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News | June 15, 2022

Emergency Medicine training for the combat medic to the physician

By Rodney Jackson

Graduating Tri-Service (Army, Navy and Air Force) emergency and family medicine residents, nurses, combat medics, surgeons and an array of other medical personnel, enduring one of the most hottest months in central Texas this year, completed a week long Joint Emergency Medical Exercise (JEMX) June 10.
Initially designed for residents in CRDAMC’s Emergency Medicine Program as a four-hour exercise, JEMX has grown into a weeklong training event to train an array of medical personnel on combat casualty care and more. 
Participants received classroom lectures, didactic and practicum training from select subject matter experts that ranged from Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) to Autologous Fresh Whole Blood Transfusion and transitioned to field hospital and Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) site scenarios to perform those skills.
We’ve allied with III Corps, the Fort Hood Military Simulation Training Center (MSTC), select Fort Hood units, and the Tri-Service component to do a realistic combat casualty care training that’s different than civilian medical care the residents are training for throughout their 36-month program explained, Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell, Emergency Medicine Program Director, CRDAMC.
 “You have to be able to do both,” said Mitchell. “I’ve worked at Darnall hospital as an emergency physician and then I’ve deployed as an emergency physician and it’s different.”
Lt. Col. Robert “Jody” Shipley, Troop Battalion commander, CRDAMC and overall coordinator for this year’s training described the training as real world relevant.  The improvements in clinical skills, critical thinking, and adaptability gained throughout JEMX prepare the participants for future operations, he explained. 
“The ability to interact within Tri-Service medical partnerships and learn best practices enhances our joint interoperability which ultimately enhances the quality of care we all provide,” said Shipley. “The care skills conducted during JEMX are transferable skill sets to the hospital setting, thus having duality of purpose for both the U.S. Medical Command and the Defense Health Agency.”
U.S. Air force Maj. Mark Cheney, anesthesiologist, 711th Human Performance Wing, U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, was an instructor for the Critical Care Air Transport (CCAT) course during JEMX.
We wanted to focus on the patient movement, not so much just on CCAT, but really the principles of moving patients that were relevant to all branches of service Cheney explained.
Cheney’s team helped members train on the C145 fixed wing aircraft.
“I feel we were able to convey that message and were able to learn as well as we participated,” said Cheney. “We took away things that will benefit us. Especially in the field exercise scenarios where we were able to discuss and brief about patient movement and CCAT, and take small groups of people and demonstrate a flight and all of the considerations that go into moving that patient,” said Cheney.  
“Everyone gets to see what everyone brings to the table during this exercise,” said Sgt. 1st Class Kurt Hogan, flight medic, Louisiana Army National Guard. “Whether that person is a ten year physician, physician assistant, a nurse or even a junior combat medic.”
Even though they are a junior Soldier does not mean that he or she did not come from a trauma hospital where he or she was a technician prior to coming in the military service explained Hogan.
“You can learn from everyone, when you stop learning that’s when you fail,” said Hogan.
Hogan and members from his unit participated in the training and provided air medical evacuation support for the exercise during the scenarios with its Lakota and Blackhawk helicopters.
Over 2,000 Services Members from 70 units representing over 60 medical specialties and multi-national medical personnel participated in JEMX this year.
We had individuals here from special operations, the Ranger Regiment, the Navy, and the Air Force who have performed many jobs and roles throughout their time in the service providing point of injury care to bring us those lessons learned, explained Mitchell. 
I think that’s really what makes the JEMX unique is that we have this incredible swath of knowledge and talent from across the Department of Defense that are coming in to say that this is important that you all learn this. Let me teach you and let you learn from my experience explained Mitchell.
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