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Command In A Field Hospital
  1. Lt Col MCM Bricknell, DM MMedSci MRCGP MFOM MFPHM DMCC DRCOG RAMC, Chief Instructor1
  1. 1Defence Medical Services Training Centre, Keogh Barracks, Ash Vale, Aldershot, Hants, GU12 5RQ. mcmbricknell{at}btopenworld.com

Abstract

This paper examines the challenges involved in commanding a field hospital. There are frequent, dynamic tensions between the military culture that is based on a task-focussed, hierarchical structure and the clinical culture that is based on flat, process-focussed, multidisciplinary teams. The paper outlines the cultural environment of the field hospital and then examines the deployment sequence whereby a functioning clinical facility may be created from a group of disparate individuals. There are a number of tools that may assist with this including the personality of the Commanding Officer, individual skills, the creation of an organizational identity and the choice of command structure.

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