The 68W Combat Medic, (also known as Health Care Specialist) main job duty is to provide emergency medical services, patient removal from hazardous conditions, and limited care in the triage units.
You are often assigned to combat units to specifically aid in battlefield situations. As a Health Care Specialist, you may also be assigned to hospitals to help out doctors and nurses with patients health care needs.
You might be assigned to work in either inpatient or outpatient facilities to aid in recovery and treatment for a variety of issues. After interviewing patients, you will be responsible for doing vitals ie. blood pressure, temp and pulse and logging everything in their records
This will include doing blood work, and keeping all medical records accurate and up to date. You will also administer shots, prepare the operating rooms for surgery, and inventory all medical equipment within the medic unit.
In order to become a Health Care Specialist you must first complete 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training, then you will go to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas for an additional 16 weeks of Advanced Individual Training (AIT) that will include all facets of inpatient care.
You can also get extra training in a variety of specialized medical job fields. Some of these include:
An ASVAB score of General Technical (GT) 107 and Skilled Technical (ST) 101. There is no security clearance needed. There is some moderate to heavy lifting required at times, so you must be fairly strong.
The Physical Profile requirement is 222121. This is a military profile serial system based on six factors.
You must have a good physical capacity and stamina in both your upper and lower extremities. Your hearing and eyesight must be good, and you must be solid as far as psychiatric principals go, since there is often a great deal of stress involved with this job
When you finish up with your military career, many 68W soldiers become Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics. Employers in these fields look specifically for these veterans.
By 2020 there is an expected growth rate in this field of 33% and the average median pay rate in 2010 was $30,360/ year.
You may also want to consider becoming a medical assistant in a hospital. Many of these job requirements are similar to what you already know. In 2020 these jobs are expected to rise by 31% and they made $28,860 a year in 2010.
You could become a Medication Aid working in a non-hospital setting such as a nursing home, where you would dispense of medication and keep track of all of the client’s medical records
You will also qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. This provides a variety of services including free tuition and on the job training. If you decide to enroll in a private, or foreign school, you will receive up to $21,970 per academic year for tuition and expenses.
Many Health Care Specialists take advantage of this opportunity to further their expertise in the medical field to become a Physician’s Assistant. PAs actually practice medicine, diagnose and treat patients under the supervision of a doctor, or surgeon.
Now this requires a Master’s Degree, but there is a predicted 30% growth in this field by 2020 and they were making $86,410 back in 2010.
Whatever you decide, you can use your expertise that you learned as a 68W, combine it with your passion for helping others, and know that you can have a secure career opportunity when you decide to leave the U.S. Army.
MSG Washington has served within the ranks of the United States Army since June of 2001. With ten years of recruiting experience, he is an expert on Recruiting Operations, who willingly assists applicants across the Country with their enlistment process.