Emergency Department Patients Support the Use of Combat Medics in Their Clinical Care
ARMY INST OF SURGICAL RESEARCH FORT SAM HOUSTON TX
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As US military combat operations draw down in Afghanistan, the military health system will shift focus to garrison- and hospital-based care. Maintaining combat medical skills while performing routine healthcare in military hospitals and clinics is a critical challenge for Combat medics. Current regulations allow for a wide latitude of Combat medic functions. The Surgeon General considers combat casualty care a top priority. Combat medics are expected to provide sophisticated care under the extreme circumstances of a hostile battlefield. Yet, in the relatively safe and highly supervised setting of contiguous US-based military hospitals, medics are rarely allowed to perform the procedures or administer medications they are expected to use in combat. This study sought to determine patients opinions on the use of combat medics in their healthcare. Methods Patients in hospital emergency department EDs were offered anonymous surveys. Examples of Combat medic skills were provided. Participants expressed agreement using the Likert scale LS, with scores ranging from strongly agree LS score, 1 to strongly disagree LS score, 5. The study took place in the ED at Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital, Fort Polk, Louisiana. Surveys were offered to adult patients when they checked into the ED or to adults with other patients. Results A total of 280 surveys were completed and available for analysis. Subjects agreed that Combat medic skills are important for deployment LS score, 1.4. Subjects agreed that Combat medics should be allowed to perform procedures LS score, 1.6 and administer medications LS score, 1.6. Subjects would allow Combat medics to perform procedures LS score, 1.7 and administer medications LS score, 1.7 to them or their families. Subjects agreed that Combat medic activities should be a core mission for military treatment facilities MTFs LS score, 1.6. Conclusion Patients support the use of Combat medics during clinical care.
- Medicine and Medical Research