USAF AEROSPACE MEDICAL SERVICE BADGE

As the technicians who assist physicians and nurses in the delivery of health-care service, Aerospace Medical Service specialists (AFSC 4N0X1) can be thought of as the Air Force’s version of the Navy’s Hospital Corpsmen. In fact, men and women in both these careers attend the same technical school—the Defense Health Agency’s Medical Education and Training Campus (METC) at Fort Sam Houston in Texas—before launching their careers.

There is one difference between the two technical schools, however, that Airmen training for this specialty will be quick to point out: the AMS Apprentice program is 800 course hours, while the Navy’s is 560 hours.

During their time at METC, Airmen receive the formal education that prepares them to serve as entry-level Medical Technicians, whether in fixed facilities or mobile, deployable settings. In this introduction to health-care delivery, they are taught the basics—anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, EMT and Basic Life Support techniques, and various tasks related to both nursing and primary care.

Upon completion of this training, AMS specialists will be able to handle routine patient care and its associated organizational tasks (scheduling, record-keeping, etc.). Some of their specialized Technician fields include Allergies and Immunization, Aeromedical Evacuation, Dental, Independent Duty Medicine (including dental and emergency treatment), Hyperbaric Medicine, Dialysis, Critical Care, Neurodiagnoses, and Flight and Operational Medicine.

The Air Force’s Medical Technicians have always played an invaluable role, but recent announcements from the Air Force Medical Service seem to point toward an even greater role for the men and women serving in this specialty. Working with clinical nurses, technicians will be more frequently utilized to treat patients reporting common systems such as sore threats, runny noses, coughs, and body aches and pains. Such a decision gives AMS specialists a chance to take advantage of the high levels of training they’ve received, as well as help patients receive the appropriate level of care and treatment in the most timely fashion possible.
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