MA - Opinions please

Sierra_Whisky

Midshipman
Thanks for everyone's input so far, it's been really interesting to read about other people's opinions and experiences. I hope that I will be able to take all this on board and use it to my advantage if I am successful as joining as a MA. I have considered applying as a student nurse, but for whatever reason I don't find myself drawn towards that profession. I guess its a case of horses for courses.

My comment about MA's practising medicine was purely a turn of phrase, and clearly was the wrong phrase to use.

Rumrat - I'd be really interested to hear about your career to date, especially on how you have progressed into a paramedic role. Is that something you've achieved after leaving the Navy, or was it something that was offered to you whilst still serving?

SW
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
I have to say that every day is a school day & this thread has certainly broadened my understanding of the medical branch.

One thing I honestly didn't know was that Medical Officers were out on the ground operationally as I'd always thought besides the Chinook "Medical QRF" (for want of a better phrase) which took Trauma Doctors to the scene of the incident to recover the casualty, that the Surgeons had the casualties brought to them. Up until now my understanding was that Medical Officers were a high value asset who did not routinely go on foot to the sharp end, however it now makes sense why they complete AACC as well as some MA's.

Interestingly, a good few years back, I remember being surprised to see Medical Officers on a pussers 5 day First Aid Course being taught by Medical Assistants (CPOMA & LMA instructors) &, at that time, was advised that the logic was that in many cases the initial First Aid actions were completed before the Medical Officer saw the patient - obviously 'times are a changin'
 

Sierra_Whisky

Midshipman
Andym, Rumrat

My comments were meant to be pedantic regarding "practicing medicine". MAs do not practice medicine, no matter how good they are.

Andy, I know what training MAs have - I train them. I also do a lot of pre-deployment stuff and know what the standard is. Your impression of "front line" work has been slightly updated now - MOs patrol regularly at Role 1 as well as MAs and CMTs. The senior guys are further back in the field hospital, but MERT usually features either a Surg Lt Cdr or Surg Cdr (occasionally a Surg Capt).

Regarding the Golden Hour - this principle is now out of date and has been superceded. As previously mentioned though, initial assessment and treatment is done by either a medic or medical officer, depending on the patrol (it is nigh on impossible to "stabilise" a trauma patient with a couple of litres of Hartmanns solution and an Asherman chest seal).

I mentioned "basic assessment and treatment" because that is what MAs are designed to do! There are no advanced facilities in Role 1 (either on land or afloat). In fairness, MOs at Role 1 have no extra kit - a few extra drugs but no extra kit. This ensures Role 1 care is just that and not some hybrid that has been made up on the hoof.

Now I'm going to get controversial - I have met countless POMAs and CPOMAs who seem to believe they know so much more than the average doctor: it is actually quite scary. Whilst there are quite a few shit doctors about, and good MAs, the assumption that relatively basic training and experience of not that many sick people equates to that of a doctor who has done any amount of emergency medicine is quite frankly laughable. And again, I train MAs - many come through my ED every year.

So whilst it is acceptable to defend your branch, I am not attacking it. I am trying to put the work of a medic into perspective.

RR - the paramedic thing I know is not the best comparison for an MA, but I struggle to think of an alternative. I usually use "a paramedic with extended skills in primary care" - but obviously there isn't a direct comparison.

Apols for the thread drift.

I assume CMT = Combat Medical Technician?
 

Rumrat

War Hero
Rumrat, my comment was tongue in cheek, my apologies if any offense was caused.

SW
No offense taken at all, I was merely indicating that although my first post appeared to defame Ma's that I actually had been one.^^

And Angry Doc I was not upset by your remarks, I was just puzzled by the comparison.
And I do understand fully the scenario whereby POMA's and CPOMA's overate their own abilities. I even witnessed an altercation between a two and a half ring Doc and a POMA in clinic. As a Lowly LMA I did not enter the RN ring of politics. Just cataloged Ill's and issued pills.
I was however very professional with my "there, there there's"^^
 

UncleAlbert

War Hero
Detailed off to go to a first aid lecture in Devonport when on the Token the POMA seeing he was losing our interest went to great lengths to explain how his oppo had the knack of making the patient cum during a finger **** inspection. After a stunned silence came a little voice from the back ….
‘Have you still got his telephone number?’

……
 

Rumrat

War Hero
Rumrat, my comment was tongue in cheek, my apologies if any offence was caused.

SW

Detailed off to go to a first aid lecture in Devonport when on the Token the POMA seeing he was losing our interest went to great lengths to explain how his oppo had the knack of making the patient cum during a finger **** inspection. After a stunned silence came a little voice from the back ….
‘Have you still got his telephone number?’
^^
……
Have you still got a little voice UA?^^^^
 

andym

War Hero
Sierra Whisky,what i will say is,ALWAYS take EVERY oppertunity to further your knowledge.As AD states things have moved on since my day as an MA and certainly since i left the ITU/CCU area about 15 years ago.Sadly MA's seem to be a bit hampered in getting further qualifacations as there doesnt seem to be the internal mechanics to do so.If you find yourself a bit held back once youre an MA,maybe you might think about further training as a Nurse or even Doctor.Nurses Do have the ability to gain further quals as they are no different to Civvy Nurses regarding Nurse Further education.I worked in ITU/CCU and was going to do the ITU course but never managed to get around to it due to several problems outside my control.It is a very rewardable job and can be quite exciting at times.Just dont squander any oppertunities to further your career as they appear.i wish you well in you future in the Medical Field.
 
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