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Army To Civlian Flight Medic


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#1 mainemedic

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 02:05 PM

Hi All, Im currently in the process of gaining my Critical Care Flight Paramedic from the Army. I am a current EMT-I with one Iraq medevac deployment. Since we are being told that most civilian flight programs recognize one year of combat is eqivalent to five years street time and that give us an advantage over those civilian medics that had to work for years and years just to apply for a flight gig. I plan on applying to my local flight service just as soon as I get back. Im searching this website for any helpful information and I want any advice I can get.

Im ready to put all my trauma experience to work!
Thanx
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#2 Jwade

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 04:01 PM

Hi All, Im currently in the process of gaining my Critical Care Flight Paramedic from the Army. I am a current EMT-I with one Iraq medevac deployment. Since we are being told that most civilian flight programs recognize one year of combat is eqivalent to five years street time and that give us an advantage over those civilian medics that had to work for years and years just to apply for a flight gig. I plan on applying to my local flight service just as soon as I get back. Im searching this website for any helpful information and I want any advice I can get.

Im ready to put all my trauma experience to work!
Thanx



Maine,

First of all: Thank you for your service and taking great care of our wounded soldiers. I was in Kandahar and met a few of the medevac crews, all great people!

Now, Unfortunately, You are getting some very bad information from someone.......

While I would certainly say you have seen more trauma and mass casualty injuries than most civilian paramedics see in 10 years working 911, that in of itself is the problem you are going to run into when trying to get a civilian job. Let me further explain: While scene response is certainly a part of most civilian flight programs, the majority of programs do <50% scene work, with majority of calls being hospital to hospital transfers.

Another issue that will be holding you back from getting hired is your lack of civilian experience running a VARIETY of calls.........In the grand scope of EMS, Trauma is by far the easiest to learn and treat IMO........Experience dealing with Cardiac, STEMI, CHF, COPD, Sepsis, Drug O.D, Geriatric, pediatric, Neo, Obstetrics, etc...........is ESSENTIAL to developing the critical thinking skills required.

Other people on here Im sure will chime in, but, the ONLY military medics I have seen come straight out and go into Flying civilian have been former Spec Ops guys........PJ's, SEALS, etc........... then, it was because they were able to show they had essentially been trained to the level of a civilian PA...........and of course they had the appropriate civilian license.

With the current proliferation of Air-Medical programs in the USA, the experience and education requirements for civilian paramedics to obtain a Flight position has severely been degraded in the last 15 years.........In the past, you are absolutely correct, it was years and years before you could get a job, NOW, you only need 3 years as a civilian paramedic to get hired...........But again, remember, these 3 years have been dealing with an age population from delivering a baby to the 100 year old geriatric..........

Now, having said all that, the ARMY finally got something right in this new program you are currently working towards achieving............IMO, if I were you, I would get your civilian equivalent licenses asap, and maybe pick up a civilian CCT / 911 job while you apply for a flight position........In my experience, I think you will have a very difficult time getting a civilian flight job, until you have some time in as a civilian paramedic..........I've been doing this a long time and I have seen very limited make the transition.............Not saying it is right or wrong, it's just what it is.............There is a very high Bias in the civilian world wether people will admit it or not.

Good Luck, if there is anything we can help you with during your course, please chime in here......Or, if you have any further questions....

JW
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John Wade MBA, CCEMT-P, FP-C, RN

"Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become" Steve Jobs

#3 mainemedic

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 04:28 PM

Wow! What kind of bias exists?Would you please clarify that? I also failed to mention that I will also have my fpc after Im done. I hear that anyone one with fpc gets hired over those that dont. Ive got civilian ems experience as a EMT-I. I was hoping that would be appreciated as well. Thanks for giving it to me straight. Im still going for it.
Maine,

First of all: Thank you for your service and taking great care of our wounded soldiers. I was in Kandahar and met a few of the medevac crews, all great people!

Now, Unfortunately, You are getting some very bad information from someone.......

While I would certainly say you have seen more trauma and mass casualty injuries than most civilian paramedics see in 10 years working 911, that in of itself is the problem you are going to run into when trying to get a civilian job. Let me further explain: While scene response is certainly a part of most civilian flight programs, the majority of programs do <50% scene work, with majority of calls being hospital to hospital transfers.

Another issue that will be holding you back from getting hired is your lack of civilian experience running a VARIETY of calls.........In the grand scope of EMS, Trauma is by far the easiest to learn and treat IMO........Experience dealing with Cardiac, STEMI, CHF, COPD, Sepsis, Drug O.D, Geriatric, pediatric, Neo, Obstetrics, etc...........is ESSENTIAL to developing the critical thinking skills required.

Other people on here Im sure will chime in, but, the ONLY military medics I have seen come straight out and go into Flying civilian have been former Spec Ops guys........PJ's, SEALS, etc........... then, it was because they were able to show they had essentially been trained to the level of a civilian PA...........and of course they had the appropriate civilian license.

With the current proliferation of Air-Medical programs in the USA, the experience and education requirements for civilian paramedics to obtain a Flight position has severely been degraded in the last 15 years.........In the past, you are absolutely correct, it was years and years before you could get a job, NOW, you only need 3 years as a civilian paramedic to get hired...........But again, remember, these 3 years have been dealing with an age population from delivering a baby to the 100 year old geriatric..........

Now, having said all that, the ARMY finally got something right in this new program you are currently working towards achieving............IMO, if I were you, I would get your civilian equivalent licenses asap, and maybe pick up a civilian CCT / 911 job while you apply for a flight position........In my experience, I think you will have a very difficult time getting a civilian flight job, until you have some time in as a civilian paramedic..........I've been doing this a long time and I have seen very limited make the transition.............Not saying it is right or wrong, it's just what it is.............There is a very high Bias in the civilian world wether people will admit it or not.

Good Luck, if there is anything we can help you with during your course, please chime in here......Or, if you have any further questions....

JW
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#4 Dustoff1259

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 05:12 PM

As a former Dustoff Medic and current Flight Paramedic in a civilian flight program, Let me start by saying that YOU are the reason the Army went to requiring Paramedic certification for all its MEDEVAC crews. There are countless documented examples of just how deadly EMT basics have been in the back of MEDEVAC aircraft. Im glad you are able to advance your certification level at the tax payers costs but from what I hear about the paramedic course the army is running is that its very difficult and shorter that the usual civilian course.

You mentioned that you will have FP-C certification at the end of all this. Do you mean that you will take the exam or has the Army paid for free FP-C certifications to give you in the end? I think I know the answer to that. Know fully what the FP-C is before you comment on it.


Lastly, Your attitude smacks of undeserved and unbackable arrogance. To suggest you got more experience than career EMS paramedics in one year is ridiculous. There are reasons that you dont apparently understand that the military sends medical people for training and experience to CIVILIAN Medical centers and EMS sytems. Carry on Smartly now.

Dustoff.
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#5 Gila

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 05:50 PM

Thank you for your service. I too was a military medic and the military actually put me through an EMT-I programme
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Christopher Bare
"Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo "

#6 Gila

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 06:02 PM

Unfortunately, I have to agree that you have been misinformed. The most complicated patients are highly unstable medical and post surgical patients. You run into complicated ventilator management issues, invasive lines, balloon pumps, multiple medications and complex forms of pathology in critical care transport. I started flying after my military experience and after several years of working as an ER nurse. Unfortunately, I was still ill prepared and experienced a significant learning curve.

It's very easy to buy into the trauma stories told in the military as I did at one point; however, the reality being that you probably have a significant educational and experience deficit. Also remember FP-C is just a test. When I was in the military a wise NCO once told me the struggle is often in our ability to judge the man instead of the patch or tab. Many good civilian flight companies try to do just that. Figure out what you actually know and how well you will work with the team.

Good luck in the pursuit of your goals.
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Christopher Bare
"Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo "

#7 Jwade

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 06:28 PM

[quote name='mainemedic' date='21 August 2012 - 09:28 AM' timestamp='1345566521' post='30088']
Wow! What kind of bias exists?Would you please clarify that? I also failed to mention that I will also have my fpc after Im done. I hear that anyone one with fpc gets hired over those that dont. Ive got civilian ems experience as a EMT-I. I was hoping that would be appreciated as well. Thanks for giving it to me straight. Im still going for it.

[/quote]
[/quote]


Maine,

Again, You have been HIGHLY misinformed about the FP-C exam and how much weight it carries in getting hired.........When i am looking through resumes, the ONLY thing FP-C does is help you get an interview....THATS IT! Nothing more.......Let me further qualify that by saying, even if you had FP-C, but ZERO experience as a civilian paramedic, you would not even get an interview..........

Your EMT-I experience will NOT count for anything. The bottom line is you are not a paramedic, and UNTIL you have your paramedic license and some experience to back it up, your chances of getting hired at a flight company are slim to none.......I know i sound brutal, but, I don't sugarcoat anything, I don't feel that helps anyone in the long term.

You mentioned FP-C when done with Army program, What you did not mention is if this program will also give you civilian NREMT-P exam certification? You will need this at a MINIMUM for most states. I can guarantee, you will NOT be able to get hired anywhere with just your EMT-I and FP-C. You would not meet state practice acts requirements for licensure, etc.......

As GILA stated, Critical Care Transport is much different than throwing someone in the back of a helicopter and burning JET A........For all of the reasons and skills he mentioned......Now, you throw in your lack of even basic paramedic street experience and you are at a SEVERE disadvantage over everyone else applying for the job......

I am an Air Force brat myself, so, I know all of the BS the military likes to brain wash it's people with, but, you are getting some horrible information from people in your chain of command............

The bias I speak of manifests itself for a couple of reasons:
1. Some civilians are against the military for XYZ reasons.
2. Some civilians couldn't hack it in the military.
3. Some civilians just are not educated as to what military medicine entails.

Again, not saying it's right or wrong, just some of the things i have seen since i entered EMS in 1992. Anyways, as I said before, please let us know if we can help you along the way.


This link is for the ACE SAT book by my friend Will Wingfield. This is the gold standard in the civilian world for passing the CFRN / FP-C exam. You would do yourself a favor by getting it and reading it front to back twice at a minimum.........Once you read this book, you will know where you stand once and for all.........

CFRN / FP-C Review Book
JW
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John Wade MBA, CCEMT-P, FP-C, RN

"Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become" Steve Jobs

#8 Dustoff1259

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 07:04 PM

Mainmedic, I called down to Texas and found out from an old friend that if you pass national registry and the critical care course you then get the opportunity to take the FP-C. The FP -C was developed originally for experienced Paramedics with clinical judgement- none of which you will have if you pass everything. Also get familiar with CAMTS and their medical flight crew requirements. Most credible programs will not risk current or future CAMT accreditation loss just to hire you and your years worth of "trauma" calls.
JWade gave you very good advice andy a link to a very good book.Adjust your attitude, your expectations, and knowledge deficit.
Study hard
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#9 Carpe Diem

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 10:54 PM

I once took a week long NREMT-P refresher and got to know a career PJ who had decided to go civilian after his two tours in Afghanistan in the early years, and various other things prior. After some question and answer time, I got to understand, without him directly stating it, that he was attached to a certain group that is based out of NC, and his career was full of "unofficial" things that he may or may not have any official knowledge of.....(nuff sed)

Anyhow, he was top notch when it came to trauma. He was definitely the go to guy for that. However, he admittedly said that he never took care of a kid, and never took care of anyone over the age of 65. Other than his time on a CIVILIAN paramedic ambulance in NM, he rarely took care of anyone other than 18-65, and wasn't fit enough to be employed by Uncle Sam. Where he was also very strong at was technical rescue, heavy rescue, and high/ low angle rescue. Oh yeah, also tactical rescue and operations too...... All things I too have varying degrees of proficiency and experience with.

He fully expected that when he was done taking the mandatory refresher that he would try to get a civilian job on an ambulance as a street paramedic and have that be his career until something else came along and/or he went up the professional food chain.

You say you are looking for advice. Dustoff is giving it to you straight. Jwade doesn't beat around the bush much either. If it seems they are being harsh, they are just trying to match your bravado and naivety with equal amounts of brutal honesty. Yes you will see lots of trauma. But honestly, who cares? The treatment is relatively the same unless you are a trauma surgeon or orthopedic surgeon. And for the most part, prehospitally or even in the ED the treatment is the same on the battle field, ED, or street; IV, O2, fluids, Narcs, bandaging/ tourniquet. The outliers are needle decompression/ chest tubes, and occlusive dressings. Did I miss anything? All of those items except maybe 2 can be done by a competent NR-AEMT.

My advice is like Wade said, get and maintain as much as you can that is NREMT certified. realize that if you get to and pass the FP-C you will be regarded as a "paper FP-C" (never thought those words woulds be possible to say together) and I wouldn't be bragging about it unless you spent some real time in an ICU seeing all those things you read about in a textbook, and when you get back state-side, try to get a job on a busy, urban paramedic level ambulance and put in your 3-5 years. Your trauma experience will not help me as your partner with a sick medical pt, on an IABP, multi-pressors, LVAD, etc. Or high risk OB. Or a sick kid. That is what any program would tell you if/when you apply with your projected career path.

Something that I professionally live by is, "you don't know, what you don't know." Let that marinade for a bit and perhaps it will be easier to swallow what is being said in this forum

Good luck with your career. Stay safe over there.

-carpe diem
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Kris


#10 Carpe Diem

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 11:11 PM

Good luck with your career goals. You are on the right path. Don't get discouraged by all this. If you truly want to accomplish this goal, you WILL eventually. This is a great source for information. Keep your chin up. There is no substitute for experience or knowledge. And unfortunately, there is also no short cut on the path you wish to take.

Refocus what it is you wish to undertake. Perhaps when you get further along, you will understand better what is trying to be said here.

Feel free to keep checking in for advice. Lots of people love to give it, even when it's not even asked for!!!

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Kris


#11 Dustoff1259

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 05:30 PM

Mainemedic, You have additional good advice from Cape Diem. Follow CDs advice. Also tell others with similar pipe dreams about civilian flight services and help break this trend you are a victim of.
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#12 old school

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 09:19 PM

Hi All, Im currently in the process of gaining my Critical Care Flight Paramedic from the Army. I am a current EMT-I with one Iraq medevac deployment. Since we are being told that most civilian flight programs recognize one year of combat is eqivalent to five years street time and that give us an advantage over those civilian medics that had to work for years and years just to apply for a flight gig. I plan on applying to my local flight service just as soon as I get back. Im searching this website for any helpful information and I want any advice I can get.

Im ready to put all my trauma experience to work!
Thanx


Maine,

I agree that you've been given good advice here. It may seem harsh but it's really just tough love. JWADE and Dustoff could have read your post and thought to themselves "why would someone give this poor dude such crappy info?" and just moved on with their day and not taken the time to respond, but no one wants to see you come back home, planning on getting a flight job, and have to find out the hard way that someone has been feeding you BS.

I'm just curious....who is telling you that "civilian flight programs recognize one year of combat is eqivalent to five years street time"? Is that just the word on the street around your unit? Is it coming from someone who is actually employed as a civilian flight paramedic?

If it is coming from some "official" channel (the schoolhouse, the career transition folks, etc), then that is a real problem that needs to be corrected.....

Don't get discouraged. Get your training through the military and then come home and get a job as a street paramedic. Civilian EMS is a lot of fun if you get in a good system, and your military time will serve you very well. Spend a few years jumping through the same hoops that we all had to, and you'll probably be an excellent candidate for a job as a civilian flight medic.

Good luck and stay safe.
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bring it in for the real thing

#13 mainemedic

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 12:33 PM

Yup. I got it broken off in me on here but I do appreciate the advice. Let me clear up some things first. I deployed in 2008 to Iraq. Im currently stateside and going through the Flight Paramedic program. I heard it from an active duty person that our one year of deployment counts as five years for civilian programs. Thats too bad it if it really does not.

Thanks for the tough love. I dont quit. Ive raced the reaper and won.
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#14 SerendepitySaki

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 01:09 PM

you've been in long enough to mentally call bullshit and ask for/look up the applicable regulations, be they civland or military. if you aren't in the habit, acquire it. are you currently a reservist? and you initially stated "we" are being told...that implies a group setting vs an individual interaction.... i'd recommend you check out the new tactical medic cert, but your moto-enthusiasm "scares" me B) ... consider slowing your roll and feel free to hit me up off-line via e-mail.
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LET THE WILD RUMPUS BEGIN !!!!!!
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#15 scottyb

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 09:53 PM

Yup. I got it broken off in me on here but I do appreciate the advice. Let me clear up some things first. I deployed in 2008 to Iraq. Im currently stateside and going through the Flight Paramedic program. I heard it from an active duty person that our one year of deployment counts as five years for civilian programs. Thats too bad it if it really does not.

Thanks for the tough love. I dont quit. Ive raced the reaper and won.

Maine (aka reaper-racer),

Not meaning to diminish your tour by any means. I too am a veteran, and I thank you for your service. Flying 2nd echelon medevac is serious business I'm sure.

Now, having said that....two of my close friends are on their THIRD and FOURTH tours to Iraq/Afghanistan. Another friend had to medically retire due an IED encounter (which didn't kill him, but the humvee flipped over in 5 feet of water almost did). Another family friend came home in a flag draped box.

So I say again, thank you for your service and your deployment to Iraq...but enough is enough. Shut up, listen, and learn. Get the proper education/training, and do your time. Good luck.
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Scott Bild RN, FP-C

#16 Macgyver

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 01:37 AM

"There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know.
There are known unknowns; that is to say there are things that, we now know we don't know.
But there are also unknown unknowns there are things we do not know, we don't know"
Donald Rumsfeld

JW, Gila, Dustoff Old School et al have already said it but I'll say it again, EMT-I licensure will not get you hired. Once you have NREMT-P and some experience (3 years or so of good quality 911) treating all age groups you might have a chance. THAT is when your military experience and FP-C will help - not before. But without some good ICU and ER time it will still be tough. Use your time in uniform to build time in these areas - it will only help you.

And again, thanks for your service. I also was a military medic before civilian - and didn't know what I doidn't know until I became an REMT-P - AND EVEN THEN it took a few years of seasoning before I really knew how much MORE there was to learn. So keep learning and building experience - it CAN and HAS been done, but nothing worthwhile is ever easy.
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Ken BHSc, RN, REMT-P

#17 Dustoff1259

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 01:41 PM

Wow! Raced the reaper? Really? If you are in the Paramedic course in Texas you may be setting yourself up for corrective counseling I know people that could affect your future in San Antonio. As a proud MEDEVAC guy you are embarassing me in from of my civilian counter parts that I highly respect. If you are in Texas, your class will do ride alongs with a very respected flight program down there. Notice the CAMTS decal on the aircraft and do a search of their flight crew requirements. I bet you will not find any MEDEVAC (1 year deployed =5 years civilian EMS/Flight time) there. Do not approach any of the flight crews with this silly reaper racer, hooah horse crap.

Also research why it is you are getting to go to a more advanced level of practice. If you deployed as an EMT basic, you were part of a long going problem that was in many cases detrimental to patient outcomes-the reaper is a fast racer and beat a lot of inexperienced and cocky EMT basics in a helicopter such as yourself.

Take the advice given here. Quit embarassing me and others who paid our dues in the military and on the streets.
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#18 lostmedic

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 01:59 AM

I can't give you any better advice than what is already here. all I can say, as a Navy Corpsman that went straight to Paramedic school while on Terminal leave, learn learn learn. listen to your EMT. TRY your damnedest to be as humble as possible. Your confidence will be seen as conceit by the civilians that don't know you. spend your time in class and clinicals.
good luck.
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Morgan

#19 mainemedic

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 08:26 PM

Yup! You guys are the best. I spoke with the local flight service and they were on target with the same advice here. Dustoff, No one I flew ever died on me and I always got the IV almost everytime. I'll keep yous guys posted on my path to ARMY FLIGHT PARAMEDIC. HOOAH!
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#20 Jwade

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 11:43 PM

Yup! You guys are the best. I spoke with the local flight service and they were on target with the same advice here. Dustoff, No one I flew ever died on me and I always got the IV almost everytime. I'll keep yous guys posted on my path to ARMY FLIGHT PARAMEDIC. HOOAH!



Maine,

Do not get so hung up about skills like IV and Intubation, we can LITERALLY teach a monkey to do those skills.......What you really should learn is critical thinking skills and how to apply them to the patient EVERY time, not " Always, almost every time".........I realize the ARMY does not like people to think independently, ( Spec Ops not included), but, in the real world, you must be able to work in an autonomous environment for the most part.....I would recommend you take a semester of critical thinking at a local university if possible........It will do wonders for you!

Again, as soon as you get your civilian paramedic license, find at least a part time job running 911, you need exposure to every age patient population......

Let us know if you need help along the way!

Carry On,

JW
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John Wade MBA, CCEMT-P, FP-C, RN

"Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become" Steve Jobs