ROSE BARRACKS, Germany – Treating a patient is not like riding a bicycle. Doctors, nurses, combat medics and other medical providers across the U.S. Army must constantly hone their craft, learn new techniques and familiarize themselves with new equipment.
Active duty Soldiers and Department of Defense civilians from Hohenfels, Stuttgart, Vilseck and Grafenwoehr refreshed their skills to treat prospective patients with severe symptoms of the coronavirus in Rose Barracks, Germany, April 21, 2020.
Hosted by the Combined Arms Training Center of the 7th Army Training Command, instructors and students from the 1st Cavalry Division, 2d Cavalry Regiment and U.S. Army Medical Department Activity Bavaria shared their skills with their peers.
Capt. James Schofield, assigned to the 4th Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment, taught a class on the use of ventilators, an essential item for treating some of the most severe symptoms of the coronavirus to include respiratory distress.
“We are building competency and confidence to deal with the basics and worst-case scenarios,” said Schofield. “We are walking through each step required to take somebody who is showing respiratory distress all the way to intubation and transport to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.”
The training included topics such as patient evaluations, recommended prescriptions, ventilator maintenance, changing ventilator oxygen tanks and transporting patients.
Capt. Sophia Liu, an emergency room doctor, assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, appreciated the refresher course.
“It’s a good way for [providers] to get an experience and an idea of what to do if someone comes in with a crashing airway or difficulty breathing,” said Liu.
Liu and her fellow providers’ home station is in Fort Hood, Texas. They are in the midst of a 9-month deployment to Europe as a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
Personnel at the training rotated from station to station to experience a variety of scenarios.
“Each one of us are kind of our own subject matter experts, but we don’t often get a chance to share,” said Schofield. “That’s really what this training is for.”