By 2nd Lt. Alyson Randall, 2nd AAB, 1st Cav. Div., USD-NJuly 7, 2011
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE WARHORSE, Iraq -- Whether treating a Soldier with a cold or helping save the life of a wounded warrior, there is always something to keep a medic busy while deployed.
A typical day for Spc. Kathy Hysong begins with patient care during sick call hours at the Troop Medical Clinic at Contingency Operating Base Warhorse, Iraq. The remainder of her day is dedicated to preparing for any medical evacuations.
Hysong, a healthcare specialist with Company C, 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division " North, plays a versatile role as a medic assigned to the evacuation platoon.
"We typically work in the clinic during sick call," she said, "but we always have to be ready to do an evacuation if necessary."
Staying active is important for the medics who evacuate patients.
An evacuation platoon Soldier's job often involves loading patients wearing full combat gear into vehicles and providing patient care while en route to a larger facility.
En route care is the most important part of an evacuation medic's job, said Hysong, a native of Baker City, Ore.
"I am responsible for keeping the patient (stabilized) from our level of care to the next," she said.
"Patient care during evacuations is just as important as the treatment they receive in the clinic," said Staff Sgt. Shirlee Burton, evacuation platoon noncommissioned officer in charge. "Without that en route care, the patient may die."
Hysong spends a large portion of her day with her fellow evacuation platoon members preparing for evacuation emergencies.
Training for combat is very important, said Burton. "If you haven't trained to standard and if you make a mistake, people's lives are in danger."
Burton has already noticed improvements in Hysong's performance because of the training.
"She has improved tremendously," said Burton. "Actually doing real-life medical evacuations has made her realize the importance of her job and the training that is required."
Although being part of an evacuation platoon is a large responsibility for a young medic, Hysong said her job helps keep Soldiers alive.