RFA Med Tech

Discussion in 'RFA' started by Kernowic, Jul 16, 2016.

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  1. Hi all,
    New to the forums so thought I'd say hello and pick a few brains if I may.
    I'm 31 and just entering the final year of my Paramedic Practitioner degree. I've got 2 step kids aged 8 and 9 and live in the South West.
    The general consensus is that I'll be extremely lucky to get a front line NHS ambulance job locally (although getting a job somewhere is pretty much guaranteed) and having lived "oop north" for a few years previously I'm set on staying in this part of the country. Add to this the fact that the NHS is in the shitter and the front line role is getting more and more watered down with reassuring 20 year olds that it's normal to have a fast heart rate after an ounce of coke I think the RFA would be a more sensible career move.
    To that end, if there are any current or recent Med Techs on here who could answer a couple of questions I'd be really grateful.

    What is the deployment pattern? I've read different things ranging from "3 months at sea followed by 4 months off" to "4 months at sea followed by a month off".

    How much does a Med Tech do clinically. For example, are you cannulating/ giving morphine/ closing wounds etc, or is it a plaster and paracetamol giving exercise? I'm aware of the first aid training and water testing roles.

    How good are ship to shore comms? I've heard anything from "bugger all" to "as good as normal wifi"

    I appreciate that these seem like fairly bone questions but this has to be the right decision for me and my family, and I need to be able to tell them absolutely everything i can before doing it. I'm planning a AFCO visit soon but figure it's better from the horses mouth.
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  2. exJenny

    exJenny War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    I'm not a horse nor a med tech, but when I was last on ship, the following seemed to be the case.....

    As a med tech you'd be 4 on 3 off. 4 on 1 off applies to apprentices and cadets.

    You can email from the ship but that is only via the mod system, which can be utter crap sometimes and phone calls are possible, if the line is working. If overseas, you get 30 minutes a week.

    If you're in a environment where the sh1t may hit the fan and the wounds are more extreme than a comms with a paper cut or a steward with sunburn, then there would be an RN doc on-board.
  3. exJenny

    exJenny War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    The AFCO won't help you much. Contact RFA recruitment, number on RN website.
  4. Very helpful so far, Thankyou both
  5. Day to day it's plasters and paracetamol, but if someone gets ill or injured outside of CASEVAC range they are all yours, if only for a few days. Ship's hospital is pretty well kitted out for Role 1 level care, with some units equipped to Role 2 (though rarely carrying the personnel). Argus is Role 3 but doesn't carry an RFA MedTech.

    Provision of RN doctors depends on tasking, environment and complement, but can never be expected to be universal even in a conflict scenario. Legally, it's based on the Merchant Navy requirement for a doc when more than 100 people are borne for a voyage exceeding three days. Hence smaller ships are unlikely to ever embark one.
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