During combat lifesavers training, New Jersey Army National Guard soldiers simulate emergency care scenarios and “packaging” of injured comrades in preparation for medevac to a nearby field hospital.
Job training for soldiers in the Medical career field consists of ten weeks of Basic Combat Training plus Advanced Individual Training and on-the-job instruction ranging from 6-54 weeks, depending on your specialty. Whichever job you choose, your training will equip you to save lives and improve the health of soldiers and civilians, and help you prepare for a career in the healthcare field.
Healthcare is one of the world’s most wide-open career fields. Jobs in the Guard’s Medical field will prepare you for a range of jobs in civilian hospitals, clinics, nursing homes or rehabilitation centers. Related careers include Emergency Medical Technicians, medical assistants and physician assistants. You could also pursue positions with research institutions, public health departments - even the Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration or the U.S. Department of Commerce. A Medical field specialty could also lead to a career as a health inspector or a position in the environmental sciences field. This is truly one of the most promising career areas today.
Military Occupational Specialities
68E Dental Specialist
Dental care is one of the health services provided to Guard personnel all over the world. Dental Specialists assist dentists in the examination and treatment of patients, and help manage dental offices. Additional responsibilities may include cleaning patients' teeth, assisting with the administration of anesthesia and x-rays, and performing maintenance on dental equipment.
68G Patient Administration Specialist
Accurate information is crucial for planning and managing Army hospital operations. Patient Administration Specialists make sure that hospital and patient information is recorded, stored and delivered in order to keep everything running smoothly. The Patient Administration Specialist is primarily responsible for administrative duties such as scheduling office visits and keeping patient records at Army hospitals or other medical facilities.
68J Medical Logistics Specialist
The right supplies, delivered at the right time, can ensure the safety of troops in the field. Medical Logistics Specialists manage the Army's large medical inventory. This position is primarily responsible for receiving, storing, recording and issuing medicines and medical supplies.
68K Medical Laboratory Specialist
In order to detect and identify many patient diseases, clinical laboratory tests need to be performed. The Medical Laboratory Specialist conducts tests on the tissue, blood and body fluids of patients. Medical Laboratory Specialists examine blood and bone marrow samples, test for bacteria or viruses, and analyze tissue, blood and fluid specimens for diagnostic information.
68P Radiology Specialist
Radiology (the use of X-rays) is one of the many health care services doctors use to detect injuries and illnesses. Working with Medical Corps Officers, Radiology Specialists operate X-ray and X-ray-related equipment. The Radiology Specialist is primarily responsible for operating fixed and portable radiology equipment to perform radiographic examinations. Radiology Specialists also prepare, assemble and adjust X-ray instruments and materials, and assemble and disassemble radiology equipment and shelters.
68S Preventive Medicine Specialist
Preventive medicine is essential to maintaining the health and well-being of all Army Soldiers and personnel. Preventive Medicine Specialists are the central members of the Medical Services Corps Preventive Medicine Sciences team, which is charged with studying and preventing the spread of disease and infection within the Army. Preventive Medicine Specialists are primarily responsible for conducting or assisting with preventive medicine inspections, surveys and laboratory procedures. They also supervise preventive medicine facilities or serve on preventive medicine staffs, and develop community health education programs.
68W Health Care Specialist
Injured or wounded Soldiers need immediate attention, and the Health Care Specialist is usually the first to provide basic and emergency medical care in preparation for a doctor’s treatment or evacuation. The Health Care Specialist is primarily responsible for providing emergency medical treatment, limited primary care and health protection, and evacuation from a point of injury or illness.
68X Mental Health Specialist
Stress due to combat situations or physical ailments can often have an effect on the mental well-being of National Guard Soldiers. The Mental Health Specialist, as a member of the Guard’s health care team, assists with the management and treatment of inpatient and outpatient mental health activities. The Mental Health Specialist is primarily responsible, under the supervision of an Army psychiatrist, social worker, psychiatric nurse or psychologist, for providing mental health treatment to patients. Duties may include assisting with the care and treatment of psychiatric, drug and alcohol patients; collecting patient data; counseling and treating patients with personal, behavioral or mental health problems; and providing bedside care in hospitals.
Early History of the Army Medical Department
At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, medical support was hampered not only by the limited availability of trained medical personnel, but the lack of adequate medicine and equipment. Insufficient care not only of the wounded, but the lack of treatment and prevention of the diseases that ravaged the army caused Washington to address the issue of medical care with Congress.
Finally, on 27 July 1775, Congress authorized the establishment of a "an hospital" or Medical Service. This date is known as the Anniversary of the Army Medical Department. This important step made provisions for a Director General and Chief Physician (Surgeon General), four surgeons, one apothecary, 20 surgeon's mates, one clerk and two storekeepers. It also provided one nurse to every 10 sick, and laborers as needed. Dr. Benjamin Church was selected as the first Surgeon General. Based on the recommendations of the Director General, on July 17, 1776, congress authorized the employment of "Hospital Stewards" (Medical NCO's) which were the forerunners of the AMEDD NCO Corps. Although not authorized prior to this legislation, Hospital Stewards were assigned to hospital as early as December 1775. When the British loyalists evacuated Boston, Dr. Morgan who was the Director General had his Hospital Stewards collect all the blankets, pillows and bed sacks left behind for use of the army. Thomas Carnes, a steward at the general hospital in New York, advertised for dry herbs such as balm, hyssop, wormwood and mallow for care of patients. Linen sheets and rags were also procured to make bandages and tourniquets.
In 1777, George Washington ordered the army inoculated against small pox, which had been a major factor in the failure of the Quebec campaign. Some hospitals were overcrowded and infection took its toll. Like the soldiers they treated, the surgeons and medical NCO's also contacted the diseases that ravaged the military hospitals and died doing their duty.
In April 1777, a "Hospital Steward" (Medical NCO) was allowed for every hundred sick or wounded. Their responsibilities were to receive, dispense and maintain accountability of articles of diet from the hospital commissary. Pay for the hospital steward was fixed at one dollar a day and two rations. In March 1799, a hospital steward was authorized for each military hospital.
By September 1780, Hospital Stewards were given the added responsibility to purchase whatever was necessary for use in the care of the sick and wounded. Their role in the hospital was rapidly expanding and they were expected to handle major administrative and logistical functions in the hospital.
At the end of the war, Congress reduced the size of the army. From 1784 to 1789, there was no organized Medical Department.