FORT POLK, La. –
Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital hosted an area of concentration, individual critical task list skills fair Dec. 13-14 at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, Louisiana.
Capt. Lizamara Bedolla, chief of BJACH hospital education and staff development, said the event was set up for military medical providers.
“What we’ve created here is a skills fair with tasks specific to the providers so they can get the required repetitions and training they may not get otherwise” she said.
Bedolla said the fair had eight stations and the instructors were subject matter experts from BJACH.
“We went through the ICTLs, determined which were most necessary and most commonly shared among the majority of our providers,” she said. “Our goal was to provide an effective training event for as many people as possible. ICTLs are a continuous dynamic requirement that vary from task to task. Getting in the necessary receptions in the time frame allotted is what it takes to stay current on each task.”
Bedolla said the participants were medical doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, pediatricians, surgeons and emergency medicine physicians from BJACH, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division and 32nd Hospital Center.
Lt. Col. Daniel Cash, deputy commander for clinical services at BJACH said the skills fair ensures medical readiness for all military providers.
“This training is very important,” he said. “We get hands on repetitive instruction that is necessary on the battlefield.”
Cash said BJACH will host ICTL skills fairs on a regular basis to give all providers the opportunity to attend.
“As a 60J, my area of concentration, as an OB-GYN, we have been identified as being somewhat like a Swiss Army knife,” she said. “Not only do we develop the skills to run a clinic and provide excellent care in that setting, we have also gone through training for surgical skills as well. There is a wide variety of procedures we are expected to perform.”
Baraki said exposure to the procedures taught during the skills fair is beneficial not only for individual provider knowledge and confidence in different areas but also for patient safety and outcomes.
“Labor and delivery is a very interesting place and I love it,” she said. “No matter how low risk we screen our patients to be, anything can happen at any time. Preparing myself and my OB-GYN colleagues to be able to respond to emergencies and perform life saving measures is extremely, extremely important.”
Baraki said being a military OB-GYN is very exciting and during a deployment she has a lot of skills and flexibility to provide.
“The unique thing about my AOC is that we can potentially wear three hats while deployed,” she said. “We can deploy as a general practitioner, as an OB-GYN or as a surgical assistant. While we don’t do trauma surgery on a regular basis we do know how to safely and quickly access an abdomen to control hemorrhage for example.”
1st Lt. Steven Reed, battalion PA, 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 3BCT, 10TH MTN DIV, said he participated in the skills fair to get some hands on training.
“I needed to brush up on stabilizing eye trauma, sutures, abscess drainage and completing my ICTLs,” he said. “I see a lot of lacerations at 3/10 and the emergency room doc, Capt. Dane Nerad, showed me some tricks I will be able to utilize immediately.”
Maj. Mike Stevens, optometrist at BJACH, was the instructor for the eye trauma station.
“It’s important to prepare all healthcare providers for a downrange experience,” he said. “While deployed I’ve seen ocular trauma and this training will give providers the tools necessary to treat a penetrating eye injury or chemical burn.”
Stevens said the eye is a very resilient organ and stressed that the training is beneficial to stabilize a casualty for evacuation.
Lt. Col. Marcia Brimm, chief of the primary care clinic at BJACH said she enjoyed the hands on training.
“The trauma aspect of this training is not something we see in primary care regularly,” she said. “This was a great opportunity to refresh our skills and to work with other providers with different specialties. When we deploy we work together and knowing what our roles are in a trauma situation is critical. Understanding a little bit about the responsibilities of specialists to my left and right is vital. While deployed I will have to provide the first assessment and respond appropriately to stabilize the patient and treat the injury until they can be taken to higher levels of care.”