Jump to content

Combat medics transition to paramedics


Recommended Posts

As I was an Army medic myself this is a subject of interest. Many of you may be aware that some local governments are beginning to put in place measures for medic veterans to transition to paramedics. Im curious to know how the ems community feels about this?? Is thos viewed as good or possibly opening the door down a dangerous path if the education isn't very closely fitting for service medics to get the proper training. IE cardiovascular....

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 26
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

We don't set the path. That you don't like the path is not the point. The path is what it is. If this is what you want to do you will follow the path. What's more, that you don't like the comments

Hi Ghost. I am saying this as a former 91B who reclassified to the newer MOS designation. I joined the military back in the 1990's and was in until the mid 2000's. I started as an E1 and worked my way

As im sure most of you can tell im rather easily heated over a variety of issues. Yet I can admit to the fact I am indeed very hot headed and an even shorter fuse, which I can also say im getting help

I think this is a very good idea. Why wouldn't this be a good thing.

By the way thanks for your service.

Link to post
Share on other sites

No. Sorry, but it's a bad idea being put into place for all the wrong reasons.

There is to much variability in what a "medic" in the Army, Navy, and Air Force does to make a transition course possible. Even if you looked soley at people assigned to line infantry/armor/MP/some type of combat unit there is to much variability in what 2 different people will be doing/knowing. Beyond that, there is to much variability in what a "medic" in just the Army does. The Army and Navy (not sure about AF) will come out with at least their EMT cert if not something higher...that's really all that they should get. If a process is put into place to help them reaquire an expired cert with fewer hoops to jump through that sounds like a good idea, but there is to much of a difference between what different medics will be doing to make a transition course possible.

There are specific types of medical providers in all 3 services that will get, or have the opportunity to get, a higher cert than EMT as part of their training. And there are people who will get the opportunity to attend civilian EMT/AEMT/EMT-I/Paramedic classes as part of their career; this doesn't apply to them for obvious reasons.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think with the appropriate amount of additional training, it could be good. But what is the appropriate amount of additional training. That should be the question.

I don't know what goes into a medic training into the military so that would be my only question is how much more training should they have?

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I went through army medic school it was comprised of a few parts. The first was your basic EMT-B course. After completing the basic course you moved on to IV and IO skills. Then respiratory to include surgical crics, needle chest decompression. Then we went through so much training on trauma....obvious reasons..... that I cant list everything we were taught. We had pharm like morphine, narcan, and things fairly similar to a paramedic just not the emphasis on cardiac due to the treatment situation usually being one of extreme duress and the need for very quick concise treatment to save the life/limb or eye sight and medevac asap.

By the way thanks for your service.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The first was your basic EMT-B course.

If separating service members maintain their EMT-B then that's the level at which they should be certified. If they let it expire, however, then it's expired, and they leave with nothing.

After completing the basic course you moved on to IV and IO skills. Then respiratory to include surgical crics, needle chest decompression. Then we went through so much training on trauma....obvious reasons.....

Yes. The focus is on trauma for obvious reasons. Unfortunately, you just provided a list of technical skills. Anybody can be trained to do them. There's not much behind a list of technical skills if there's no critical thinking component behind it.

...We had pharm like morphine, narcan, and things fairly similar to a paramedic just not the emphasis on cardiac due to the treatment situation usually being one of extreme duress and the need for very quick concise treatment to save the life/limb or eye sight and medevac asap.

And this is exactly where your problem lies. You have no idea what you don't know. You think you received training. You did not necessarily receive an education. There is a difference.

The focus on trauma skills does not automatically transfer to civilian thinking EMS. There's a difference between the two environments and the training reflects that difference. In the military you're dealing with, and the training reflects, an otherwise young, healthy, free from chronic conditions population in a combat trauma setting. You're not dealing with ongoing medical conditions in an aging population with a lengthy list of comorbid medical factors.

Of course, this is assuming that an Army 68W was assigned as a medic to a combat unit. The MOS can wind up being assigned to any variety of healthcare or even non-direct healthcare work environments. I believe the same applies for the Navy and Air Force as well.

So, a straight transition from military medical technician is not a wise choice in this case.

Transitioning is easily done, though. Veterans hiring preference can help vets get jobs. GI Bill funding can help with educational and career prep once separated from the military. Should a vet decide to pursue civilian EMS education, PA education, nursing education, medical education, there are tools in place to help that vet succeed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So you mean to tell all the ppl who have went and gone to become military medic deserve only the bare minimum in certification when they have done things that reach into critical care levels???

The next statement made is skills w/o critical thinking...seriously, how much more critical can you get when you are under fire from every direction and a soldier is shot and has frothy sputum coming from his mouth....yet not only do I have to know how to treat him I also have to get to him while being shot at protect him, and myself....sounds to me like YOU are the one who doesn't realize what YOU dont know.

Then you have the uneducated balls to say this was not an education???? You speak on us as if you are ome yet you don't even have the proper title, we are NOT medical technicians we ARE medics. Period.

Yes believe it or not we are capable of understanding what we lack in order to have a successful transition to civi paramedic.

Also I must address the statement of we dont have to address ongoimg medical issues and such. You really believe noone has a past medical hx? Noone is at retirement age? Allow me to educate. My last unit had a corporal with cancer. We had several ongoing wound treatments. Ptsd leads to everything from mental instability to cardiovascular complications. You should check your facts.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So you mean to tell all the ppl who have went and gone to become military medic deserve only the bare minimum in certification when they have done things that reach into critical care levels???

Yes. That is what you earned. The certification you earned is an EMT-B. That it has some extra technical skills thrown in is inconsequential. Maybe it'll help people down the road if they pursue advanced education.

In the military you do one thing. It doesn't translate to the civilian world. Don't like it? I don't make the rules.

The next statement made is skills w/o critical thinking...seriously, how much more critical can you get when you are under fire from every direction and a soldier is shot and has frothy sputum coming from his mouth....yet not only do I have to know how to treat him I also have to get to him while being shot at protect him, and myself....sounds to me like YOU are the one who doesn't realize what YOU dont know.

I'm well aware of the job of a 68W in a combat setting. I'm well aware of the job of a 68W in a non-combat setting. In the Army you were a 68W - Health Care Specialist. That's not 68W Combat Medic. That 68W - Health Care Specialist. You do the job you are assigned to do whether that be with an infantry unit, MP unit or hospital unit.

You're confusing training of technical skills with critical thinking. You are trained to react. You are trained to do certain things in a certain environment. If you take the time to think you and the soldiers you are trying to protect will die.

Then you have the uneducated balls to say this was not an education???? You speak on us as if you are ome yet you don't even have the proper title, we are NOT medical technicians we ARE medics. Period.

Technical training to perform technical skills, rather like a monkey can be trained to do, is still training. There's a difference.

That's why AIT is called training.

Yes believe it or not we are capable of understanding what we lack in order to have a successful transition to civi paramedic.

Capable of understanding what you lack? Perhaps. But it's still lacking. Don't want to come up short? Go to paramedic school just like every other paramedic out there.

Are there some who've taken the initiative to learn more, do more, educate themselves while in the military? Yes. Do these guys get out with civilian certifications that let them work in the civilian world? You bet. Does a 68W getting out of the military with an EMT-B certification meet those standards? No.

Want to do more? Gotta earn the education first. Does that mean these guys, including you, would need to go to paramedic school to earn it?

Yes.

Also I must address the statement of we dont have to address ongoimg medical issues and such. You really believe noone has a past medical hx? Noone is at retirement age? Allow me to educate. My last unit had a corporal with cancer. We had several ongoing wound treatments. Ptsd leads to everything from mental instability to cardiovascular complications. You should check your facts.

So the Army is dragging off retirees to combat? The title of your thread specifies combat medics. The military, by and large, does not send people off to combat who are unhealthy or unwell with chronic medical conditions that would put a single soldier's, or group of soldiers, life (lives) in danger. Do things develop on deployment? Sure. What do you do then? Send them to your PA/MD/DO staff. Will you help with the technical skills? Blood draws? Immunizations? Lab work? Sure. But that's all it is... technical skills.

And before you blow another gasket you're taking things that were not meant personally awfully personally. That you are unable to separate comments you asked for from a personal attack is, unfortunately, pretty telling.

You asked for opinions. You got one. 68Ws getting out of the military with an EMT-B card need to go to paramedic school if they want to operate as a paramedic in the civilian world. The advantage they have getting out of the military is already having an EMT-B (if it was kept current and expiration wasn't timed with the soldier's ETS date) and the GI Bill to help pay for it.

Edited by paramedicmike
Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow. Touchy touchy. I'm sorry, but when you immedietly jump to a pedantic defensive posture like that you start to lose credibility. Perhaps you should exercise some...I don't know...calm critical thinking skills and try again?
I think you have a gross lack of understanding in the difference between the standard training that a military corpsman recieves and the standard training that a civilian paramedic recieves. Despite what you apparently think, trauma management makes up an extremely small part of what a paramedic does, and in all reality, trauma management for a field provider is easy. There is far, far more to field care that revolves around soley medical complaints, or even more fun, a mixed problem of trauma and medical issues. As far as I know, the standard training that say, an Army 68W recieves has very little to do with that. If I'm wrong...feel free to elaborate and correct me.
I hate to say it, but the fact that you think that a few physical skills equates to "critical care levels" shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that you don't understand what real critical care is. Again, if you think I'm wrong, please elaborate on what "critical care" the garden variety military corpsman provides.
I'm going to be nice and not suggest that the fact that you apparently think that having to deal with someone with cancer makes you the equal of a paramedic, and that since you apparently think that whatever your own personal experiences were are the same as EVERY military corpsman marks you as an idiot. Really, I wouldn't do that.
What I will suggest is that you need to stop, calm yourself, which, if you were such a high-speed provider who provided critical care under a hail of lead should be very easy for you, and think about this:
If you want to compare two different groups who provide a similar service (it doesn't have to be medical related, it can be anything) you have to look at the lowest common denominator; ie the people who just barely make it through whatever certification or testing process to gain entry into that specific group. Because that is all that matters for comparison; there will always be people who go above and beyond the minimums, but what matters is the basic requirements to do that particular job. What I mean is, you can't compare the top guy from group A to the bottom guy from group B, OR the top guy from group B, because there is no standard for being on the top...theres just a standard for being on the bottom. So...knowing that, do you really think that bozo A from the military who spent their time in the states and never saw a patient beyond sick call (where they turfed the patient to the next highest level of care without doing anything) is the same as bozo B the paramedic who barely passed the NR and works for a slow, lousy service? I can tell you right now, there is a big difference in what the two will know, and be capable of doing. And a transition course is not the way to make up the difference.
If you want the title, put in the time to earn in. Don't come up with some sob story to get around it, or think that by coming up with some fancy name for a new provider will make you equals.
Edited by triemal04
Link to post
Share on other sites

NO: what Mike is saying is that people who have served in the military as combat medics are given an intensive course in combat lifesaving.

While there are some advanced skillsets taught and some pharmacology taught. It is however nowhere near the same as a full Paramedic degree college level course of instruction.

Yes there are some senior military medics & corpsman that have many years of experience that could transition to a civilian Paramedic level as they have completed the required education and have experienced many different types of duty over their careers in the military.

We had a Senior Chief corpsman who had served in independent duty stations such as on a sub or in remote duty stations who was every bit as experienced as any P.A .and the one young Doctor we had assigned to us , often went to him for advice and to share in his wisdom gained over 25 years in the Navy.

While you and thousands of others were serving in a war zone it really doesn't make you any more special than the tens of thousands of us that served in past conflicts, so the special benefits being given to the new generation of veterans rubs the wrong way to many people.

Link to post
Share on other sites
This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...