Jon Stewart Puzzled Why Combat Medics Can't Apply for Nursing Jobs - page 5

by kabfighter | 12,090 Views | 49 Comments

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook, and it made me scratch my head a bit. Combat medics undoubtedly serve an important and difficult role, but Stewart appears to be comparing apples and oranges. It seems that states'... Read More


  1. 0
    I've got some unique insight as a 33yr old RN that enlisted as a Corpsman 15 months ago. I gave up after 10 months looking for work as a new Grad. I thought enlisting was giving up, but its been a great experience. First, the pay. As a married E3 in San Diego I get $4225/month. I only pay taxes on $1800 of that and get free healthcare. That's ok for a nurse, but how awesome is that for the 18 yr old corpsman coming from high school with only 3 months training that works a desk, vital signs, clinic?

    GI Bill is nice, but medics on the Daily Show never mentioned the 12 college credits the military will pay for yearly while enlisted. You're an 8 year veteran and didn't take a single college class when they would've paid for 96 credits? I got $25,000 in Sallie Mae loans from getting my RN.

    I was placed in the Cardiovascular Technician C school immediately after corp school. It's 15 months long and l leave with civilian licenses to work as a cath lab tech and echocardiogram tech. Again, the Navy is paying for all of this plus my regular pay. The E5 corpsman and Army medics I went to school with, all with combat experience, DO NOT KNOW EKGS OR DRUGS. For a lot them, cvt clinicals was the first they worked inside a hospital.

    I guess my point is, the pay is f*cking awesome while you're in, and they come just short of begging you to take free college courses while enlisted. What kind of person retires and starts saying their country abandoned them and doesn't care about veterans?
  2. 0
    Quote from RNslif
    I guess my point is, the pay is awesome while you're in, and they come just short of begging you to take free college courses while enlisted. What kind of person retires and starts saying their country abandoned them and doesn't care about veterans?
    Unfortunately tuition assistance has been suspended, as of 8 March. Glad I took advantage of it when I commissioned in 2011, because I'm close to done with my MSN and can foot the bill myself for the rest.
  3. 2
    I was a corpsman who got out in January 2011 , I am an Iraq veteran and have served 3 of my five years with the marine corp, I have tons of training and experience in what I did, my marines looked up to me and was not afraid to come to me because they knew I would take care of them medically and emotionally , I was trained very well in many aspects of medicine from writing soap notes to administering an IV at the drop of a hat and pretty damn good at that, would perform suturing and minor toe nail removal procedures under supervision of medical officer or my IDC but after awhile I became self sufficient so they respected my work and now that I get out here I hit a brick wall and told I couldn't even give a TB test to someone in my first job out here because my job didn't recognize my certain Medical Assistant cert which is crap, I know for me I felt discouraged as hell because I was being regulated to a level I was not used to , it felt like a kick in the gut ,leaves a deep pitted feeling in my stomach because I know my potential and proven it,It's like when I say served in the military as a medic,I feel civilians employers don't think about how much emphasis my service means in my abilities as a stellar medical provider, in my interviews I have been to for a medical assistant in the past I am asked: what kind of responsibilities have you had in the past? and I think back in my head which I don't have to think to hard because I resort to right away remembering my service in the corp as someone who was looked upon with no doubts to provide medical aid to the 50 marines I would have on our Convoys in Iraq, to know that any given time one of those guys were wounded, I would be their guy, honestly I can't think of any higher level of responsibility that has so much of an impact as what I was entrusted with in the past. I am just ranting brother, sorry. saw your post and wanted to reply with my thoughts .
    carolinapooh and kabfighter like this.
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    I so admire all that you have done to serve our country. But I do note that you did not mention any of your assessment skills, your ability to educate your patients or advocate for them in the face of adversity from physicians. These are important roles of nurses. You have to determine what's going on with someone who is going down the tubes and know how to intervene to save their life. So missing all the classes that you were not afforded by not going to nursing school make it hard for you to even know these are the most essential roles of nurses. Nursing is not just about what you do with your hands, it's about what you do with your head.
    jeckrn likes this.
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    As the child of a Korean War/Vietnam War veteran corpsman, I can say that a good HM (hospitalist's mate, what they're called in the Navy) can go head to head any day with any RN on assessment skills - in a combat zone, THEY ARE THE ONLY MEDICAL CARE, MANY TIMES, AT THE FRONT AND AT THE POINT OF INJURY. They determine who's going down the tubes under heavy fire and in overly spartan conditions and give treatment in the field, as well as in hospitals and clinics throughout the military. So much so, in fact, the rest of the DOD is beginning to model their own med tech programs after the Corpsman program, and all the technical medical training has since been combined under joint service control here at Ft Sam Houston, with the Navy taking the lead. The PA program as we know it exists because of these brave and talented men and women coming back from Vietnam with nowhere to use these skills - and that was recognized by, of all people, a doctor at Duke University, who created the PA to put these skills to use.

    They do more with their heads than a lot of nurses I've seen. And they have to do it NOW, without the luxury of time. They know these 'essential rules' better than any new grad I've ever met, myself included, when I was a new grad.

    I'd have no reservation about going into combat with an HM at my back. In fact, I'd rather have an experienced HM than some doctors I've worked with. And definitely more than a few RNs I've met.

    Sorry, but it's true. I need someone who can keep their cool and help me out - and step in when I can't do what I know needs to be done (HMs can, in some cases, intubate, where we can't). And I need it done now. I also need someone with the confidence to tell me to stand down when I'm out of my league in a heavy situation, and a good HM will do that.

    They're all about using their heads. They've got more than technical skill, and as a Navy brat, I saw that, not just in my dad but in the corpsmen we knew. Yes, there are gaps in their training, and Jon Stewart doesn't know that. But they're more than what some are saying they are, and they deserve appropriate recognition for that.
    ckh23 likes this.
  6. 0
    Quote from carolinapooh
    As the child of a Korean War/Vietnam War veteran corpsman, I can say that a good HM (hospitalist's mate, what they're called in the Navy) can go head to head any day with any RN on assessment skills - in a combat zone, THEY ARE THE ONLY MEDICAL CARE, MANY TIMES, AT THE FRONT AND AT THE POINT OF INJURY. They determine who's going down the tubes under heavy fire and in overly spartan conditions and give treatment in the field, as well as in hospitals and clinics throughout the military. So much so, in fact, the rest of the DOD is beginning to model their own med tech programs after the Corpsman program, and all the technical medical training has since been combined under joint service control here at Ft Sam Houston, with the Navy taking the lead. The PA program as we know it exists because of these brave and talented men and women coming back from Vietnam with nowhere to use these skills - and that was recognized by, of all people, a doctor at Duke University, who created the PA to put these skills to use.

    They do more with their heads than a lot of nurses I've seen. And they have to do it NOW, without the luxury of time. They know these 'essential rules' better than any new grad I've ever met, myself included, when I was a new grad.

    I'd have no reservation about going into combat with an HM at my back. In fact, I'd rather have an experienced HM than some doctors I've worked with. And definitely more than a few RNs I've met.

    Sorry, but it's true. I need someone who can keep their cool and help me out - and step in when I can't do what I know needs to be done (HMs can, in some cases, intubate, where we can't). And I need it done now. I also need someone with the confidence to tell me to stand down when I'm out of my league in a heavy situation, and a good HM will do that.

    They're all about using their heads. They've got more than technical skill, and as a Navy brat, I saw that, not just in my dad but in the corpsmen we knew. Yes, there are gaps in their training, and Jon Stewart doesn't know that. But they're more than what some are saying they are, and they deserve appropriate recognition for that.
    I agree 100%
  7. 0
    As a RN and a HM(FMF) I have first had experience in both fields and there is a big difference in both. Yes most HM' s have food battlefield assessment skills, which are better the most RN' s in the field, but they do not have the overall assessment skills of a RN. HM' s for the most part know how but not why. As far as talking about IDC HM' s they have advanced training which buts them on par with most RN' s that have worked any time in a ED, IDC' s do not have the same level of training as a PA or NP.
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    I was a medic for the Army for 9 years and have just finished nursing school for my BSN. I see all points but truly nursing school gave a more global understanding to medicine. I worked in the ER as a shift leader as a medic and just finished my high acuity clinical in the ER as a nursing student. With those comparison's alone having the assessment skills as a nurse and a more comprehensive understanding of disease process there was really no comparison. Medic's are trained for trauma with minor medication understanding (more what it's suppose to do rather than a nurse understanding the mechanism of action). Your only as good as your understanding and willingness to learn so yes, there are some crazy high speed medics out there but you can't compare the baseline schooling cause nursing far surpasses medics.

    If you disagree that's fine but you can only base your opinion from your own experience and this is mine so try not to tear that down...
    jeckrn likes this.
  9. 0
    Sorry if I believe you are all selling yourselves short in a lot of cases - or perhaps the training you get now isn't what it was in previous times.
  10. 2
    I'm going to weigh in here as while I am not actived duty I have been overseas serving my country (as a military spouse and then as the sponsor in another capacity) for 25 years.

    I am very proud of it all and wouldn't change it for the world.

    I am currently a school nurse and am royally... mad... that we have been labelled so broadly and rudely as bandages and stomachaches.

    Medics could not do my job anymore than I could do theirs. You put me on the front lines with bomb victims and those medics would be the much better choice hands down- I have no experience dealing with that situation and I will be the first to tell you that. You put those two medics in a school and the same would also be true.
    wooh and ncox1 like this.


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