Mobile Ops and surgical training stresses importance of teamwork

Maj. James Nelson, an orthopedic surgeon at Martin Army Community Hospital, instructs Soldiers assigned to the 14th Combat Support Hospital on surgical techniques while in the field.

Maj. James Nelson, an orthopedic surgeon at Martin Army Community Hospital, instructs Soldiers assigned to the 14th Combat Support Hospital on surgical techniques while in the field.

By Lindsay Marchello, Bayonet & Saber /
Maj. James Nelson, an orthopedic surgeon at Martin Army Community Hospital,l demonstrates an incision technique as Lt. Col. Jason Seery, the deputy commander for surgical services at MACH, and Soldiers assigned to the 14th Combat Support Hospital observe the procedure.

Maj. James Nelson, an orthopedic surgeon at Martin Army Community Hospital,l demonstrates an incision technique as Lt. Col. Jason Seery, the deputy commander for surgical services at MACH, and Soldiers assigned to the 14th Combat Support Hospital observe the procedure.

The 14th Combat Support Hospital and Martin Army Community Hospital teamed up for mobile operating training Sept. 20 – Sept. 22 in front of the old Martin Army Community Hospital.

The three days of training covered treating head trauma, orthopedic surgery and dental surgery in a combat environment.

Maj. James Nelson, an orthopedic surgeon at MACH, instructed Soldiers with the 14th CSH on orthopedic surgery on the second day of training. Lt. Col. Jason Seery, the deputy commander for surgical services at MACH, was also overseeing the mobile operating training.

“We talked about all the procedures so that the (Soldiers) can help. It’s not just about me knowing how to do it. It is a team effort,” Seery said. “If everyone knows what’s going on, then you are more likely to get done quicker.”

Seery emphasized the importance of time when treating injuries in a combat environment.

“When someone is a trauma victim, one of the most important concepts is speed,” Seery said. “If you have to tell people ‘Hey I’m going to need this or that’ based on your findings and you tell the nurse to go get something off the shelving area, it is time wasted.”

Seery explained that limited space in a mobile operating tent means the faster a patient can be treated and moved off the bed, the better.

Soldiers assigned to the 14th Combat Support Hospital inspect fake bones during  mobile operations training under field conditions.

Soldiers assigned to the 14th Combat Support Hospital inspect fake bones during mobile operations training under field conditions.

Seery added that the simulated surgeries covered during the mobile operating training are low density, meaning they are injuries not typically seen in the MACH.

“We just don’t get that kind of trauma in a civilian trauma center,” Nelson said.

“This is a good opportunity then for the doctors, nurses and everyone else who is interested to get familiarization with the equipment because this is a complex set of stuff,” Seery said. “Everyone is taught to do this, but if you don’t do it in your day to day job, then you don’t get to practice.”

Seery emphasized the importance of working with a team.

“You have to be a part of the team and not be a passive person. You have to be active,” Seery said to Soldiers with the 14th CSH. “Nelson is like your quarterback. You are a receiver, runner or blocker depending on what your military occupational specialty is and you are not playing the game if you are just sitting back and watching the quarterback.”

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