Evaluation of the Combat Medic Skills Validation Test
Name: Eileen Hemman
Rank: COL, USA
Organization: The Geneva Foundation
Performance Site: Madigan Army Medical Center, Ft. Lewis, WA
Year Published: 2003
Abstract Status: Final
The strategic plan of the Army's vision ensures battlefield superiority into the new millennium. Its operational characteristics are increased battle operational tempo, long evacuation distances, greater unit distribution and maneuvers, and battles that are dynamic and chaotic. The combat medics, who form the core of the Army Medical Department's mission, will provide the first response on the battlefield as well as care for disease and non-battle injuries to maintain the strength of the American Warfighter. As the Army transformed itself into a new kind of Army that is a lighter, faster, and leaner force, it required "a new kind of [battlefield] medic" (Peake, 1999); one that would improve the versatility of yesterday's medic and produce a significantly better trained trauma medic to support the Army's combat missions, peacekeeping missions, humanitarian efforts, reaction to terrorism, and in defense of America (Army, 2001). The focus of training resources and time have thus been dedicated to initial training of the new combat medic (91W), however soon the Army will have to address the question that has plagued the maintenance of knowledge and skills of prior (although lesser trained) combat medics and continue to concern our civilian counterparts, i.e. "Can the well trained combat medic (91W) maintain their skills and knowledge to be capable of delivering combat medical care, at a moment's notice, in order to conserve the fighting strength of the soldier?" It is imperative that the front-line medics be thoroughly trained because ultimately their competence determines the life and death cost to the sons and daughters of America. In 2002, the SACMS-VT (Semi-Annual Combat Medic Skills-Validation Test) was developed and accepted by the Army Medical Department as the evaluation instrument to determine the combat readiness of the Army's battlefield medic and is ready for use in 2003, but it has not been tested. This study will employ a descriptive, prospective design using various instrument testing techniques. The goal is to determine the reliability and validity of the SACMS-VT's and to provide a snapshot of the battlefield medic's combat readiness using the SACMS-VT. The specific aims of this study are to: 1) Operationalize, standardize, and centralize the SACMS-VT, 2) Evaluate the psychometric properties of the SACMS-VT, 3)Test a random sample of battlefield medics (91W) to assess their combat medical readiness skills.
Final report is available on NTRL: https://ntrl.ntis.gov/NTRL/dashboard/searchResults/titleDetail/PB2013103...