United States Navy Rating Description
The following is a reprint
of the official United States Navy Rating Description for the
Pharmacist Mate, Second Class, taken from NAVPERS 15386 Navy
Department Bureau of Naval Personnel published 1945.
TO THE VETERAN: This rating
Description is an official document of the United States navy. It
has been issued to you mainly to help you get a job in civilian
life which will make the best use of your naval training and
experience. Don't hesitate to show it to any employer or
prospective employer. Your rating description may prove to be one
of your most valuable papers. Take care of it.
MATE, Second Class
This description is designed to give prospective employers,
employment service officials, educators and other interested
persons an over-all picture of the technical responsibilities
assumed, duties performed, and knowledge and skills acquired by
personnel in this rating. Representative related civilian
occupations are included as a placement guide.
It is the Navy's policy to issue a Rating Description
booklet that most accurately reflects the dischargee's naval
experience as determined by examination of his service record.
For this reason, the booklet issued will not always correspond to
the rating classification held by the dischargee.
Special skills, training or qualifications other than those
described in the following sections may be obtained from the
certificate of discharge or other separation records and by
Enlisted personnel of the Navy are divided into two groups,
rated and non-rated. The rated personnel are petty officers and
are divided into four levels of responsibility and skill, ranging
from third class, upward through second class and first class, to
chief, which is the highest petty officer rating.
Pharmacist's mates are petty officers who, under the direction
of medical officers, administer medical assistance, treatment,
and services to naval personnel. They may serve in the sick bay
or dispensary of a ship or shore station, at a naval hospital, or
on a hospital ship. When assigned to a marine landing party, they
render first aid to the injured on a battle field, or at a
dressing station. Many pharmacist's mates in addition to skill,
training and experience acquired in the performance of general
hospital duties, take specialized training and through practical
experience become competent medical technicians in such fields as
X-ray, clinical laboratory, pharmacy, epidemiology and sanitation,
fever-therapy, etc. Those pharmacist's mates who are employed as
technicians are required to attend regular classes in general
medicine to maintain skills and knowledge previously acquired.
In addition to the foregoing duties they assist medical
officers in the various treatment, operating and diagnostic
rooms, such as general major surgical eye, ear, nose and throat
genito-urinary, physio-therapy, and x-ray. They also assist
medical officers in giving physical examinations to men being
considered for enlistment, promotions, discharges, and transfers.
The PHARMACIST'S MATE, Second Class, performs general nursing
duties, ward, and first aid duties, while concurrently receiving
advanced instruction in nursing, anatomy and physiology, hygiene
and sanitation, first aid and minor surgery, materia medica,
metrology, elementary pharmacy, operating room procedure,
elementary physical therapy, dietetics, and clerical procedures.
He supervises and instructs pharmacist's mates, third class, and
hospital apprentice's, first and second class, in performance of
their duties, and he receives instructions and supervision from
his medical superiors. PHARMACIST'S MATES, Second Class are
eligible for selection for medical technician training, which
when combined with practical experience in a particular field
(X-ray, clinical laboratory, pharmacy, etc.) enables them to
become competent medical technicians at the conclusion of the
required course of study. Each man so qualified receives a
certificate, which should be consulted for confirmation of his
particular medical specialty. Ordinarily by the time a man is
advanced to the rating of PHARMACIST'S MATE, Second Class, he is
transferred from a naval hospital to a ship or some other
III. DUTIES PERFORMED (Representative duties
performed by a PHARMACIST'S MATE, Second Class.)
Note: Those PHARMACIST'S MATES, Second Class, who have been
trained and assigned as medical technicians, and who are largely
occupied in performing the duties of their specialty, do not
acquire experience as extensive as do other PHARMACIST'S MATES,
Second Class, who spend full time in performing the following
A. OPERATIONAL and SUPERVISORY
(1) Renders nursing care to patients by making beds, preparing
diets, and administering therapeutics. (2) Prepares for, and
(under the direction of a medical officer) catheterizes patients
under aseptic conditions and using a sterile technique. (3)
Equips and arranges dressing carriages with sterile instruments,
dressings, bandages, and medicines. (4) Takes post-operative care
of patient by arranging bed with shock blocks; takes and records
pulse, temperature, and respiration at regular intervals; and
reports any serious change in a patient's condition to his
medical superiors. (5) Records on a chart the details of
treatment, medications, and nourishments given. (6) Performs
routine duties in connection with admission of patients to ward.
(7) In the event of death, notifies medical superiors, and under
direction prepares, handles, and removes remains to morgue. (8)
Prepares simple pharmaceutical compounds. (9) Assists medical
officer in giving vaccinations and inoculations. (10) Takes
charge of and supervises an x-ray file room. (11) May assist in
the supervision of a ward or sick bay. (12) When aboard ship,
inspects crew's quarter's commissary, kitchen's, and other
sections of the ship for sanitation irregularities; when any are
found he reports them to the medical officer. (13) May perform
and medical duty within capabilities when called upon to do so by
the medical officer. (14) May be assigned as an assistant to a
medical officer in any of the following departments, performing
the duties described.
(a) GENERAL MAJOR SURGICAL OPERATING ROOM:
all instruments, dressings, and utensils. Takes care of, cleans,
and sharpens instruments. Set-up and selects required material
for each type of operation. Cleans and scrubs operating room
before and after all types of operations. Assists medical officer
as directed during the course of the operation; passes
instruments, sutures, dressings, and keeps suitable materials
handy to meet emergencies. Assists in applying post-operative
dressings, takes temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and
respiration when necessary.
(b) SURGICAL DRESSING ROOM: Assists medical officer
in applying all types of dressings. Makes and sterilizes surgical
dressings. Sterilizes instruments. Prepares and positions patient
for post-operative dressings. Set-up sterile tray and carriage
(c) EYE, EAR, NOSE AND THROAT TREATMENT AND OPERATING
ROOMS: Assist medical officer in all treatments,
examinations, surgery, and ward rounds. Cleans clinic and
sterilizes all instruments, dressings, and utensils. Gives
inhalations, ointments, and instills drops. Prepares equipment
and aids in administering anesthesia. Records the type
and date of treatments, medications and dressings of a patient.
(d) GENIT0-URINARY EXAMINING TREATMENT AND OPERATING
ROOMS: Assists medical officer in examining, treating, and
operating. Sterilizes equipment, instruments, and dressings.
Prepares sterile and un sterile specimens for laboratory. Prepares
sedative and anesthetic hypodermics. Cleans, arranges, and equips
venereal prophylaxis room. Catheterizes patients under the
direction of a medical officer. Gives pre-operative or
post-operative care to patients.
(e) ORTHOPEDIC DRESSING ROOM: Assist medical officer
in all treatments, examinations and operations. Sets-up and
arranges all material for a fracture case. Gives hypodermic or
sedative under direction. Assists medical officer in applying
various types of splints and appliances, frames, and traction
(f) OUT-PATIENT TREATMENT AND EXAMINING ROOM: Receives
patients and makes out all necessary clerical forms for
treatment, admission or examination. Refers patients to proper
departments in hospital or dispensary. Assists medical officers
in all treatment, examinations, or minor operations. Arranges
appointments for patients. Handles emergencies and dispatches
(g) PHYSICAL EXAMINING ROOM: Assist medical officer
in all physical examinations. Cleans physical examining room and
arranges instruments, scales and charts. Performs clerical work
involved in physical examinations. Takes and records temperatures,
blood pressure, pulse, respiration, measurements, and height and
weight of those being examined.
IV. BASIC KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
Note: Pharmacist's Mates, Second Class, who have been trained
and assigned as medical technicians, acquire the following
described knowledge through regular hospital training, but as
they spend the major portion of their time in performing the
duties of their specialty, they do not develop the following
skills to as high a degree as other pharmacist's Mates, Second
Class, who spend full time in general hospital duties.
1. Has a thorough knowledge of the preparation of various
types of medical and surgical beds.
2. Is skilled in taking temperatures and converting them
from or to Centigrade, Reamur, or Fahrenheit scales.
3. Has detailed knowledge of materia medica and
4. Has a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of anatomy
5. Has a detailed knowledge of clinical charts and
6. Has a thorough knowledge of the operation of a hospital
7. Is skilled in applying pre-operative and post-operative
dressings and bandages.
8. Has a general knowledge of ordinary communicable
diseases, their symptoms and treatment.
9. Has a detailed knowledge of the instruments, dressings,
and medications used in operating and dressing rooms.
10. Has a general knowledge of catheterization.
11. Has a detailed knowledge of the procedures and forms
used in admitting and discharging patients.
12. Thoroughly understands the principles of hygiene,
sanitation, and sterilization.
13. Is skilled in administering medicine orally, by
injection, inhalation, and rectum, and also subcutaneously,
14. Has a general knowledge of medical forms and filing
15. Has an elementary knowledge of simple pharmaceutical
16. Has a detailed knowledge of minor surgery and first
17. Has a detailed knowledge of nursing, ward management,
and operating room technique.
18. Has a working knowledge of chemistry.
19. Understands the preparation of diets for the sick.
20. Is skilled in giving vaccinations and inoculations.
21. Understands the use, and operation of standard
hospital sterilization equipment.
V. RELATED CIVILIAN OCCUPATIONS.
A PHARMACIST'S MATE, Second Class, with the experience
described above is qualified for various civilian
occupations. Listed below are some of the more closely
related fields of work with specific examples of suitable
A PHARMACIST'S MATE, Second Class, can qualify for such
jobs as FIRST AID ATTENDANT, PRACTICAL NURSE, NURSE'S AIDE,
ORDERLY, ASYLUM ATTENDANT, FIRST-AID TEACHER, DENTIST'S
ASSISTANT, PHYSICIAN'S ASSISTANT, GENERAL OFFICE CLERK, or
With training in methods of using special types of therapy
equipment or in methods of handling and treating animals, a
PHARMACIST'S MATE, Second Class, could qualify for such jobs
as OXYGEN-THERAPY-EQUIPMENT TECHNICIAN, HYDRO THERAPIST, or
With additional training in specific types of therapy, or
in the operation of special apparatus, a PHARMACIST'S MATE,
Second Class, could qualify for such jobs as ANESTHETIST,
MEDICAL TECHNICIAN, DENTAL ANESTHETIST, DENTAL HYGIENIST,
MECHANO-THERAPIST, ELECTROTHERAPIST, or NURSE.
With considerable training to learn to compound and
dispense pharmaceuticals and qualify for state license to
practice pharmacy, a PHARMACIST'S MATE second class, could
qualify for such jobs as PHARMACIST, PRESCRIPTION CLERK,
PHARMACEUTICAL-LABORATORY ASSISTANT or PHARMACEUTICAL DETAIL
*U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING
OFFICE : 1945-651344
NAVPERS 15386 (1945)
In the midst of death, they wage a war for life"
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