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All things Health Care Admin/HCA (merged)

Born2Fly

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Just a question as to what these guys do outside of a static health care facility.

Other than "Command a Medical Platoon", I'm not entirely sure what they do in the field. Obviously there are lots of tasks associated with commanding a medical platoon, I was just curious if anyone has any first hand knowledge of what HCA O's do in the field (or even outside of the field... Any info I can get would be great).

I only ask this because it's my second choice on my CF App. ;D


Thanks for your help.
 
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vr

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Commanding a medical platoon in the field is basically similar to commanding any other sub-unit.  The commander recieves his orders and goes through the umpteen steps of Battle Procedure.  He issues his warning order and sets the time for his own orders.  Through the Pl Warrant the commander oversees preparations for the task at hand.  He then will go recce out the new area and one or more alternates making detailed diagramms of how he wants each site set up.  The platoon commander takes the information he was given and titrates it down to pass on to his own troops.  He supervises the move into and set up of the new postion ensuring proper comms/liason are established with supported/supporting/adjacent units.  Once in position the platoon commander is free to administer the sub-unit and perform any other required tasks such as more liasion and the inevitable 0200-0500 Duty Officer shift in the CP.  In a static facility the HCA's role is more liasion and administration.

The Platoon Commander can be a very busy guy and must eat/sleep when/where he can.  There is a lot of responsibilty and no glory.  All in all his most important tasks are passing information and keeping out of the Platoon Warrant's way! :dontpanic:
 

Brad Sallows

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I probably missed the most recent decision on platoon command (there was a lot of discussion the past few years over whether a HCA captain or senior medical officer - MO - should command the medical platoon), but my recollection of the "template" roles for a HCA in a field ambulance is:

1) Platoon 2I/C
2) Medical Company 2I/C
3) Ambulance Company 2I/C and OC
4) Field Ambulance 2I/C (DCO) and staff officers (Operations, Adjutant)

I may very well be mistaken about (1).

"Reconnaissance, liaison, and administration (in the logistical sense)" is a good summary of the duties of a HCA at the platoon level.

I have never actually seen a detailed establishment of a field hospital; I suppose HCAs in that unit would only fill 2I/C and staff positions.  By extension, in the higher formation and joint medical units and HQs I would expect to find HCAs populating 2I/C and staff roles and commanding evacuation-oriented (ie. ambulance) resources, and MOs commanding and occupying functional positions in treatment-oriented resources.

Normally a MO is expected to command a medical company and field ambulance.  Why?  Because a MO should have the best knowledge base from which to conduct a medical estimate.  (I do believe any other medical branch officer can, through self-study, acquire sufficient knowledge of the appropriate general medical factors to fill those command roles.)

I must elaborate on the concept of "through the platoon warrant".  In the reserve world where we often only have a HCA and a platoon warrant (no MOs), the HCA becomes the de facto platoon commander and the warrant the 2I/C.  Regardless, the section commanders are always in the chain of command immediately under the platoon commander.  At one time I misunderstood that the platoon could/should be run "through the platoon warrant" - that works for daily routine, but is not ideal or proper command-wise and does in fact just provide one more opportunity for confusion (one more level of interpretation and passage of information).  Depending on situation and activity levels (ie. difficulty getting the whole gang together), some of the warning and fragmentary orders could be passed to only the warrant (2I/C); but normally at minimum information should be passed to the platoon warrant and section commanders together.

Regardless who fills the roles of platoon commander and 2I/C, the platoon warrant is the best person to establish and maintain the daily working routine (and that is where the officer should mostly stay out of the NCO's way, with the notable exception being tactical decisions).
 

Armymedic

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Brad Sallows said:
I probably missed the most recent decision on platoon command (there was a lot of discussion the past few years over whether a HCA captain or senior medical officer - MO - should command the medical platoon), but my recollection of the "template" roles for a HCA in a field ambulance is:

1) Platoon 2I/C
2) Medical Company 2I/C
3) Ambulance Company 2I/C and OC
4) Field Ambulance 2I/C (DCO) and staff officers (Operations, Adjutant)

I may very well be mistaken about (1).

"Reconnaissance, liaison, and administration (in the logistical sense)" is a good summary of the duties of a HCA at the platoon level.

I have never actually seen a detailed establishment of a field hospital; I suppose HCAs in that unit would only fill 2I/C and staff positions. By extension, in the higher formation and joint medical units and HQs I would expect to find HCAs populating 2I/C and staff roles and commanding evacuation-oriented (ie. ambulance) resources, and MOs commanding and occupying functional positions in treatment-oriented resources.

Normally a MO is expected to command a medical company and field ambulance. Why? Because a MO should have the best knowledge base from which to conduct a medical estimate. (I do believe any other medical branch officer can, through self-study, acquire sufficient knowledge of the appropriate general medical factors to fill those command roles.)

Due to the shortages of MO's, HCA's are employed in most leadership positions with a Fd Ambs, minus those that have to specifically filled by MO's, or Pharmacists.

 

Fraser.g

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And yet there is a profound HCA shortage that the majority of RSS positions are being back filed by reservists on Class B. If the Regular Force can not even give one officer to each Reserve unit then what is the hope of maintaining any congruity with the regular force?
 

HCA

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It is very strange isn't it. I remember so many different RSS O's over the last two decades and then nothing for the last two years. I will have to remember to ask the higher ups some time about when they foresee this deficiency fixed.
 

Armymedic

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RN PRN said:
And yet there is a profound HCA shortage that the majority of RSS positions are being back filed by reservists on Class B. If the Regular Force can not even give one officer to each Reserve unit then what is the hope of maintaining any congruity with the regular force?

Did I say we had enough to fill EVERY position. We have company's on paper as platoons because we don't have enough snr nco and officers to fill the positions.
 

Fraser.g

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Born to Fly,

RSS stands for Regular Support Staff. They are the Regular force members who are posted to a reserve unit to assist them in training.

Army Medic,

Heck we have platoons and companies that are pretending to be Field Ambulances in the reserves. What I gathered in your earlier post was that all command positions should be filled by HCAs. MOs and NOs should be only clinical positons with a couple of exceptions that you mentioned. I would submit that it would be an incredible waste of manpower to restrict the comand ability of NOs that wish to be in comand positons and have the courses to execute those postions.
Comand is not for everyone. I have met several NOs who could not lead a group to save their lives and unfortunately I have met Several HCAs that I can say the same for.
 
D

dwyer.sd

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You have to look at what DGHS has done to the branch.  Buy seperating, they now have to conduct all their own recruiting and training, something they are not yet accepting.  The problems do stem from within DGHS not just the Reg For.
 

Armymedic

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Brad...Exactly....money, money, money.

The Health services site used to have direct links to career explinations, but now they just link to recruiting.
 

medicineman

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Just to add my 2 cents worth (Cdn), HCA's also work as HQ staff officers - they deal with tracking/regulating of patients, liaise with other militaries for piggybacking care and with receiving healthcare providers in countries other than Canada while on deployments.

MM
 

GINge!

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Just thought I would use this thread to say hello again of sorts. I am now an HCA in training on the CHSM course at CFMSS.
 

hockeysgal

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What is it exactly that reserve HCA's do when they go into their unit, or on weekend exercises? 
 

hockeysgal

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OK so maybe the question was a little vague.
A little more background: I had in the past thought about changing trades and HCA was one I was considering.  Now I have decided to wait, and get a bit more experience in my own trade before deciding if I want to stick with it.  So maybe a better question would be:  How do the tasks of an HCA differ to other trades, say infantry?
 

MED_BCMC

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In garrison, the duties are very simliar. HCAs (and subsquently, HSOs) are normally utilised by the local CBG to do the Med Plans for their exercises. Other than that...

In the Res F, HCA / HSOs can occupy the CO, DCO, Adjutant, Med Coy Comd, Amb Coy Comd, Platoon Commanders and Platoon 2IC positions. Occasionally, these positions will be filled by MO/NOs in the absence of trained HCAs.

Any other questions. Ask away.

 

Fraser.g

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MED_BCMC said:
these positions will be filled by MO/NOs in the absence of trained HCAs.

Any other questions. Ask away.

Or more accurately, by MOs and NOs that have the same training as the res HCA. ;D
 
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