The Navy’s largest rating will soon see the most significant training changes since the Hospital Corps “A” School’s 2011 move from Great Lakes, Illinois, to San Antonio, Texas, Vice Adm. Forrest Faison, the Navy surgeon general, announced during congressional testimony March 29.
Faison spoke before the Senate Appropriations Committee Defense subcommittee during a hearing on defense health programs and military medicine funding, where his focus was on Navy Medicine’s most important priority – readiness.
“We are changing and improving the training of our corpsmen at HM “A” school in San Antonio,” Faison told the subcommittee. “Our curriculum changes are focused on providing ready and relevant training that will prepare them to manage the continuum of care in high-threat or complex environments most likely to be encountered by our sea-based expeditionary Navy and Marine Corps forces.”
Faison told the subcommittee a primary reason for today’s high combat survivability rate is the “heroic work” by hospital corpsmen.
“You, and the American public, can be justifiably proud of their tremendous contributions,” Faison said. “Corpsmen are responsible for delivering initial care on the battlefield or in an isolated assignment aboard a ship or submarine far from any MTF.”
The new Hospital Corpsmen curriculum is scheduled to begin in July.
“This is a total revision of the existing curriculum,” said Chief Hospital Corpsman Renee Byam, the Navy Medicine Education, Training and Logistics Command (NMETLC) skills management leading chief petty officer. “The revision increases hands-on training by approximately 20 percent,” which was directly identified by key stakeholders, the operational forces, medical treatment facilities and Faison during lifecycle curriculum review studies.
As with all training programs, the curriculum changes began with an ongoing NMETLC monitoring and survey process, said Dino Nelson, an NMETLC instructional systems specialist. Along with extensive technical and content reviews, the “lifecycle management process” includes a “follow-up” with Hospital Corps “A” School graduates and their first duty station supervisors to assess how the training aligns with the needs of the fleet. Medical subject-matter experts from the fleet and NMETLC training commands were also consulted and offered an opportunity to provide feedback.