Fort McCoy News November 22, 2013

Navy medics sharpen skills, train at RTS-Medical

Public Affairs Staff

Twenty Navy Reserve medical personnel from a Pensacola, Fla., medical unit sharpened their clinical skills during a five-day training session at Regional Training Site (RTS)-Medical Fort McCoy, while participating in a joint training session with several Army and Marine personnel.

Command Master Chief Petty Officer Rachel Watson of the Operational Health Support Unit (OHSU) of Pensacola, said the corpsmen concentrated on clinical skills, which included prehospital trauma life support, basic pharmacology, EKG readings, and treating patients in a fixed hospital setting at RTS-Medical during the training.

Photo for Navy article
Medical personnel from a class of Navy reservists and Army and Marine service members train on a medical scenario simulation at Regional Training Site-Medical Fort McCoy.

The unit trained at Fort McCoy in July during the joint exercise Northern Lights, Watson said.

Unit members plan to return to train in Northern Lights 2014, which again will include medical personnel from the Army and Air Force.

"During Northern Lights we came over to (Regional Training Site-Medical McCoy) and were very pleased at the training opportunities here," Watson said. "We hope this is the first of many medical training sessions here. It's nice to have personnel from other services, and we hope we can do more joint training like this."

Training with their medical counterparts is beneficial because they work with them during deployments and other missions, Watson said. Training together helps them understand the differences between the services, ranks and service-specific vocabulary.

"Marcie Fulford and the Regional Training Site-Medical staff basically designed this training specifically for us so we could accomplish what we needed to get done," Watson said.

Fulford, the RTS-Medical McCoy clinical training manager, said the training for the OHSU personnel was designed to help them achieve competency in clinical skills. The Prehospital Trauma Life Support Course also offers the medical personnel certifiable medical skills and continuing educational credits, which can be helpful if they have civilian medical-care jobs.

"Once they have the clinical skills mastered, they gain more confidence," Fulford said. "Then when they train on the tactical skills they can concentrate on those knowing they are competent in the clinical skills."

Petty Officer Second Class Chantal Clarke, Bessemer Detachment Training petty officer and course coordinator, said "the (training) opportunity provided great leadership skills."

"The training offers junior Sailors a chance to prepare for deployment and provides skills needed for advancement. The training has been informative with hands-on refresher training that we can use in the Navy and in our civilian careers."

Watson said about 50 percent of the unit members work in the medical care field in their civilian career.

"This training is critical for those who don't work in medical care in their civilian job to ensure they can do their military job, and it's important because this unit has a lot of newer personnel," Watson said. "(They also can use the skills they gain and refine here) to help support (the Pensacola OHSU) field and trauma training missions."