The difference between medic and army medic training

Army medics are trained to provide medical assistance in combat situations and can do trauma care that’s beyond the scope of a civilian medic


Although they have some similarities, army medic training and civilian medic training are two very different things. The main difference between medic and army medic training is that army medics are trained to provide medical assistance in combat situations and can do trauma care that’s beyond the scope of a civilian medic.

Army medics must complete basic combat training, just like any combat soldier. After that, they undergo advanced training at Fort Sam Houston in Texas. That phase of their army medic training can take anywhere from 16 to 68 weeks, and includes a combination of classroom and practical field exercises. They learn basic EMT (Emergency Medical Technician or civilian medic) skills such as CPR, bandaging and stabilizing broken bones. They also are trained in IV procedures, which is beyond the scope of a civilian medic at the EMT level.

After that, Army medic training continues after they’re assigned to an army unit, where they learn more advanced combat medical treatments including hemorrhage control and placement of chest tubes. Since army hospitals don’t have many LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurses), they use medics to fill those positions.

Army Medics can advance to training as physician’s assistants through the Physician Assistant Program. This is a rigorous program that takes two years to complete, after which they’re promoted to the position of officer and allowed to take the civilian Physician’s Assistant certification test, if they choose. They’re also awarded a civilian master’s degree.

Another difference between army medic training and medic training is that an army medic can apply for advanced training as a combat medic with the Special Operations Forces. This is a rigorous training that takes eight months to complete and gives them the most autonomy to perform medical treatments of any army medical personnel. If there’s no medical doctor present, they can perform some of the same advanced procedures that doctors are authorized to undertake. Many army medics go on to become civilian EMTs, paramedics and physician’s assistants once they fulfill their military duty.

All in all there are many similarities and many differences between army medic training and civilian medic training. Some army medics end up in military hospitals and clinics where they perform many of the same procedures as civilian nurses, such as giving inoculations, taking patient histories, performing routine checkups and other nursing duties. Army medics who work in combat situations deal with bomb injuries, amputations, penetration wounds with severe bleeding and emergency medical evacuation procedures, unlike EMS medics.

Army medic training teaches many of the same basic lifesaving techniques as basic EMT training. It also teaches the same advanced lifesaving techniques that are learned by civilian paramedics. The main difference between army medic and medic training at the civilian level is that army medic training is much more focused on traumatic injuries that are associated with combat situations.