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Medical Assistant - Reserve


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Hey guys, I‘m thinking of going in the reserves as a medical assistant, but I‘d like more details on the actual job. Do med.assistants go out with infantry soldiers regularly, or do they stay on base and wait for the wounded to get to the hospital? What would be the chances of being on an exercise as a medical assistant?

I dunno if it should be a seperate post in the recruiting section, (moderators tell me if I should post there) but the DND website says you need a HS diploma to be a medic, but I‘m currently finishing HS with chem. classes, and did biology last year, so can I join up and do basic this summer, or do I have to wait until I have completed high school, and then join up? Also, I tried to get into the infantry last year, but was refused because a botched test came out with my eyes being too weak for that job, so do I have to go through the whole process again, or can I just pick up from where I left, but go into another trade?

Thanks for any answers, it‘s appreciated.
Well, the chances of you getting into an infantry unit as a Medic are slim to none. He||, they‘re trying to make ME go back to a med coy. Of course, that will happen over my dead body.

Anyway, as a reserve Med A you will do a lot of medical training, casualty simulations, and so on, but rarely will you actually ever treat a real human being who‘s really injured unless you do an MIR tasking in the summer. In all the time I‘ve been a medic (about 3-4 years), the only time a medic from a med coy came out with my unit was one patrol ex when I was sick and couldn‘t make it, and for a live fire grenade range in Canada we need a QL5 Reg force med a present.

That‘s it.

If you can manage it, try to get attached to a combat arms unit. I see about half a dozen casualties every single exercise. They may not be as interesting as the simulations that the Medical Companies do, but these are actually real. Being a medic in a combat arms unit is the best job too because you get the best of both worlds: you can learn all of the medical stuff, but still go on a fighting patrol, or do a live fire section attack.
Although a cynic might tell you that most of the time, the Med A is an under-appreciated blister specialist...

But I agree, you‘d definitely (from what I‘ve heard) learn tons on your course. The CF is very safety conscious these days, so the most serious stuff a Med A (or anyone) would most likely see in the Reserve world are broken bones and weather-related illnesses.
Also, there are lots of trade specific injuries:

Infantry: Strains, sprains, cuts, blisters and burns

Artillery: Finger Injuries, back strain, and hearing problems

Armoured: Inhallation injuries, crush injuries, burns too

Engineers: Lots of hand and finger injuries (moe detail work), also dealing with explosives makes for some interesting injuries.

There‘s a lot of changes happening in health services right now, and I don‘t even know 1/10th of them. If you‘re not really interested in being a medic then I wouldn‘t join, I‘d pick a different trade. I looks like more training is coming down the pipe for reservists in the form of a civilian EMR (emergency medical responder) certification. This is basically the entry level course into civilian EMS. Combat medic is right, basically if you join as a Med A now, you pretty much have to go to a Medical Company. Typically training involves setting up and operating field medical facilities, however all reserve Med A‘s take the same training courses (QL3 etc) regardless of unit. If there‘s more experienced medics out there who have more information on what changes are happening in CFMG for both reg and reserve, I‘d love to find out more.
If you have no civilian qualification, you will be trained EMR. The Med A trade will become Med Tech (with a new MOC which escapes me).

Unofficially, but from a source I trust, the most a reserve Med Tech EMR may hope for in terms of an augmentation deployment in future will be to drive ambulance (with driver qual) - but even that has not been decided, and right now there is nothing.

Qualified paramedics may expect to receive higher military qualifications by equivalency, and be more employable.

Annual recertification in essential medical skills is now required. The program amounts to - rough guess - 7-10 days of training, review, and assessment. It includes maintaining currency in first aid, CPR, and BTLS. Without the annual recertification, a reserve Med Tech EMR will be restricted to first aid - in effect, unemployable in any "medical" capacity and no more useful than any soldier with a first aid certificate. The program will be administered by the Med Coys for all Med As (ie. including the ones attached out to other units). It will require a high degree of commitment, particularly from Med As in remote units.
Brad Sallows,

Thanks for the above info. Do you have any info on the career path for reserve Med Tech‘s? (i.e. will there be a QL 5 course, will QL 4 stay the same etc.) Also, I have a civilian PCP license so do you have any idea on what kind of equivalency I might be able to attain?
There is no QL5 in the reserves. The QL3 will be the EMR certification with additional information (like casualty evactuation in a nuclear, biological or chemical environment): how do you use a BVM on someone in a toxic environment?

If you‘re a PCP already, then you‘re qualified as a reg force QL3 medic (minus some clinical stuff). You will have a way easier time getting employed if you want to go overseas, or get taskings with the reg force.
PCP=Primary Care Paramedic; kind of equivalent to EMT in other provinces.

In BC and Ontario, there are 3 forms of emergency responders:

1st: Primary Care Paramedics
2nd: Acute (or is it Advanced?) care Paramedics
3rd: Critical Care Paramedics

Apparently, the remainder of the country is supposed to be adopting this standard... eventually, and the PCP program run by the Justice Institute of BC is being taught to all QL3 reg force Med As.
Just to add to Combat Medic‘s post:

The paramedic association of Canada has mandated 4 levels of recognized training across the country. Below is a quick summary.

EMR: approx 120 hour course which covers all the basics such as CPR, AED, spinal management splinting, oxygen etc. Almost identical to the U.S. EMT-B qualification.
PCP: The mandated minimum level of training to work on ambulance in several provinces. Covers more in depth patient assessment (blood glucometry, pulse oximetry etc) as well as basic medication administrion. Most PCP‘s can give a Symptom Relief package of basic drug such as Ventolin, Epinephrine, Nitroglycerin etc.
ACP: Advanced Care Paramedic- what we know as Advanced Life Support. Includes invasive procedures such as intubation, IV‘s, additional drug administration, crichothyroidotomy, ECG interpretation etc.
CCP: Additional ALS skills focusing mainly on critical care air and ground transport. In most civilian agencies CCP‘s don‘t do many street calls mostly critical interhospital transfers.
My personal opinion is that the EMR course is very useful. If additional training was provided in military specific skills, I see no reason why reserve Med Techs could not be considered properly trained medics.
I‘m not 100% sure in the background civilian equivalency details, but as for details how it does work for in the Army for what Med Techs do, I‘ll do my best to fill you in...I spent the last 4 yrs at cbt arms unit medical stations and now at 2 Fd Amd as a Med det commander. Having worked with all levels of civilian qualified reserve medics, they are still only allowed to do what thier equivilent req force trade qual (ie. QL3/QL5)counterparts are allowed because of legal consideration. As a supervisior, we take each instince case by case. But basically you get to do what you you‘ve been tested on....AS for the new MOC its 737, and OR techs 713 and PMed techs 733 are subspecialties, also Physicians Asst are now 732. Any ? don‘t hesitate to ask. :cool:

Thanks for your reply. Would you be able to give a quick outline of the scope of practice for reg force QL 3/QL5 Med Techs?
As for scope of practice, Its easier to explain if I break it down:
Trauma/emergency medicine: as taught and tested thru J.I. or advance BTLS including chest decomp and IV‘s upto intubation, which is not tested now until PA Level (use to be 6A)
Clinical: screening and treatments as taught, Rx privliges: QL3 none
QL5/6 OTC‘s in formulary only narc in extreme circumstance
PA‘s all medication in formulary narcotic in lieu of MO.
Hope this answers your question?
Ok, forgive my newbie questions, I am extremely new to the military field.

Here goes, I have:

- 2 and a half years university in the sciences
- 3 of of 4 semesters completed in a paramedic program at a college. (Honours)
- 100+ hours of clinical experience including IV initiation, etc...
- 300+ hours of road experience attending calls with Toronto EMS (student).
- All the course outlines of the courses which I have completed for reference.

Does any of this offer me any advantages for being accpeted into the Canadian Army? Would they give me preference into going into the Med Tech 737 program? Or does it not really matter?

From my brief reading, if I were to apply and get in, do I imediately follow this path? 10-weeks BMQ, 16-weeks CFMSS, then 13-weeks in BC? Does this happen bangbangbang or is there a delay between courses? Then where would that put me?

Heh, hopefully this makes some sense...Basically wondering if my prior experience carries significant weight. Just looking at options right now for my future...
OK, this should clear it up a bit...

You need to basic training. Period. The only way to get out of it is if you‘ve done it already.

As for being a medic in the reg force, if you‘re already a certified PCP, then you can skip PART of the QL3. You still need to do the clinical/field phase. You‘ll also need to learn to scope of practice for a medic in the CF.

The QL5 is lots of anatomy, and LOTS of clinical knowledge. I doubt you‘ll be able to skip that.

As for the courses, with the backlog right now, there‘s really long delays between Basic and QL3, so you may be waiting around for 6 months between them. As for ther QL5, don‘t count on getting that until the end of your first contract; there‘s a huge waiting list, plus they have to do conversion courses for all the QL5 med As in the system already, so it may be even longer.

Thanks for the above info, that answers my questions. Just to clarify on your last, BTLS-A is not taught until PA? i.e. only PA‘s have skills such as chest decompression, intubation, etc.? Thanks
combat_medic, thanks for making things a little clearer. I think talking to a recuiter would completely clear things up for options what I would have.

From what I can tell alot of this is dependant on when and where you did your EMR/Paramedic training. As there are undoubtably significant differences across the country . It seems to me that from my limited research, Ontario (BC as well?) has the highest pre-employment education requirements. While I do not have my A-EMCA (employment qualification), this is in someway do to the fact that the paramedic program was recently changed (3rd year of change) in Ontario from a 1-year to a 2-year full-time program. Essentially the second year (well over 50% of the ciriculum) is ALS training. And while similar, circulum varies between college‘s and in some case (especially with clinical experience) between students. We have essentially completed any/all paramedic training that was needed for the EMCA in the past. This probably means little, but still...

I assume this would come down to individual circumstances, something that a recuiter would only know.

And medic24 just a question on your comment..."If additional training was provided in military specific skills, I see no reason why reserve Med Techs could not be considered properly trained medics". I was kind of interested in this, a 120-hour EMR course plus the 13-weeks in BC would equate to a well-trained road medic? Just wondering because it seems to me like the EMR skill set is equivilent to pretty close to what you‘d see your (in my experience) in your newer fire-fighters. Just curious because as far as I‘m aware of there are no EMR‘s in Ontario.

Alot of this is just me thinking out loud, but I would appreciate any feedback.
Check the recruiting web site, the Med Tech page was updated over the weekend. It should provide you with some insight before you walk up to the counter at CFRC. You always have the option of requesting that a Prior Learing Assesment(PLA) be done by the CF Medical Service School in order to determine your equivalencies. A couple of things everyone should be aware of (1) Paramedic Association of Canada PCP National Competency Profiles were developed with considerable input from members of the CFMS (2) the CFMS is a charter member of the PAC, we‘ve be affiliated with them since prior to the Gulf War...


For those interested in the CF Physician Assistant program check out www.caopa.ca.
We teach ABTLS to QL 3& 5 med techs, which in prehospital trauma. PA‘s lean more to inhospital type care and general use ATLS skills in relation to trauma...

reading your qualifications, a career in the military as a Med Tech, atleast in the reg force may be somewhat of a disapointment to you unless you are unable to get work on the street. Most civ-qual medics find thier skills underutilised by the type of work we do in the military. And they still make you do ALL the training. The real reason the military is pushing for civilian equal is to boost the trades up to spec levels of pay and to have equivialency and accredidations for us and our clinics so to make it easier for us to have a broader range of training oppurtunities which we do not have now. For instance, I have not done any clinical work since end Aug, because of courses and field training. And as for CAoPA; well that kinds what their idea is to, as well as having some sort of creditation so 20+ yrs of military medical service isn‘t wasted upon thier release. But thats all good for all of us.

The best answer I can give you is that everyone is diffrent, and in general it takes a couple of yrs to really get to do what we like to do once we arrive. The first thing I tell my new QL 3 arrivals is if they wanted to have the "glory" of the lights and sirens, then they should have got a job working in Ambs on civy street.

Hope this all helps..... :)

oh yes, and we don‘t get to play with these.... :fifty: