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APSU Nursing Student Presented Learning Opportunity During Military Operation in Bulgaria

 

Written by 1st Lt. Matthew Gilbert
194th Engineer Brigade, Tennessee Army National Guard

Tennessee National Guard - APSUNovo Selo, Bulgaria – Austin Peay State University (APSU) Student with the Tennessee Army National Guard flourishes in a joint medical training exercise with the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps as part of Operation Resolute Castle during May and June 2016 in Novo Selo, Bulgaria.

Among those participating was Specialist Logan Bowman, an Austin Peay State University nursing student who doubles as a medic in the 230th Engineer Battalion, 194th Engineer Brigade, Tennessee Army National Guard. Specialist Bowman is a Rossview High School graduate who has been at Austin Peay State University for one year and with the Tennessee Army National Guard for two years.

Specialist Bowman (right), a medic with the 230th Engineer Battalion, 194th Engineer Brigade, Tennessee Army National Guard, evaluates a patient during a medical training during Operation Resolute Castle on May 26, 2016 at Novo Selo Training Area, Bulgaria. As part of the exercise, Spc. Bowman was required to evaluate patients and administer IVs. (1st Lt. Matthew Gilbert, 194th Engineer Brigade)

Specialist Bowman (right), a medic with the 230th Engineer Battalion, 194th Engineer Brigade, Tennessee Army National Guard, evaluates a patient during a medical training during Operation Resolute Castle on May 26, 2016 at Novo Selo Training Area, Bulgaria. As part of the exercise, Spc. Bowman was required to evaluate patients and administer IVs. (1st Lt. Matthew Gilbert, 194th Engineer Brigade)

Operation Resolute Castle is part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, a large NATO led mission stretching across Eastern Europe designed to improve relationships between NATO and Eastern European countries, embolden local economies, and strengthen security throughout the region.

Unlike other area operations which focus on interoperability amongst militaries – such as Operation Sarmis, Operation Anakonda, and Operation Dragoon Ride – Resolute Castle focuses on the construction and expansion of military bases in Estonia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria.

As one of the 230th Engineer Battalion’s medics, he works with a team to medically treat Service members who become sick or injured at Novo Selo Training Area. His evaluations determine methods of treatment and whether it is safe for the Service member to return to their mission.

“We try to make everyone’s life a little easier and get them better so they can get back to work,” stated Spc. Bowman.

Specialist Bowman (center), a medic with the 230th Engineer Battalion, 194th Engineer Brigade, Tennessee Army National Guard, prepares to administer an IV during a medical training during Operation Resolute Castle on May 26, 2016 at Novo Selo Training Area, Bulgaria. As part of the exercise, Spc. Bowman was required to evaluate patients and administer IVs. (1st Lt. Matthew Gilbert, 194th Engineer Brigade)During Resolute Castle, Spc. Bowman worked on a variety of actual medical cases ranging from sick calls and medical screenings to determine treatment plans. He was also one of the field medics during cross-training exercises using weapons like tasers between military police forces of the Tennessee Army National Guard and the Bulgarian Military Police.

He also worked on a medical team consisting of Service members from the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps.

“This has been my first opportunity to do anything clinical. I’ve learned a lot and I’m looking forward to more in the future,” he stated. “The taser training with the Bulgarian Military Police went very smoothly. The class was simple and informative and the 194th Engineer Brigade Military Police were more than ready to help with any questions that came up. The field training was great with everyone getting a few opportunities to walk through the process and application of the taser.”

As an Austin Peay State University nursing student and a Tennessee Army National Guard medic, several doors are opened for him. While obtaining his college degree, he is getting real-world experience, training, and education from the military.

At the same time, a college degree in nursing opens doors not just to further career paths in hospitals and clinics, but presents an opportunity with the Tennessee Army National Guard to take on greater challenges and more responsibility.

Spc. Bowman plans to use this as an opportunity to obtain a master’s degree in nursing, to become a nurse practitioner in Middle Tennessee, and to become a physician assistant and officer in the Tennessee Army National Guard.

Another opportunity is the ability to work with experienced medical professionals like Captain Jason Henry, one of Spc. Bowman’s supervisors. Capt. Henry is a physician assistant with the Tennessee Army National Guard’s Medical Detachment and practicing physician assistant in Smyrna, Tennessee. He brings to the table a B.A. from D’Youville and Masters from Nebraska, both in emergency medicine, as well as over 15 years of experience as a corpsman for the United States Navy and a physician assistant with the Tennessee Army National Guard.

Capt. Henry emulates real-world situations to maximize learning during training exercises. In Resolute Castle, he created a situation where medics under his supervision treated volunteers by administering IVs using a variety of techniques. This skill refresher course served as a great opportunity to practice basic medical skills.

Specialist Bowman (center), a medic with the 230th Engineer Battalion, 194th Engineer Brigade, Tennessee Army National Guard, administers an IV while Captain Henry (right), a physician assistant with the Tennessee Army National Guard medical detachment supervises during Operation Resolute Castle on May 26, 2016 at Novo Selo Training Area. During the training exercise, Cpt. Henry created an environment where soldiers under his command were required to evaluate patients and administer IVs. (1st Lt. Matthew Gilbert, 194th Engineer Brigade)

Specialist Bowman (center), a medic with the 230th Engineer Battalion, 194th Engineer Brigade, Tennessee Army National Guard, administers an IV while Captain Henry (right), a physician assistant with the Tennessee Army National Guard medical detachment supervises during Operation Resolute Castle on May 26, 2016 at Novo Selo Training Area. During the training exercise, Cpt. Henry created an environment where soldiers under his command were required to evaluate patients and administer IVs. (1st Lt. Matthew Gilbert, 194th Engineer Brigade)

“Skill refresher courses in the military are very important because you have very few opportunities to practice. In medicine, you have to be able to work with new people with as little practice time as possible,” stated Henry.

Henry realizes the medics he teaches may one day be called on for big responsibility. “These are the guys that may be attached with the forward units. Medicine doesn’t change by branch of the military. You may be in an environment working with other services. It’s good to know no matter what branch you’re in you’ll get taken care of.”


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