Whilst on operations, British military medical staff strive to provide high quality medical care to deployed soldiers. The application of UK Health Care Governance principles, particularly Clinical Professional Development (CPD), is especially challenging on operations. This article highlights some of the difficulties faced and the solutions generated to facilitate good CPD of Combat Medical Technicians (CMTs) deployed to Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 13.
The article describes the opportunities for CMTs to develop their skills in the assessment and management of trauma and primary health complaints. It also describes the difficulties in capturing this development especially when the supervision of CMTs was limited, with variable communication modalities and within the current limitations of the CMT portfolio.
Solutions described include the use of individual reflective practice, face-to-face supervision and assessment by Medical Officers, Significant Event Reports, the mandatory After Action Review Process, and the development of formal standardised CMT CPD. This included refresher training after return from leave, Senior Medical Officer (SMO) weekly lectures and the SMO weekly report. Finally, the future of CMT CPD is raised and it is hoped that this article will stimulate debate into how to approach these challenges and refine these processes further.
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