HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFNS) --
Most have heard of multi-capable Airmen working on the flightline or in aircraft hangars, but at the 49th Medical Group they’re training multi-capable medics to work in the clinic.
Medic-X is a program implemented in the 49th MDG last year and is designed to train Airmen from different medical careers to provide potentially life-saving measures in emergency situations and relief in daily operations.
The 49th MDG is responsible for providing medical care for over 14,000 Airmen and civilians living on the installation and because of the possibility of a high volume of patients the 49th MDG has begun implementing the Medic-X initiative.
“On the medical side, you have your clinical patient care-related Air Force Specialty Codes and the support AFSCs that aren't necessarily providing direct patient care,” said Tech. Sgt. Shelby Vande Zande, 49th MDG education and training flight chief. “The Medic-X program can teach personnel with non-clinical AFSCs the skills needed to work in the clinics.”
The program first took effect at Holloman Air Force Base during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 when the group experienced manpower shortages.
“We took the Medic-X initiative and kind of fast-tracked it for a couple of those skills that would be beneficial for a COVID response,” Vande Zande said. “Had we leaned solely on our clinical personnel, we wouldn't have been able to sustain the clinic’s mission of caring for patients.”
The Medic-X training consists of a variety of clinical skills that are crucial in preparing for dire situations, such as mass casualty events and combat scenarios.
“If you're in a mass casualty event, the medics don't have time to be running back and forth to get supplies and move patients,” said Tech. Sgt. Renique Carey, 49th MDG force health management noncommissioned officer in charge. “However, there's a lot more non-clinical members than there are clinical, so now we can utilize ourselves in emergency situations, which is what Medic-X has trained us to do.”
Not only does Medic-X prepare clinical staff for emergency situations, but it can also be utilized in day-to-day procedures including taking vitals, moving patients, providing oral medication and assessing pain levels.
“It helps keep our providers out there treating the more critical patients,” Carey stated.
In such a short timeframe, Medic-X has given the 49th MDG staff the preparation and skills needed to combat any sort of emergency while ensuring that the residents of Holloman AFB have the best medical care.
“It gives a better understanding of what everybody goes through, and it builds a stronger team,” Carey said. “You can understand what medics and providers are going through and it builds a different appreciation for each other.”