More than ‘Band-Aid medicine’
I am a Navy veteran and a hospital corpsman. While I agree with much of what was written in the recent story “Struggles for ex-military” (May 20, p. 18), I have to take issue with a few of the statements. Sandy Summers stated, “It’s not just about tying a tourniquet and calling it a day.” Shame on her; apparently Ms. Summers has never worked with a military medic.
My adventure as a hospital corpsman started in 1988 performing the same duties as a licensed practical nurse. Many of my shipmates, including myself, gained sufficient knowledge and skill to work in “sick call,” where we made minor diagnoses and created care plans—plans that we often had to carry out ourselves. Several of my shipmates went on to complete independent duty corpsman training, which essentially allowed them to operate as a physician assistant, yet still required them to perform as a nurse when none were available. As a military medic, we do receive EMT training, but we also receive so much more.
My experiences are just with the Navy, but each branch of the Defense Department has highly qualified individuals who can perform so much more than “tying a tourniquet and calling it a day.” I would encourage all of the schools to investigate what we do. I would especially encourage Sandy Summers to spend some time in the military medical system and discover that we do more than “Band-Aid medicine.”
Randal Gore Manager, radiology, Lower Umpqua Hospital Reedsport, Ore.