Medical Technology

Why Advanced first Aid Education in the Military is Essential



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Going through a Hospital Corpsman Basic "A" school, the importance of advanced first aid have been ingrained in me through tests, labs and study sessions.

I learned that depending on the circumstances, I might be the only medical provider in a unit of Sailors and Marines. Therefore, it was imperative for me to learn about starting an IV, giving immunizations and injections, vital signs and teaching other Sailors and Marines basic and advanced first aid. These are just some of the duties of a Hospital Corpsman.

Then of course, there's Field Medical Service School (FMSS). Depending on the needs of the Navy, male Hospital Corpsmen may either be assigned to a platoon in Camp Lejeune in North Carolina or Camp Pendleton in California. This is where triage comes into play. Coming from the French verb trier, the process of triage includes prioritizing injured personnel and deciding who is treated first.

In FMSS, Corpsmen build upon the basic medical foundation they developed in "A" school. They receive more training that they will use while serving with the Marine Corps and the Navy Construction Force, which consists of Construction Battalions, nicknamed the "Seabees."

Although the curriculum at HM "A" school is excellent, the material in the Hospital Corpsman training manual is more in-depth than the material taught at the school. Even the medical section in the Basic Military Requirements (BMR) is more detailed!

In addition, because labs and study sessions tended to be overcrowded, the majority of Sailors are only able to practice certain techniques once, as to insure everyone has a turn.

Moreover, sometimes there weren't enough instructors to teach labs. However, I've noticed that Corpsmen and officers in the Reserves volunteer to teach labs at Corps school for a period of two weeks, sometimes longer. These individuals are usually outstanding and are able to pass along their knowledge and experiences to Sailors training to be Corpsmen.

Having advanced first aid accomplishes a multitude of goals, including:

+Advanced first aid allows an individual to become an asset for the military, particularly their unit because they are able to perform more complicated and delicate procedures that will in turn save another person's life.

+Advanced medical skills allow the medic or Corpsman to teach, encourage and inspire other personnel who aren't as confident, experienced or competent.

+Introduces discipline, patience, perseverance, focus, alertness and compassion when carrying out missions and helping patients. It even allows the provider to practice their bedside manner.

+Provides more opportunities to advance and proceed in higher learning to become a registered nurse (RN), nurse practitioner (NP), physician assistant (PA), or even a medical doctor (MD).

The military is huge on education. They will pay you while you attend college for a specialty. In return, you'll become an officer and will have to serve a term in your field in order for the military to pay your student loans and other expenses.

+Since the ideal time to stay in the military is twenty years, it prepares you for the civilian side. As a veteran, you are first priority in being selected for a job. With enough advanced training, you are looking at a generous salary.

+Advanced first aid can earn you credit towards your degree. In addition to the two first aid credits I earned in boot camp, I earned fourteen more in HM "A" school. Based on the college that I'm attending right now, sixteen credits knocks out an entire semester for me. I earned:

*1 credit in personal conditioning
*1 credit in personal/community health
*1 credit in anatomy and physiology
*3 credits in fundamentals of nursing
*1 credit in management of behavioral emergencies
*2 credit in management of trauma injuries
*3 credits in nursing (clinical practicum)
*1 credit in patient care in a contaminated environment
*2 credits in pharmacology
*1 credit in physical assessment

As I advance in ranks, I'll earn more college credit for my training, which translates into more college credit towards my degrees in pre-nursing and pre-respiratory therapy. Since I recently was promoted as a Hospitalman (HN - E-3), I earned seventeen more credits.

Advanced first aid in the military is essential because it not only affects the medic and Corpsman but also everyone else that they meet and treat in a positive way. Several positive outcomes occur from advanced first aid so the individual in training should focus on becoming as proficient as possible.

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