Security Force Assistance Brigade Advisors participated in a five-day Prolonged Field Care Course taught by Raven Medical in Maxton, N.C., May 08-12, 2023. The course is designed for medical and non-medical SFAB personnel, providing them with critical care techniques in different scenarios that equip them to stabilize and sustain a patient for an extended period of time.
“The SFAB Prolonged Field Care course is unique for military medicine and teaches both medics and non-medical personnel,” said David Hodge, Director of Medical Operations Raven Medical Inc.
Students learned how to identify injury patterns that can progress when evacuation to a higher echelon of care is delayed, stressing the importance of planning, documentation and communication.
“What we're doing here is we're making sure everybody can feel comfortable sitting on a patient for longer than one hour – up to 72 hours,” said Staff Sgt. Kyle Grimsey, 4th SFAB Medical Advisor. “We are just getting people comfortable with the idea that we're not going to be able to evacuate people in one hour.”
In a large-scale conflict, SFAB Advisors could be called on to provide lifesaving emergency medical treatment at the point of injury and then sustain a casualty until help arrives.
“This course challenges them to think a little bit more outside of the box when it comes to planning and managing resources,” said Hodge. “They have to conduct medicine in a resource-limited environment now and recognize when the scope of practice they currently have has reached its limit.”
The program's main focus is to provide Advisors with a grounding in medicine before they go on to the specialized fields of military medicine.
Advisors received a wide range of medical care training, from ventilator operation, to telemedicine, to psychological trauma in emergency patients.
“I think we will be able to use what we learn in this course to see what people need to work on and what needs to be improved and changed,” said Staff Sgt. Kyle Grimsey.
Topics also focused on the vitals such as signs, symptoms of life-threatening conditions, indications and contraindications for intervention, and performance of emergency medical procedures.
“I think the course was pretty beneficial; I feel a little bit more confident with all the minor invasive surgeries that we have to do on a patient depending on their injuries,” said Sgt. Mitchell Hopkins, 1st SFAB Medical Advisor.
Through this course, Advisors acquire the necessary skills to prepare for tomorrow’s crisis, like making data-driven medical choices in a trauma or clinical context and providing acute care over an extended time in an austere environment.
“I'd recommend this course to get that hands-on experience, primarily just those skill sets to help develop confidence and proficiency,” said Hopkins.
For more information on SFABs and how to volunteer, go to www.army.mil/sfab