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Doctor Carolyn Shaw's Duty Log #1 - "In This Together

Posted on Wed May 31st, 2017 @ 8:51pm by Lieutenant Carolyn Shaw M.D.

The Nightingale has been ordered to assist the people of Menope VII, who have fallen victim to the planet's terraforming challenges as well as a series of natural disasters. Although this is exactly the kind of mission the crew of the Nightingale is prepared to handle, I suspect I was not the only one who blinked when we learned we'd be trying to help hundreds of thousands of people at one time. Like any other mass casualty or natural disaster situation, we will have to approach this one step at a time, though I suspect, seeing that many people clamoring for our assistance will be initially overwhelming for even the most seasoned first responder. I can't help but be reminded of the old puzzle that asks, "How does one eat an elephant?" The answer - one bite at a time - is as wise as it is tongue-in-cheek.

The crew may not have had experience managing a crisis on this large of a scale before, but I know they are all highly skilled not only in their individual areas of expertise, but also at being able to break down a large problem into specific component parts. As a physician and mental health professional, I always knew I would enjoy working aboard a medical ship for the opportunity to interact with a variety of medical professionals, but often overlooked are the specialist engineers, scientists, and systems specialists that make the medical work we do possible. Gods know, they certainly have their work cut out for them. No one in Starfleet encounters a mission where they have much control, but working against mother nature presents its own unique challenges. An environment can be just as unpredictable as the Borg, but unlike the Borg, we can't phaser Mother Nature into submission.

The mental health services staff will certainly also have its work cut out for them. It's hard enough to earn the trust of traumatized people in the best of circumstances, but it may prove even harder given people literally can't trust the ground under their feet from one moment to the next. In addition, I've asked that everyone keep a discrete eye on the rest of the crew. Dealing with such unpredictability against unrelenting environmental conditions is enough to wear anyone down over time even if he or she is able to focus on one task at a time.

No matter what happens, I know we're all in this together. There's something to be said for serving with a crew whose sole goal is to save lives.


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