Day 2 and the IV

Well, yesterday was day two of four of the Combat Life Saver Course and it was by far the most interesting. What? Why you ask? Let me tell you.

The day began with us gearing up in full combat gear (as if we won’t be wearing it for months in the desert!) and heading to the CLS site. Once there, we were able to drop our armor and helmets, but we kept our weapons on hand. Mainly, I think, in case a groundhog accidentally came into the classroom we could shoot him up for dinner. Pressing on, we learned how to properly administer an IV and then got to practice on a dummy arm. Hands were definitely shaking — just not mine. Strangely I was quite calm with giving and receiving an IV.

After lunch we learned various methods of litter carrys to transport casualties and then we got to the fun part — IV insertion. My battle buddy, a 24-year veteran Master Sergeant, had given an IV more than 20 years ago. I was hoping he had retained some of that knowledge as he delicately pierced my arm and inserted the catheter into my vein. He did surprisingly well. Although he forgot to put enough pressure above the catheter when he pulled the needle out and a nice puddle of blood oozed out. And, by oozed I mean shot out all over the floor. Anyway, my turn was next. I kept two things in mind as I advanced the needle toward the victim, I mean my battle buddy, “I won’t feel any pain and nothing I will do will hurt me.” Great advice from our instructor.

To my shock, I seem to have a knack for IVs. I was able to find his vein and had the IV running in less than two minutes. My battle buddy breathed an obvious sigh of relief when he realized how smooth it went. Especially when across the room you could see other victims on their second and third attempt at sticking each other. I’ve attached a couple pictures of the IV fun.

I can’t stress how great this class is.The war we fight overseas is dangerous and people die because we aren’t properly trained to handle these types of situations. I have to give kudos to the Air Force for mandating 100 percent Air Force personnel deploying with the Army to have this training — They want us to come back alive. The Army only mandates 30 percent from what I understand. Which branch would you prefer?


2 Responses to “Day 2 and the IV”

  1. Hey Justin!! I wish you the best and safe return from the war. So is your MOS a medic over there? When do you leave?

    • I’m a photojournalist, but anyone that deploys with the Army gets a medical crash course to be able to help in case something happens in the desert. I am training here in NJ for a month and then shortly after I’ll be heading out. Everything should go well, we hope.

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