Bulldogs engage in battle-focused medical training

By: Sgt. Alon Humphrey

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CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea - 1st Lt. Armando Zavala, El Paso, Texas native, physician assistant, 4th Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division (Rotational), uses suturing tools to make a cut in a pig's foot in preparation for stitching. (Courtesy U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Yu Rhee, 3rd ABCT, 1st AD, Medical Operations NCO) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Alon Humphrey)

CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea - Combat medic specialists with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division (Rotational), joined together for field care training, Feb 14.

"We are focusing on wound management, the principals for prolonged field care, and suturing," said Sgt. 1st Class Yu Rhee, Tacoma, Washington native, and HHC, 3rd ABCT medical operations noncommissioned officer in charge. "We purchased pig's feet from the market so the Soldiers can have hands-on training with the various methods of suturing."

The skills taught are applicable for any environment.

"Suturing comes with many of the procedures we do in aid stations, as well as in the field," said Rhee. "A lot of the wounds and trauma we trained for will require some type of suturing in the end."

Stitching is a perishable skill that takes practice. An inexperienced combat medic specialist may leave a lasting scar.

"The goal of good suturing is to minimize scarring for the patient," said Yu. "But, in the end, the goal is to save lives."

Those in attendance agreed it was a realistic, practical exercise to better prepare them for their job.

"The suturing class was a good hands-on experience for everyone," said Pfc. Brianna Hernandez, combat medic specialist, Dallas, Texas native, 2nd Squadron, 13th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd ABCT, 1st AD. "It gave us all the opportunity to use the suturing tools on actual flesh."

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