Returning servicemen can find it very difficult to find jobs when they return to the civilian world. It is of utmost importance to help them integrate once again. Because licensing requirements and their varying degree of experience don’t make it easier for them to find a job back at home Most of them have a lot of experience: from treating severe burns to fixing broken bones and treating even the most basic illnesses. However this is of little value and they face a lot of difficulties to be hired as EMT, EMS, ER technician or even a nurse’s aide.
The main issues they face is that they have to fulfill certain requirements that range from paying fees, to doing background checks, or even a full review process in order to get licensed.
The problem is getting worse. According to an official White house report from Jan 2013, more than 800 000 veterans were unemployed. The rate is significantly higher for veterans in comparison to the non-veterans in similar demographics.
And the problem is getting worse. More than 250 000 men and women choose to leave the military each year.
The challenge that lies before us is to find a way to map the military training and experience to the civilian world requirements. Typically military EMT (EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIANS) in the Army and he Air Force are required to maintain a national registry or at least to pass a registry exam. These men and women have more training than their civilian colleagues in particular areas such as trauma care and general care for patients, but lack skill in other area such as pediatric care or care for the elderly patients. Typically the military EMT’s patients are 19-20 years old healthy males that went through extensive tests and harsh trainings in order to join the military. In the civilian world, as we all know the patient could be anybody. However the military EMTs lack the skills to help a person with a heart attack for example due to their very laser focused training.
There is hope
A newly found Lancing Community College program promises to bridge the gap between military medic and paramedic. Originally they focused on a nursing program, but their latest studies found that the military medic’s experience is closest to the job of the civilian paramedics. Their pilot program in 2012 found that military medics had around 40 to 60 % of the training that is required to for the paramedics. That helped condense the paramedic course to match the current training of the medics and they were able to take the course in just 6 months instead of the original thirteen. The military folks are then able to find jobs as paramedics or emergency medical servicemen. They are eager to get a job as soon as possible, because in many cases they are the main breadwinners of the family and are unable to take couple of years to study. When they successfully graduate from the course, the only thing they have to get is a good pair of ems boots as they will be on their feet for 8+ hours a day, having a lot of traumas or emergencies to take care of. The program received a grant of $160 000 and is developing fast.
Sources: Ems 1 website