with such a quick turnaround," said Arnett. "The city clearly had a need for us to take on these patients. It's a unique opportunity for me. I normally work in pediatrics, so this is a new environment and we're learning quickly."

"We are doing everything we can for them the minute their ambulance gets here," added Arnett. "We want the patient to know where they are, and to relieve as much of their stress as we can. The ship is new for us, and it's brand new for the patients. It's not a typical hospital experience, and we want to help the patient understand as much as possible about what is happening around them. The entire team is working hard to make sure the patient is comfortable and getting the best care possible. I'm so glad I'm here. It's a once in a lifetime experience, and it's an honor to be a part of it."

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