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    Afghan engineer medics learn valuable lifesaving skills



    Courtesy Story

    4th Engineer Battalion

    By U.S. Army 1st Lt. Anthony Wrench

    KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Headquarters and Headquarters Company of 4th Engineer Battalion, Task Force Iron Fist, partnered with the 205th Corps Engineer Kandak (CEK) to arm the CEK medics with essential medical skills, empowering them to then teach every Soldier in the CEK.

    Capt. Steffan Meiler, TF Iron Fist Physician Assistant, took the lead during the three-week training for the CEK Medical Section.

    “It was a new experience, having fully trained Afghan Army Physician Assistants to work alongside of. I had much more motivation in my efforts to prepare training topics and iterations, knowing that I was helping develop the first graduates of the Afghan National Physician Assistant Program,” said Capt. Meiler.

    The first week focused on aid station operations. Meiler and his assistant instructor, Pfc. Anthony Williamson, helped improve the aid station systems. The team helped establish a records filing system and trained the medics on how to properly fill out documentation, enabling the medical section to track patient history and provide a higher level of care.

    During the second week, Williamson took the lead as the team trained the ANA on field sanitation and hygiene.

    The first two days focused on proper field sanitation techniques. One technique taught to the Afghan medics was how to test and sanitize drinking water, after which the medics conducted a practical exercise where they had to take a sample of water, test it, and sanitize it for consumption.

    On the final day of the training, Williamson focused on hygiene.
    The Afghan medics caught on quickly and showed proficiency in these tasks. Armed with the information presented in the class, the CEK medical section will be able to enact these changes in their units.

    Their training was then put to the test with a combat lifesaver class and medical trauma practice lanes. Focusing on essential lifesaving skills, 4th Eng. Bn. medics posed as casualties while the Afghan medics quickly treated their wounds.

    “Having Afghan 1st Lt. Nawid present also increased the efficacy of our training, as he was able to explain medical concepts that are often lost in translation even with a skilled linguist. The Afghan medics were able to readily observe that their Physician Assistant was a legitimate medical provider, and that our assistance was provided simply on the basis of one provider helping another,” said Capt. Meiler.

    The CEK medical section is now equipped to provide a higher level of medical care to their fellow Afghan Soldiers.



    Date Taken: 09.16.2013
    Date Posted: 09.27.2013 00:41
    Story ID: 114351
    Location: AF

    Web Views: 305
    Downloads: 0