Saturday, March 04, 2006

Iraqi Army Medics Install Confidence in Locals

MOSUL, Iraq - Iraqi Army medics, 1st Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, worked in conjunction with 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment during a medical screening in Mosul, Iraq to help local citizens gain confidence in Iraqi medical personnel Feb. 25.

IA medics diagnosed and treated more than 200 residents that came to the medical screening in the Al Zinghili neighborhood.

“This is our tenth medical screening. We keep progressing more and more with each one. The IA Medics are getting more involved with each one, which allows the local nationals to have confidence in the Iraqi Security Forces,” said 1st Lt. Brett Phillips, 1st Battalion, 17thInfantry Regiment.

“We want them to be able to rely on what the Iraqi people already have in place, and to realize that their medical capabilities are sufficient to care for their medical needs. Having the Iraqi medics at the medical screenings is one way to show the Iraqi people that medical system cares for them and is there to support them.”

According to the IA medics, they really enjoy helping the local citizens. They are looking forward to a stable medical environment in Iraq. They wish that the citizens of Iraq would use and have more confidence in their medical system.

According to Phillips, the IA medics are at the same skill level as a U.S. physician’s assistant. The IA have completed three years of basic nursing school and two years of intensive medical schooling. The medics that we worked with today have gone through both schools, so they have a huge knowledge base and are very skilled, but the problem is that there are not enough medics.

“We have taught them how to teach a Combat Life Saver course, and have helped supply courses for their training,” Phillips said. “The course is based on the U.S. Army CLS course, but made modifications to fit the operational needs of the Iraqi Army.”

According to the IA medics, the five-day course was successful in teaching first-aid techniques to get their Soldiers out of a dangerous environment, so that they will have a higher chance of survival. The course was difficult and labor intensive, but it will pay off in the end.

“The more we can do to train them, and prepare them to take care of their Soldiers the better off everybody is going to be,” Phillips said. “The medics have a real invested interest of the well-being of their battalions and their people.”

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