Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Drill Field Drill

Just because you're on the battlefield, you don't have to skip that tooth extraction. That was the message from Staff Sgt. Michael Ball at the Tipler Army Medical Center, Hawaii. He was a featured source for the article in the August 2000,Medical Minute newsletter.

The equipment is fairly different from that in a dentist's office, and there's less of it. Yet, during field exercises, the Army dentists (scary phrase to civilians) got to practice on the obedient soldiers.

Mike was operations NCO for the Pacific Regional Dental Command. The patients probably didn't need to know that, as he said, "Some of our assistants have never seen this equipment before. It’s important that they be able to work with it because they may end up going to division next.”

The field equipment is lighter and made for mobility. Mike said it didn't take much time for his staff to get the hang of it. “Everything you do (in the clinic), you can do out here and vice versa."

The newsletter reported that to make sure there were enough "emergencies":
With the field site just feet from the clinic, patients regularly scheduled for treatment were escorted out to the treatment tent for their appointments. During the exercise, the dentists and their assistants performed numerous treatments in the field environment including tooth extractions, fillings and routine examinations.

“This shows (the patients) that they would get the same treatment out in the field as in the clinic,” Ball said.
That could be interpreted several ways. I trust the joke that military justice is to justice as military music is to music doesn't carry over to his field.

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