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    Mass casualty exercise: Operating in organized chaos

    Mass casualty exercise: Operating in organized chaos

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Justin Geiger | Medical Soldiers participating in simulated Mass Casualty exerciser as part of the...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Justin Geiger 

    7th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, California – Outfitted in chemical protective suits, medical Soldiers participating in the 528th Hospital Center’s Medical Exercise anticipate the moment when their expertise would be called upon to evaluate casualties.

    Despite being fully draped in personal protective equipment as the sweltering humidity beating down on the field hospital, a sense of tranquility filled the emergency medical treatment area prior to a simulated Mass Casualty training scenario, Sept. 3, 2018.

    “We received a call saying we had nine patients inbound – once the Front-line Ambulance arrived we had a team that triaged people outside of the field hospital, and the other six patients received treatment inside the emergency room,” said Maj. Laura Ogle, an ER nurse assigned to the 131st Field Hospital.

    “In the medical field we like to call that organized chaos because there’s a lot of preparation going on, you don’t know what’s coming in and there’s a lot of moving pieces coming to the ER to help,” Ogle expressed.

    Receiving and evaluating multiple casualties, as part of the MASCAL can be hectic, however, integrating medical personnel from the professional filler (PROFIS) system and Observer Controller/Trainers enables the hospital center to rotate through a series of controlled medical simulations.

    Approximately 100 medical professional from 15 installations across the United States deployed to Fort Hunter Liggett to support the medical exercise and to test and validate their ability to operate the field hospital as a cohesive team.

    Operating in a stressful training environment provides, senior officers down to lower enlisted Soldiers, on the ground, the opportunity to asses standard operating procedures, share knowledge and to apply each lesson learned for future operations.

    “I’m learning how to properly treat different categories of patients, how to manage patient flow and how to manage/evaluate trauma patients,” said Pfc. Sofia Rose Gutierrez, a combat medic assigned to the 131st Field Hospital.

    But one of the biggest lessons Gutierrez highlighted was having the ability to adapt to different situation.

    “When you’re working with a nurse versus when you’re working with a doctor or you’re on a team of all medics; I’ve learned how my role changes and how to adapt and be comfortable in that role,” said Gutierrez.

    Adaptability is a vital skill to have as a medical professional. Remaining poise and calm in a chaotic medical situation can be the deciding factor when conducting life-saving treatment.



    Date Taken: 09.03.2018
    Date Posted: 09.04.2018 19:22
    Story ID: 291399

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