Nurse Alyssa Ogawa was a Starfleet officer aboard the USS Enterprise-D, and later, the USS Enterprise-E. She was one of the head nurses in the ship's sickbay, assigned there in 2367 as an ensign. (TNG: "Future Imperfect", "Clues", "Identity Crisis") Upon recommendation of Dr. Beverly Crusher, she was promoted to lieutenant junior grade in 2370. (TNG: "Lower Decks") Ogawa became a senior sickbay staff member, and would make reports to the senior staff in Crusher's absence. (TNG: "Genesis")
Duties and responsibilitiesNurse Ogawa helped Dr. Crusher develop a way to stop the metamorphosis of the Tarchannen III aliens in 2367. (TNG: "Identity Crisis") She was also present during several surgeries involving the Trill ambassador Odan, which were the first Federation observations of the Trill symbiont. (TNG: "The Host")
Ogawa brought several pieces of medical equipment to the Enterprise bridge in order to monitor Captain Jean-Luc Picard's condition while he was knocked unconscious by a Kataan probe in late 2368. (TNG: "The Inner Light")
In 2369, Ogawa assisted Dr. Crusher in performing an autopsy on Joshua Kelly, an engineer from the USS Yosemite. (TNG: "Realm of Fear") Shortly following this incident, she helped treat Deanna Troi after she became a receptacle for Ambassador Ves Alkar's psychic "waste." (TNG: "Man of the People")Ogawa took part in the relief effort to Tagra IV in 2369. She helped Amanda Rogers pack a shipment of tricorders for transport to the planet. (TNG: "True Q")
Ogawa was one of the few junior officers who knew of the Cardassian defector Joret Dal's presence aboard the Enterprise, as she helped Dr. Crusher treat his serious injuries. She was ordered not to discuss what she knew of Joret with anyone. (TNG: "Lower Decks")
Ogawa was promoted to full lieutenant by 2373 and was posted to the new USS Enterprise-E. During the ship's trip to 2063, she helped evacuate sickbay after the Borg began to overrun the ship. (Star Trek: First Contact)
Alyssa was friends with several other junior officers and civilians on the ship, including Sam Lavelle, Taurik, the late Sito Jaxa, and Ten Forward waiter Ben. The group often played poker together. Sito departed the Enterprise on a covert mission with Joret Dal in 2370. Lavelle asked Ogawa if she knew any details about the mission, but Ogawa refused to reveal any information. Ogawa was saddened and upset when Sito was lost while returning from the mission. Lavelle felt guilty for accepting a promotion that he competed for with Ensign Sito, but Ogawa assured him that Sito would have been proud and happy for him. (TNG: "Lower Decks")
Beverly Crusher also considered Ogawa a friend. Beverly took interest in Alyssa's love life (TNG: "Imaginary Friend", "Attached") and was concerned when she noticed Ogawa's future husband, Andrew Powell, with another woman in Ten Forward shortly before they announced their engagement. (TNG: "Lower Decks")
Ogawa risked her own career when Dr. Crusher was relieved of duty for performing an autopsy on Dr. Reyga, violating the Ferengi death ritual and the Prime Directive. Crusher wanted to continue investigating, and was unable to access the needed autopsy files. Ogawa used her authorization to provide Crusher with the information, realizing that the vindication of Reyga and his work on the metaphasic shielding was very important to Crusher. (TNG: "Suspicions")
Ogawa briefly dated a fellow Enterprise-D crewmember in 2368. They took a holodeck trip to the Champs Elysees, and he invited her to Risa. Ogawa wasn't sure if she was ready for the uninhibited atmosphere of that planet, and Dr. Crusher suggested Tavela Minor as an alternate destination. (TNG: "Imaginary Friend")
Ogawa began seeing Lieutenant Andrew Powell later that year. Around the time of midyear crew evaluations, Alyssa worried that she and Andrew were growing apart. He began putting in many overtime hours and the couple did not spend much time together. However, Andrew proposed to her, much to her surprise and delight. They announced the engagement after the evaluations. (TNG: "Lower Decks")
The couple conceived a child shortly thereafter. The baby saved the life of the entire Enterprise-D crew when the ship was ravaged by Barclay's Protomorphosis Syndrome. Commander Data was able to extract natural immune barriers in the amniotic fluid from the pregnancy, which was used to cure the condition. During the crisis, Ogawa de-evolved to a lifeform resembling a primate. (TNG: "Genesis") She would give birth to the child in 2371.
Alternate timelines and realities
In 2367, Ogawa was part of the holoprogram set in 2383 created by the alien Barash to fool Commander Riker. She was still Dr. Crusher's assistant in sickbay aboard the Enterprise-D. (TNG: "Future Imperfect")
Ogawa was a full doctor and chief medical officer of the Enterprise-D in one alternate quantum reality visited by Worf in 2370. She informed Worf and Data that Geordi La Forge had perished as a result of a Cardassian attack. (TNG: "Parallels")
In an alternate 2370, Ogawa's baby was lost when she was exposed to the energies of an anti-time eruption. When the eruption was sealed into subspace, the events of this timeline were erased. (TNG: "All Good Things...")
Ogawa was first seen in TNG: "Future Imperfect" as part of Riker's illusory future. Although actress Patti Yasutake believed she would not be called back after this episode, the character appeared again, this time with a first name, in "Clues" (although credited simply as "Nurse") and was given a last name in "Identity Crisis". Yasutake wasn't originally scheduled to appear in the fifth season episode "The Game" as the original call sheet features Wil Wheaton and two background performers during this turbolift scene, filmed on Friday 30 August 1991 on Paramount Stage 9.
Ogawa was named by Star Trek: The Next Generation budget estimator Suzi Shimizu at the request of script coordinator Eric A. Stillwell. She decided on the first name of Alyssa, after her daughter, and Ogawa, after Shimizu's maiden name. (Star Trek Encyclopedia 2nd ed., p. 336) Although her origins were not mentioned on-screen, Alyssa may be Japanese descent as her name and Yasutake's own heritage suggests.
In 1993, Hallmark aired a television commercial in North America featuring Patti Yasutake in the role of Nurse Alyssa Ogawa who is seen questioning the shipboard computer about the features of the USS Enterprise-D "Keepsake" ornament.
Nurse Ogawa featured as a supporting character in the Marvel Comics one-shot crossover special "Star Trek: Telepathy War". She is also a main character in the Star Trek: Titan series of novels. Her child is also featured, revealed to be a boy named Noah. In The Genesis Wave, Book Three, the child is a girl named Suzi. In the Titan books it is mentioned that Ogawa's husband, Andrew Powell, died at the Battle of Rigel during the Dominion War in 2375.