Military combat medics struggle finding civilian healthcare jobs

Army Medics of “Task Force Tropic” Prepare to load a causality during a casualty evacuation drill held March 26, 2012. Photo credit: Sgt. 1st Class Walter Van Ochten

Military members serving as combat medics often have a difficult time finding a job in the civilian healthcare industry when they leave the service.  A new bill is being introduced to help rectify this struggle.

WSIL reported that Illinois Senator Mark Kirk is working on a new bill that would assist veterans in getting jobs at VA hospitals straight from active duty.  This would eliminate lag time in employment and no additional training would be required.

Kirk said in a press release, “Those who put their lives on the line for our freedom deserve the best care.  One of the best things you can give a veteran is a job.”

Furthermore, allowing veterans to provide medical care to fellow members of the military would greatly improve the quality of healthcare for active and former troops.

Veteran Paul Copeland said the new bill would mean more comfort for veterans.  Copeland, also the coordinator of veteran services at Southern Illinois University, said “You want that level of confidence that you can say something and you won’t be judged and that the person is going to help you.”

Like many others, he struggled in finding a job after leaving the service.  “I wasn’t looking to start an education process.  I was looking for meaningful employment,” Copeland said.

According to WSIL, the bill would expand the Immediate Care Technicians pilot program.  The legislation is designed to fast track employment of veterans straight from active duty.

Consider Sergeant Nate Moss as a prime example for whom the bill is meant for.  Moss provided medical care three years ago to troops on the frontlines in Afghanistan.  He has an impressive resume, receiving training in the military not always offered in the civilian world.

When Moss returned home to Illinois, his search for a job was futile.  When he met with potential employers, he was told he needed more training.  He was frustrated, knowing he was masterfully trained already.

“This is so below what I’m doing.  And I’m an expert.  It was on the verge of insulting,” Moss said about his experience.

He said he was told he would need more university training, but several colleges would not give him any credit for his military experience.

Moss said he hopes the bill passes so future veterans will not have to go through what he has.

“For us as a country not to take advantage and use our assets to the best we can, it’s a shortfall,” Moss said.


Post navigation