Pros: good friends and camaraderie in some units, free medical, dental, physiotherapy, eye care, mental health.
Cons: away from home a lot, away no notice at any time and possibly for extended periods, family/marriage strain, career progression is slow.
As a Medical Technician:
- serve the Army, Airforce and Navy, in various countries,environments and tasks, when and where required.
- disaster/emergency response/mass casualty training, on ship/land
- training and education of ship’s emergency medical responders
- triage and treatment of patients in hectic ship and clinical settings
- providing patient – more... care and advice, to post-hospital treatment/surgical
patients, including directed rehab.
- providing community health direction to ship’s crews and preventive
medicine advice as required, for risk /environmental issues, including
crew habitation cleanliness and sanitization inspection /rounds of the
ship (galley, mess, sleeping quarters, wash rooms, food storage etc.).
- maintaining high levels of fitness, with emphasis on strength and endurance, as you may be required to quickly move/carry heavy patients or supply loads over significant distances, over difficult terrain and/or unsafe areas of operation (war / disaster zones)
- mental/wellness checks, of self and crew/team members, especially during long operations, long duty periods without sleep or adequate food/rest
- maintaining and advancing medical training/knowledge through self study and Unit courses
Management is responsible for the overall Unit or operation and has little time deal with your personal or petty issues. There is a clear "chain of command" and you learn to respect it. You learn when/whom to ask for assistance/guidance and the most appropriate way to ask for it. They expect you to be a responsible adult. For example, you would not ask the Unit Commanding Officer where to get a pair of shoe laces!
People look to you for guidance in many health matters, some not easy things to personally deal with. You must get your personal issues/feelings sorted and be able to put them aside. You are there for the patient, as a medical professional.
The hardest part of the job is the potential for burn out. If you are away a lot or tasked out often, long hours, in a different place every other day/week, dealing with difficult people/co-workers/patients or health issues, not seeing positive outcomes with sick or injured, you can become tired, and jaded quickly. You have to learn to harden yourself mentally and physically, or little things can get to you. Being away from family especially needy family members (ie. young children, ill spouse) can weigh heavily on your mind. Learning when to sit and "dump emotional baggage", with either team members or mental health is a must.
Enjoyable parts of the job would be team camaraderie, lifelong friends and seeing patients fully recover, even after serious injury. – less