Army Careers: Combat Medic

Learn how to assess and treat an injury on a wounded Soldier all while avoiding enemy fire.

Read Transcript

How you doing? My name is Staff Sergeant Eric Zlatkin from the forty-fourth medical command. I’m a 68 Whiskey, a combat medic. It’s our job to preserve the fighting strength. And we do that by packaging, stabilizing and evacuating injured soldiers to higher levels of care, so that they can get the medical interventions they need to stay in the fight, and continue to keep everyone safe.

When you come across a patient, and you see that they’re screaming, it’s very clear that they have a good airway. One less thing they have to worry about. Now if you’re taking fire, you don’t want to have to stick around for too long, so we do just the basics to make sure we get out of there at the right time.

Now this is the most essential piece in any aid bag. What this does is save lives on the battlefield by stopping the bleed. We take our tourniquet. All you have to do is apply it above the appropriate spot, make it nice and tight, twist the rod, until all the bleeding has stopped. At that time you can call for a Medevac, and go from there.

Other things you can do is if you see that the leg might be broken, you might want to go ahead and expose it as best as possible. We cut the clothing, as far as possible to make sure that we expose the injured site. Once we do, we can take a better look at what’s going on. At that point we can apply the appropriate intervention.

This is another amazing device. What the traction splint does is stabilize the leg. Make sure that we can save the limb, therefore save the life. After the splint has been put on, you want to make sure that it’s done right. Things you could do are check for the pulses. Did you know it’s real easy to check for the pulse right down here at the top of the foot?

This guy here looks like he needs an IV. What we do is initiate it to get them the fluids and medications they need so that they don’t have very much pain and they can go ahead and get all the fluids they need to stay in the fight.

Now let’s go over the order: tourniquet, expose the limb by cutting the clothes, traction splint, assess the pulse, start the IV, get them out of there.

Now, do you think you have what it takes to be a combat medic, to save the lives of soldiers? I thought so. Let’s see what you’ve got.