Healthcare Positions in the Military

NursingApril 29, 2021

As we prepare to celebrate Memorial Day recognizing those brave men and women who gave their lives for our country, it’s important to note that many did so as medical professionals. Currently, 1.3 million people serve in our military, and more than seven percent of them serve in healthcare-related positions. Many of those service members live in Colorado. The state is home to six military bases, including Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, just minutes from Denver. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, military healthcare personnel provide medical services to active duty servicemen and women and their families and through the Veterans Administration, retired servicemen and women. These medical professionals may work as part of a patient-service team with other doctors, nurses, and healthcare specialists. Some focus on emergency medical treatment in combat or remote areas, while others may provide more routine medical and dental services, test samples in labs, maintain pharmacy supplies, or perform diagnostic procedures in clinics or hospitals here at home. 

Here are four key medical opportunities in the military:

Military Nurse

Military nurses serve in all major branches of the military including the Army, Navy and Air Force. Nurses are needed in virtually every healthcare setting, and they may also pursue the same areas of specializations that are available to nurses in the civilian world.  In the field, nurses set up triage for wounded soldiers. In hospitals, they serve patients who come in for care. And on military bases, they also care for family members of active duty personnel. Registered nurses who have bachelor’s degrees (BSN) are commissioned as officers and can pursue advanced leadership opportunities. 

Combat Medic

Combat Medics have specialized emergency medical training similar to that of an EMT or paramedic. Assigned to a unit, their primary responsibility is to provide emergency medical treatment to their fellow soldiers.  Combat medics may also be utilized in hospitals and clinics where they may have the opportunity to work in additional roles such as operating medical and laboratory equipment and assisting with procedures as an essential member of the healthcare team.

Medical Assistant Specialists

Military units also need trained Medical Assistants who help provide care as part of the team. From administration to trauma medicine, these specialists perform a variety of duties, often in a fast-paced environment. Some of their clinical duties could include assisting with procedures and exams, changing bandages, sterilizing equipment, and giving care instructions to patients. 

Dental Specialists

Dental Specialists are also needed in the military to examine and treat patients in military dental offices. As in a civilian practice, the Dental Specialist will assist the dentist in the examination and treatment of patients and may also help with administrative tasks. Additional job duties may include preparing a room for a procedure, measuring patient vital signs, assisting during an exam, removing sutures, and preparing impressions. 

These are just a few of the medical jobs needed in the military today, and we salute the Denver College of Nursing students and graduates who have served or are currently serving in the United States Armed Forces. If you are interested in working in the nursing field, in or out of the military, the Denver College of Nursing can help you get started on that path. Click here for more information or call us today at (800) 600-6604 and speak to one of our career counselors.