Medical Advances Made In The Vietnam War Are Still Used Today
The use of medevac helicopters to provide in-transport medical care in the Vietnam War saved countless lives. Dustoff missions alone picked up an estimated 900,000 wounded soldiers and Vietnamese civilians during the course of the war. The success of this approach has inspired emergency medical respondents around the world military and civilian to rely on helicopters as a fast mobile operating theater where the next stage of medical treatment can start even before reaching a hospital.
The Vietnam War also led to advances in the storage, transport, and use of blood. Predictably, the need escalated in line with the casualties from 100 units per month in 1965 to more than 30,000 units per month by 1968 , according to a report from the Department of Defense Legacy Resource Management Program.
This was the first time blood type O negative had been used for universal donations which it still is today. In addition, a new type of container had been developed that could keep blood viable for 48 to 72 hours in the field long enough to move it to hospitals near the frontlines. Medical researchers in Vietnam also experimented with adding small amounts of adenine, an amino acid, which extended blood’s viability to 40 days. To maintain the supply, the U.S. Army Pacific and U.S. Army Republic of Vietnam built a donor and distribution system traversing the U.S., Japan, and South Vietnam.
There Were Thousands Of Female Medics
According to The Washington Post, as many as 15,000 women served in Vietnam with the U.S. military. Most were nurses working in combat hospitals. Even away from the battlefield, combat medicine wasn’t an easy job. Nurses worked 12 hours a day, six days a week, caring for soldiers with horrifying injuries. Adding to the challenges, some of the makeshift hospitals had no running water or air conditioning.
Many of the nurses came straight from nursing college, with no practical experience of emergency nursing, let alone combat nursing. Former U.S. Army nurses Diane Carlson Evans and Marsha Four, who both served in Vietnam, explained that part of their anxiety about being in the war zone was that their under-preparedness would result in soldiers’ deaths. “To say ‘challenging’ doesn’t come close to the feelings that I had about being incompetent. Their lives were in my hands. I was responsible for them,” Four later told Whyy.
After their tours, many nurses like many medics and soldiers struggled to readjust to life in the U.S. In addition to dealing with repressed emotional trauma, they found civilian nursing frustratingly unchallenging, hampered by regulations that prevented them from performing basic tasks they’d done every day in the field.
In 1984, Carlson Evans launched a campaign for a memorial to the women who’d served in Vietnam, which was finally approved and unveiled near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in 1993.
American Medics Serving In Vietnam Didn’t Only Treat Americans
As well as caring for American soldiers, the medics treated South Vietnamese villagers and even prisoners of war. A study in the American Medical Association’s Journal of Ethics explains that with South Vietnamese doctors dispatched to military hospitals, civilian populations were left without healthcare. As a way of getting into their good graces, the AMA and U.S. Agency for International Development collaborated on the Volunteer Physicians for Vietnam Program, recruiting American physicians to work in Vietnam’s civilian hospitals. In addition to treating conditions like parasites, tuberculosis, typhoid, dysentery, and war-related wounds, the physicians passed on their medical knowledge to Vietnamese doctors and nurses.
The goodwill didn’t always work. Vietnam combat physician Dr. David Cromwell recalled that on one occasion, the building the villagers had given permission for his team to work from had been booby trapped with a tripwire.
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Medics Carried Out Day
Fortunately not every day as a medic in Vietnam meant running into battles and treating grievously injured soldiers. When they were relatively remote from the action or in times of relative peace, the medics focused on caring for the soldiers’ general health. In the jungle, that meant reminding soldiers to take their malaria tablets and stay hydrated. In The New York Times, Vietnam combat medic Rafael Matos recalls mundane tasks like administering tetanus shots and treatments for head lice.
Many soldiers encountered one particular health issue while stationed on bases further out. In 1968, Dr. David Cromwell was a licensed doctor in Maryland, a qualification that allowed him to direct commission as an officer and physician. Later in the war he was sent to the Ashah Valley, but for his first few months he ran a clinic at a base in Saigon, where the most common complaint was sexually transmitted diseases , often picked up from brothels.
However, Cromwell says, for soldiers trekking through the jungle, the most common ailment aside from artillery and bullets was foot or jungle rot. Caused by having wet feet for a long period of time, this could be prevented by changing into dry socks as often as possible and was easily treatable if caught early. However, Cromwell noted, some soldiers felt that staying quiet and losing a toe was a small price to pay for escaping back to the U.S.
Medics Followed Soldiers Into Battle
Mandatory deployment to Vietnam lasted one year, with the option to extend. In theory, medics were supposed to spend some of their deployment working in hospitals on the edge of the battlegrounds or slightly further out and some of it following soldiers into combat. However, they were usually sent wherever they were most needed, which typically meant being attached to a regiment completing missions in the line of fire.
This was especially true during the brutal and deadly Tet Offensive. In fall 1967, the People’s Army of Vietnam the army of North Vietnam began artillery bombardments against U.S. troops stationed in the highlands, near Laos. This was followed in January by multiple surprise assaults on south Vietnamese cities and government buildings and bases belonging to South Vietnam’s Army of the Republic of Vietnam and the American armed forces.
Writing in The New York Times, Vietnam combat medic Rafael Matos of the First Armored Division explained that during the Tet Offensive, he and his fellow three medics were constantly on duty. They followed the soldiers into battle, fixed up the injured as much as possible, and tried to get them to safety. “Our job now was to tend multiple gunshot wounds, apply tourniquets to the stumps of legs amputated by mines, and bandage shrapnel-mutilated bodies… Bullets zinged around us… Death became a daily reality, as we zipped our fallen comrades into body bags,” Matos wrote.
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Fitting Into The Unit
Combat medics are usually assigned to work with a platoon of soldiers numbering 40 men or more but might be sent out with a smaller squad on particular combat missions. This ensures any unit that might come under fire has a soldier capable of treating the wounded. When not directly in combat, medics work at the medical aid stations, assisting Army doctors and other supervisory health care workers such as physician assistants.
Do Doctors Get Paid More In Uk Or Us
Quick comparison: American vs British doctors in the US earn more than 3 times as British doctors. Below is a table comparing how much British and American doctors earn.
Which is better for doctors US or UK?
For example, American doctors get paid more, but have to pay for health services and malpractice insurance, and British doctors do not get paid as much, but have lower university fees and better services such as health services and public transport.
Do doctors get paid well in UK?
Some seem to be doing quite well: The highest paid doctor in the NHS earns £ 740,000 a year, according to new figures. Male consultants working full time earned an average of £ 127,683, including bonuses 12 per cent more than female consultants, who received an average of £ 113,874.
Which country do doctors get paid the most?
1: Luxembourg. A surprise winner â Luxembourg tops the list! Luxembourg is a small nation with just over six hundred thousand, and offers a cultural mix between neighboring Germany and France. This is reflected in the three official languages German, French and the national language of Luxembourg.
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How Military Medics Can Transition To Civilian Ems
Licensing requirements and varying degrees of experience can make it difficult for returning servicemen to find jobs, but programs are emerging that can help
This article, originally published Mar. 24, 2014, has been updated with current information.
As a Navy corpsman assigned to a Marine Corps battalion from 2004 to 2008, Brandon VanWagoner did two tours of duty in Iraq.
On missions in and around Fallujah, he treated gunshot wounds, blast injuries from improvised explosive devices and other traumas. And as part of a U.S. military medical team that provided humanitarian care to Iraqi civilians, he treated everything from broken bones to burns, in addition to helping care for Marines everyday illnesses.
Combat Medic Job Description
The principal duty of a combat medic is to treat soldiers who are casualties of enemy fire. In addition, once off the front lines, they must be able to assist with patient care, including preparing everything from fluid samples to emergency equipment. Combat medics are qualified EMTs, capable of treating soldiers who need airways cleared, bleeding controlled or shock eased, for example. In addition, they must recertify their skills every two years and undergo continuing education to remain qualified.
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Air Force Pj Combat Rescue Medic
The Air Force Combat Medic attend their own Special Operations Combat Medic Course for 22 weeks, then they must attend the Pararescue Recovery Specialist Course for 20 weeks which teaches the variety of methods of rescuing injured personnel in every environment and situation.The PJs are qualified to be medics with special operations-trained paramedic certifications. They are fighters too and can be participating in combat when they’ll have to rescue others behind enemy lines or in enemy territory. They are often augmented into SEAL platoons when SEALs do not have a medic. so they are fighter rescue specialists capable of flexibility in other Special Operations units.
What Do You Really Do
Keeping it as objective as possible, a typical day is filled with last second demands and missions that suddenly arise. No matter how great your unit is, it just happens. A very large majority of your time is dealing with inventory control, especially if your command team is obsessed with property accountability. Of course, good to have and necessary to be accountable, but it’s beyond overdone. You will spend at least half your time accounting for items and laying them out individually for inspection. It doesn’t end. The worst part about this is much of your equipment is packed away into 20 foot connexes or stored into containers stacked ceiling high and the depth of any storage space you may have. The remainder of your time will be spent with day to day tasks, such as physical conditioning from 6-8am, working in the motorpools where you’ll come to find that attempting to maintain and fix your vehicles is a fruitless effort, as nearly all of your rolling stock are from the mid 80’s, and catching the blame for malfunctions. Despite a slightly negative outlook, I would still recommend it. BUT, I highly suggest if you’re interested in the medical field, you look for a specialty job rather than “just a medic” where you hold many, many hats.
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Many Medics Were Traumatized
Medical staff who served in Vietnam felt the immense responsibility of treating soldiers with terrible injuries, often while under fire themselves, and with very little equipment or training. Some also witnessed atrocities carried out by their own side, as Rafael Matos wrote in The New York Times.
Many experienced post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological issues not to mention long-term effects of chemical weapons like Agent Orange. As nurse Diane Carlson Evans explained to The Washington Post, medical staff learned to repress their emotions at the time so they could do their jobs. Her friend and fellow veteran nurse Edie Meeks said, “You had to shut your emotions down… There were so many traumatic things that happened.”
As sentiment in the U.S. turned against the war, the hostile attitudes of American civilians towards veterans prevented many from finding an outlet once they were home. Many were haunted by nightmares, memories of specific incidents or soldiers they’d lost, and suicidal thoughts. In 2018, Matos wrote, “Unexpected flashbacks still haunt me… I can go into stress if I smell a rare steak… I can suddenly imagine the stench of gunpowder and cordite in the air.”
Through therapy, new jobs, veteran centers, and more surprising sources, former medical staff of the Vietnam War found their way back to civilian life. But as Vietnam nurse Joanie Moscatelli told Whyy, “I don’t think the war ever ends.”
Personal Qualities Helpful In Becoming A Medic
Combat medicine is a challenging area, particularly since army medics will be expected to treat fellow soldiers, many of whom may be friends. A combat medic should be someone who is, above all, resilient and who can function under pressure. He should also be able to demonstrate flexibility in treating a variety of conditions and injuries.
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S Of Sterilizing Surgical Equipment
Medics sterilize surgical equipment by boiling water and memorizing numerous processes that they must complete to clean and disinfect equipment before surgery. Medics clean and sterilize surgical instruments using hot water, disinfectants, and bleaches. They also sterilize equipment for drawing blood samples, logging vital signs for treatment of shock, and performing C.T. scans by using procedures that are specific to that type of scanner.
Do You Get Paid In Medical School
Students do not get paid at the medical school. However, new graduates are paid during their stay . One years stay is required to obtain a license to practice medicine. On the same subject : What is a female surgery called?. Residency to specialize in a particular field of medicine can last from three to eight years.
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How Long Does It Take To Become A Medic In The Army
Training Required to Become an Army Medic. Becoming a combat medic requires the completion of 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training, as well as Advanced Individual Training, which takes 16 weeks to complete. Ongoing Education. Combat medics can expect to receive ongoing training throughout their enlistment.
What Does A 68w Do In The Army
The primary role of the combat medic is to provide emergency medical treatment to all types of wounds, both life-threatening and non-life-threatening, during any type of operation. He or she is also qualified to provide pre-hospital care in combat situations. The Army Combat Medic Specialists provides emergency medical treatment to combat troops and casualties on the front lines of armed conflict.
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Something Important To Know
As I suggested, you need to have a plan going in for what you want out of your time in service. There are a ton of opportunities, but you MUST fight for them, take it upon yourself to get them, and show you’re capable of them. When selecting an occupation, I do suggest choosing a medical specialty, rather than the medic position unless what I’ve described above tickles your fancy. You will have a better job satisfaction with a specialty, easier promotions, and deemed more valuable as there are very few assigned to units. Your time won’t be wasted like others. Further, you can obtain many certifications that will benefit you greatly post-separation.
Special Operations Combat Medic
Army combat medics who complete Airborne Ranger training and join Ranger battalions will complete the Special Operations Combat Medics course. This course of study takes 36 weeks to complete and provides greater in-depth training in the types of care that participants in Special Operations missions may require. Certifications earned during this program include basic life support, pediatric education for pre-hospital providers and advanced cardiac life support.
A special operations combat medic who becomes a Special Operations Medical Sergeant will undergo additional training, which includes dental medicine, including performing extractions, large-animal veterinary care, as well as training in cultural medical practices and healing, including herbal medicine. Special Operations Medical Sergeants also learn to provide care under extreme conditions, including training in dive medicine and the effects of high altitude on the human body.
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What Does A Combat Medic Do
There are certain skills that many Combat Medics have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed Integrity, Compassion and Listening skills.
What Does An Army Medic Do
According to the U.S. Army’s website, combat medics are expected to:
- Provide emergency medical assessment and treatment to casualties on the battlefield.
- Provide assistance with inpatient and outpatient treatment and care.
- Provide instruction to soldiers during a Combat Lifesaver/First Responder training course.
- Manage medical supplies and equipment.
Each military occupational specialty is identified by a code. The MOC for combat medics, 68W, is often spoken as “68 Whiskey.”
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