Calling All Would-Be Preventive Medicine Technicians
September 2, 2020 – Defence Stories
Warrant Officer Brad Studham, ROHT, CRST, Preventive Medicine Technician, Canadian Special Operations Forces Command
While deployed on an RCN submarine, Warrant Officer Josée Couture, a Preventive Medicine Technician and member of the Deployed Health Hazard Assessment Team, prepares air sampling equipment to help ascertain air quality as part of an ongoing Canadian Forces Health Services occupational health study.
Traditionally, the Preventive Medicine Technician (PMed Tech) occupation accepted occupational transfers (OTs)/component transfers (CTs) from the Medical Technician occupation only. The approval of a new Entry Standard now allows OTs/CTs from any Regular Force or Primary Reserve occupation as long as the applicant has reached the operationally functional point in their current occupation.
What is Preventive Medicine? In short, Preventive Medicine is a multi-disciplinary occupation whose responsibility and ultimate goal is to protect and preserve the health and well-being of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members. Just shy of one hundred positions across Canada, we undoubtedly have our work cut out for us.
As advocates for force health protection, PMed Techs employ proficiencies in public, occupational and environmental health in order to anticipate, identify, evaluate, mitigate and prevent workplace conditions that may adversely affect the health of serving members. It is our duty to provide force health protection intelligence to leadership to enable them to safeguard the health of personnel, while we work towards achieving mission objectives. Distinguishing attributes of a PMed Tech include someone who is a strong communicator, has the ability to apply both analytical and “outside the box” critical thinking skills, is naturally inquisitive, and has an avid desire to learn new knowledge and skills to enrich their personal and professional development.
While I have held many positions at different units, the one I consider the most noteworthy is the position that I am currently serving in as a Supporter with Canadian Special Operations Forces Command. In this position, I am relied upon to identify, quantify and mitigate potential health hazards domestically and internationally. In addition to spearheading Preventive Medicine Technical Assistance Visits for Special Forces operations worldwide, I am responsible for conducting public, occupational and environmental health site assessments and investigations of derelict or abandoned facilities which are used to support off-based dynamic training and exercises. I have had the opportunity, on countless occasions, to work directly with foreign military force health protection specialists and organizations, as well as civilian health professionals and agencies. These partnerships along with my duties and responsibilities affirm the importance of my role as a specialist and have necessitated enhancement of my academic and professional competencies, which in turn, promotes and fosters professionalization of Preventive Medicine in the CAF.
If you think this is a career you would be interested in, please contact the Canadian Forces Health Services Group Staff Officer for Attraction, Major Tina Lipcsey, for more information. Those interested can also access the Call For Applications – 2021-2022 Voluntary Occupation Transfer Programs for Trained Regular Force Members CANFORGEN available on the CAF App.
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