Practicing Medicine Around the World – The Life of an Army Nurse

Picture this: You are a health care professional. You are a newly commissioned Officer in the Army Reserve, deep in the Field Training Exercise (FTX) Component of the Officer Basic Leadership Course, the Army Medical Department (AMEDD)’s version of Basic Training. It is mid-November on a rainy evening in San Antonio, Texas, and you are on the bus returning to Fort Sam Houston from a week of Spartan living during the Forward Operating Base (FOB) component of the FTX. You are soaking wet, freezing, exhausted, starving, and your feet hurt. You remind yourself why you’re subjecting yourself to this: to serve your country by providing top-notch care to groups not typically encountered in your civilian practice. However, at this point, you really can’t think past a hot meal and shower.

Just then, your cell phone rings. The Commander of your Reserve Unit back home is on the line. He’s asking for volunteers for a humanitarian mission overseas that needs a medic for a mission starting in January. Your exhaustion is forgotten as you embark on an amazing journey that takes you to a tropical paradise with an extraordinary history, where you make new friends, gain confidence and independence in your practice, take on duties you’d never heard of back home, and have a hand in improving the health and well-being of a developing nation.

Read the rest of this story on the MyArmyReserve.


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