For David Trottman, being on the receiving end of unexpected recognition was an opportunity to deflect credit to those he works with and works for.

The certified occupational health nurse specialist, assigned to Navy Medicine Readiness Training Command Bremerton detachment Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, was surprised recently with The DAISY Award.

The nurse-centric accolade specifically honors “the super-human work nurses do for patients and families every day wherever they practice, in whatever role they serve, and throughout their careers,” according to the DAISY foundation.

“Honestly, I have never believed that I deserve an award. I truly try and do the best I can do each day, but as part of the team that I work with. I wish we could all be recognized as a group. However, it was very humbling to receive this award and I am thankful for it,” said Trottman, regional program manager for occupational health nursing at the largest occupational health clinic in the Department of Navy serving approximately 16,000 DoD shipyard workers.

Trottman attests that being a recipient of the DAISY Award affirms that the work the clinic does is being noticed and appreciated.

“It just sheds light on the work we do here. We are compassionate care givers. We are the only real medical presence at the shipyard, other than the fire department. We are not an emergency room, or intensive care unit, but we take care of the almost 16,000 workers here every day,” Trottman said.

The clinic provides support to PSNS with comprehensive work surveys, program evaluation for elimination and control of chemical/biological health hazards, hearing conservation, health promotion/wellness, treatment of occupational injuries and illnesses, certification examinations, occupationally related immunizations, medical surveillance, and more.

“The best part of my job is knowing that I have a direct impact on the U.S. Navy and its mission,” related Trottman. “Every day, workers come to see me. I help to ensure that they remain safe in their daily tasks servicing the submarines and surface vessels that are at the shipyard.”

Trottman’s duties as an occupational health nurse keep him constantly busy in the hectic environment of the Pacific Northwest’s largest Naval shore facility and one of Washington state’s largest industrial installations.

“The day-to-day grind is heavily administrative in focus. I view OHN’s as investigators, who look at lab results/trends, work processes, and exposure data to determine if our civilian/military workers are being hurt/exposed from the various hazards that are common to the work they are involved in at the shipyard,” explained Trottman. “The OHN is the go-to staff member for patient screening/information, communication between healthcare facilities, and surveillance guidelines/protocols. We make sure our workers are safe and protected, so they can ensure the naval vessels they are working on make their deployment windows.”

Such a working environment is really nothing new to Trottman. Throughout his entire life, he has in some way been linked to the U.S. Navy. He was raised next to Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, in Ridgecrest, California, and graduated from Burroughs High School there in 1991.

“I was an Air Force brat, so moving regularly was common for my family when I was growing up. I was born in Homestead, Florida, but then lived in Alabama, Saudi Arabia, and finally Ridgecrest,” Trottman said. “It was more the thought of being an officer in the Navy that attracted me. I always liked the idea of serving my country, wearing the beautiful Navy whites, and travelling the world.”

He enlisted in the Navy in 1992, went through the Navy’s BOOST program – which back then provided him the opportunity to receive extensive academic preparation to bolster his chances for the officer selection process – and entered the University of Washington Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps as a ‘nurse option’ midshipman.

“After being commissioned, I reported to Naval Hospital Bremerton in June 1997. I spent just under six years on active duty, and left the Navy as a lieutenant,” said Trottman, who served as an inpatient ward nurse and emergency room nurse with additional tours of duty at Jacksonville, Florida, San Diego, Groton, Connecticut and Honolulu.

In a career of active duty as well as civil service spanning over 30 years, Trottman readily admits his top memories are not the places he’s been or the experiences he’s accomplished.

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“The best part of my career has been the relationships I have developed with the enlisted, officer, and civilians I have encountered,” noted Trottman. “Some of the best people I have ever known, I have worked with side by side in my career.”

When asked to sum up his experience with Navy Medicine in one sentence, Trottman replied, “My Navy Medicine career has been a truly fun and fulfilling ride.”


This piece is written by Douglas Stutz from the Naval Hospital Bremerton/Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Bremerton. Want to feature your story? Send your draft here today.