News: Army Reserve medics get realistic training
Story by Capt. Chad Nixon
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The sheer havoc and demand placed on a medic in war can be stressful to say the least. Those are the conditions instructors from the 328th Combat Support Hospital, 807th Medical Command tried to emulate during combat medic training April 13 at the B.T. Collins Army Reserve Center.
During a weeklong Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) course, instructors provided medical training to combat medics in order to sharpen their skills and complete required training to maintain their Emergency Medical Technician license (EMT) and 68W military occupational specialty (MOS).
Classroom instruction consisted of topics such as treating abdominal trauma, pharmacology and casualty movement as well as student teaching where instructors evaluated the medics’ subject knowledge and presentation skills.
“The student teaching portion was very interesting,” said Spc. Tammy Walker, a combat medic with the 328th. “Even though we picked the subjects we have to be very confident of the material.”
The week long course concluded with the hands on skills evaluation phase where instructors created a live exercise using medical mannequins and other materials to simulate and emergency situation for students to react.
“My goal is to create an environment where stress can seem overwhelming,” said Staff Sgt. Christina Machado, lead instructor for the 328th. I want my students to receive the most realistic training they possibly can to help them save lives when they are called upon.
During class instructors ran in and alerted students of an explosion that has taken place and that they were to expect casualties. Within moments students found themselves in a dark room with flashing strobe lights and loud gunfire.
Students reacted by removing the wounded from the blast site to a safe area where medical treatment can begin.
“We yell and scream to make it feel as real as we can,” said assistant instructor Sgt. Matthew Landeros. “We even give them wrong medical advice to see if they have the guts to correct us with proper techniques.”
After the wounded are treated and the notional medevac helicopter has transported the patients for further medical care, instructors provided feedback on student performance and asked for ideas on how the training can be improved.
“I have 2 goals when I instruct,” said Machado. Give Soldiers the tools they need to help save lives and inspire my students to continue serving as a combat medic. “If I can leave here knowing I have reached these kids and motivated them to continue growing as a medic and Soldier, then I have done my job.”