What Is an Army Combat Medic's Main Duties?


Quick Answer

There is no specific "combat medic" job in the United States armed forces. All health-care specialists (68W) in the United States Army are expected to be able to perform their duties both in and out of combat. In a battlefield situation, these duties would include administering emergency treatment to wounded casualties and preparing operating areas for emergency surgery.

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Full Answer

Regular health-care specialists primarily work in military bases outside of combat but can periodically be expected to deploy to combat zones for a fixed period of months. General duties are roughly comparable to those of a civilian emergency medical technician, or EMT. The core duties of initial patient examination, emergency medical care, a limited range of primary care, prep of patients and operating areas, administering immunizations, sterilization of surgical equipment, sample collection and applying plaster casts are shared between these two situations. Service in combat necessarily emphasizes some duties that do not normally occur in peacetime, such as evacuation of patients from dangerous situations, emergency treatment of wounds and chemical decontamination. Due to limited staffing in the field, a health-care specialist may also serve as the senior enlisted person in a clinical setting and be responsible for conducting regular training and counseling sessions for other soldiers.

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