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  • 68w

    i am very interested in joining the army as a 68w... and to be honost i have no idea what to do... can any one help me.... im 18 and a junior in highschool... next year i am taking some medical classes.... how would i prepare for this???? i would really appreciate if some one with experience in this field could help me... thanks also provide the information in as much detail as possible thanks

  • #2
    Re: 68w

    Bailey, first it's important to note that this is an Army National Guard forum and while the enlistment criteria are nearly identical, if full time service is what you are shooting at is your goal, your first stop should be the local Active duty recruiting office.

    Enlistment into any military branch requires that you qualify in three basic catagories. 1. Mentally, 2. Morally, 3. Physically.

    To give a brief synopsis of each Mentally generally requires a high school diploma or under certain circumstances a GED and successfull completion of the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery); Morally generally means you have no or very limited prior or ongoing criminal issues; and Physically which indicates you meet both the height/weight standards for enlistment and you are free from disqualifying medical or psychological defects that are determined by regulation and physical examination.

    The 68W is the MOS nomenclature for the Army's "Healthcare Specialist" which is an enlisted military occupational specialty similar to a hybrid mix of a Emergency Medical Technician (perhaps one could argue at the Intermediate level) and a C.N.A./ER Tech. While you will frequently see soldiers use the term "Combat Medic", this has never been a term officially used by the Army. 68W training is 17 weeks in length and with the exception of Reserve reclassifcation schools has been taught at Fort Sam Houston, Texas for over 3 decades. The MOS is one of the largest in the Army primarily because of the assignment of "Medics" in such a broad variety of units. 68Ws can work in areas as diverse as unlicensed assistive personnel on a Med Surg hospital ward, performing ambulance operations in a ground or air evacuation ambulance company or as a line medic in a ranger battalion. It can be a fun and rewarding MOS, and it also has the potential to be monotenous and boring. Your experience will depend on a variety of factors, not the least of which is the type of unit you are assigned to. I spent over 20years as an enlisted medic and have been assigned as a Ambulance Aidman, Line Medic in a military police company, Emergency Treatment NCO in a Engineer Battalion Aid Station, Flight Medic, and Training NCO assigned to a Medical Command. Perhaps all my assignments had advantages and disadvantages. If the National Guard is your main objective, you could potentially enlist now. However, taking a civilian EMT class prior to enlisting will give you the greatest "advantage". Passing the end of course National Registry exam will allow you to enlist through the civilian aquired skills program as an E-4, and not attend the first 5 weeks of AIT. Please, forum members correct me if that is no longer the case, I have been out of the Guard medical field since mid 2009.

    I don't know where you are writing from, but it is important to realise that not all MOSs are avalible in all states. In the case of 68W, it is not that the state you are in wouldn't have ANY but many states are at or above their end strength and positions may not be avalible. Talk to your local Recruiter during your initial prequalification interview.
    Last edited by Mongoose772; May 15th, 2012, 12:51 AM.

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    • #3
      Re: 68w

      +1 Mongoose.

      Luckily for you, 68W is one of the larger/more popular jobs so I would guess the chances are more in your favor than not to find something in your state. As with any MOS, there are ups and downs regarding your tasks. Medics can be there mending wounds and stabilizing injuries.......or sitting on a cot handing out calamine lotion to a soldier once every 2 hours.

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      • #4
        Re: 68w

        Anatomy and Physiology.

        Friend of mine is in pre-nursing. Anything related to the medical field, Anatomy and Physiology, and biochemistry are massive.

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        • #5
          Re: 68w

          Originally posted by SteveLord View Post
          +1 Mongoose.

          Luckily for you, 68W is one of the larger/more popular jobs so I would guess the chances are more in your favor than not to find something in your state. As with any MOS, there are ups and downs regarding your tasks. Medics can be there mending wounds and stabilizing injuries.......or sitting on a cot handing out calamine lotion to a soldier once every 2 hours.
          I got stitches on a live .50 cal range after my face had a run in with an ITAS system during mounted ops. the medics thought it was the greatest thing they had ever done in their guard careers lol. I was happy to spice up their lives

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          • #6
            Re: 68w

            Originally posted by Bailey Martin View Post
            i am very interested in joining the army as a 68w... and to be honost i have no idea what to do... can any one help me.... im 18 and a junior in highschool... next year i am taking some medical classes.... how would i prepare for this???? i would really appreciate if some one with experience in this field could help me... thanks also provide the information in as much detail as possible thanks
            Hey, so I had a bit of a discussion of my friend in Pre-Nursing, this is what he said:

            1. Study anatomy and physiology: If you don't know the human body, you will **** someone or hurt them even worse than they were before. Even X-Ray Techs have to learn Anatomy and Physiology.

            2. Biochemistry: You have to know biochem to know if that medication you're about to give a guy is going to have adverse effects, because some: chemicals, vitamins, even other medications can act as catalysts and amplify a previously administered medication. Which can lead to an O/D or serious medical side effects which may make the patient wish he/she really did O/D.

            3. Medical Terminology: If you have no idea what it means when someone tells you a patient has Cardiac Dysrythmia and suffering from dyspnea, or the difference of saying someone has contusions on their upper right quadrant along the abdomin, or someone has subdermal hematoma on the right quadrant along the abdomin, if you do not understand what it means, you will not be able to give proper care, nor document information correctly and cause serious errors in treatments. For example, saying someone has a minor contusion on the upper right quadrant, implies it's just a simple bruise from maybe banging something, etc. But if it's Hematoma which has mass swelling in the upper right quadrant, and you say it's a contusion, the person can be suffering massive internal bleeding and not even know it. And no one will react appropriately because you said it was minor bruising. Which is what a contusion is, a minor bruise. You need to know Medical Terminology if patients well-being and lives will be in your hands. Also for example tachycardia vs brachycardia and cardiac dysrythmia or cardiac arrythmia, they are all completely different things, and can be indications of entirely different medical conditions. If you don't know what they mean, do not put them on paper or a wrong diagnosis will be made, and patient harm will come as a result.

            Everyone from a simple: Medical Assistant, to Medical Imaging, to Nurses, to Doctors, or even Paramedics; all medical professionals need to have at least a fundamental understanding of these three components, because they are the components every medical professional must understand. Best advice to learn human anatomy and physiology is to grab an anatomy and physiology coloring book and color! If you can volunteer for a local morgue, that would be by far the greatest anatomy and physiology education you could ever receive; with anatomy and physiology coloring books on the side, you can have the major components of all bodily systems memorized in a few weeks easily!

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            • #7
              Re: 68w

              Originally posted by FutureEngineer View Post
              Hey, so I had a bit of a discussion of my friend in Pre-Nursing, this is what he said:
              I have to commend you on your memory skills in regards to your response because I will have just remembered line 1 haha

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              • #8
                Re: 68w

                Originally posted by fmcityslicker View Post
                I have to commend you on your memory skills in regards to your response because I will have just remembered line 1 haha
                +1 billion....you made me spit out my coffee from laughing.

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                • #9
                  Re: 68w

                  From a clinical perspective it is an interesting bit of advice to be sure. Just to reiterate to the OP if your enlistment is going to be delayed any significant length of time, I encourage you to enroll in a reasonably short EMT class. Many community colleges, adult education centers, and state sanctioned independent training centers offer the course in 6 weeks over the summer. Army MOSs being entry level in nature don't require forehand subject matter knowledge, but in this case it can be considered a economical advantage.

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                  • #10
                    Re: 68w

                    Originally posted by fmcityslicker View Post
                    I have to commend you on your memory skills in regards to your response because I will have just remembered line 1 haha
                    It's a copy and paste from another forum me and him are members in.

                    EDIT most creepiest thing I've ever heard is volunteering to work at a morgue. lol! omg and he is going to be volunteering in a few weeks to study anatomy and physiology while they do the autopsies. apparently a lot of medical and nursing school students do this.
                    Last edited by FutureEngineer; May 15th, 2012, 08:58 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Re: 68w

                      Sounds like you're getting a lot of great suggestions! Let me say the most obvious and likely assumed statement, and that is a recruiter will be a great place to "start", as well. Are you needing to get connected to one? If so, our Pre-Qualification form is a great way to do so without having to head down to a local recruiting office. Once you complete both sections, a recruiter will contact you and discuss your options. Here's the link: www.nationalguard.com/car.

                      Let me know if you have any questions! Good luck with your medical preparatory studies!

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                      • #12
                        Re: 68w

                        Originally posted by FutureEngineer View Post
                        Hey, so I had a bit of a discussion of my friend in Pre-Nursing, this is what he said:
                        thank you, this has been very uselful. next year i am taking medical terminology, medical assisting, ekg, and medical pathways. and i hope this helps me

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                        • #13
                          Re: 68w

                          Originally posted by Bailey Martin View Post
                          thank you, this has been very uselful. next year i am taking medical terminology, medical assisting, ekg, and medical pathways. and i hope this helps me
                          CMA counts for promotion points as a 68W. Definitely would be worth it, if you want a career in the medical field, that will all help you.
                          Last edited by FutureEngineer; May 21st, 2012, 09:49 PM.

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