USARPAC conducts Filipino medical exchange

| April 28, 2011 | 0 Comments
AFP Nurse Corps members lead a tour of the AFP V Luna Medical Center during a medical exchange between the U.S. and Philippine armies. The five-day exchange was held during Balikatan 2011. (Capt. Joby Denny | U.S. Army)

AFP Nurse Corps members lead a tour of the AFP V Luna Medical Center during a medical exchange between the U.S. and Philippine armies. The five-day exchange was held during Balikatan 2011. (Capt. Joby Denny | U.S. Army)

Maj. Shea A. Asis
8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Members of the U.S. Army-Pacific surgeon’s cell and those with the armed forces of the Philippines, or AFP, Nurse Corps, worked together during five days to exchange the latest medical practices during Balikatan 2011.

The focus of the symposium, held recently, at the V Luna Medical Center, here, was to further the relationship between AFP and U.S. medical professionals through joint training on various health care subjects.

Topics included advanced cardiac life support, tactical nurse combat care and treatment of blast trauma.

For Col. Phil Hockings, chief of medical plans and operations, USARPAC, this trip was his second to Balikatan, and he jumped at the opportunity to do the exchange again.

“With 33 members of the AFP Nurse Corps coming from all parts of the country to be here, it was a great success,” Hockings said.

The AFP particularly wanted training with the automated external defibrillator, used to revive a patient’s pulse by providing a shock to the heart. This learning process also proved to be riveting for the U.S. experts who led the training.

“It was great to take the nurses out of their comfort zone and discuss health support service planning,” said Lt. Col. Mark Stevens, medical planner, USARPAC.

The subject of evacuation procedures proved to be another topic of great interest to AFP nurses, who were eager to learn from U.S. Soldiers, as evacuation missions have become the norm for U.S. medical teams because of the ability of the U.S. military to plan medical evacuations from remote locations.

“The AFP does not always have that capability to do evacuations like that, so getting the nurses to think at the higher level is what I wanted to teach to them,” Stevens said. “They really got the message.”

The group shared an understanding of the medical basics, which facilitated learning from each other, even with recognized differences in procedures.

“Most of the nurses had combat experience, so exchanging techniques and procedures on combat care was amazing,” Hockings said.

For the USARPAC contingent, the symposium was a great way to collaborate with colleagues on the common mission of caring for the sick and wounded. Planners are already looking at new subjects to cover during the next Balikatan exercise.

“As we build upon this, next year’s event will be even better,” Hockings said. “We hope, as each year progresses within Balikatan, this tradition will continue and become a lasting bond between both armies.”

 

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Category: Deployed Forces, Exercises, Health, News

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