PAs help medical personnel hone battlefield skills

By Rebecca Westfall

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas — The Tactical Combat Medical Care Course (TCMC) began in April 2004 when several Physician Assistants (PAs) noticed that many medical Soldiers were being deployed to combat areas without being properly equipped or trained in medical combat readiness. The TCMC covers a wide variety of areas within a 5-day time frame to include trauma and wound care.

“Currently, the program is geared toward doctors, physician assistants, nurses and senior medics to prepare them for combat medical readiness at the point of injury,” said Shon Compton, an original founder of the program as well as an instructor at TCMC.

Compton added, “The course is presently taught at Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis in San Antonio, Texas, and includes didactic and hands-on field training. Although other Armed Services have been through the program, the course is geared towards active duty Army that can be centrally funded from their units. The priority is to those preparing for deployment.”

Presently, there is a waiting list to get in the course as they are targeting 1,500 to 2,000 students annually. The training is considered a sustainment course.

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Author: Dian Welle