Medical Technicians work with Medical Officers and Nursing Officers to treat the sick and injured in all kinds of Forces' operations and units.
A Medical Technician has the following primary duties:
- Provide initial care for patients
- In trauma cases, provide basic life support treatments
- Prescribe some medications in accordance with their scope of practice
- Provide medical support during environmental operations
- Recover casualties from the point of injury and transport them to a medical facility by wheeled or tracked ambulance, or by air
- Participate in rescues from crashed vehicles, tanks, ships, aircraft and damaged buildings
- Give basic advice on disease prevention, hygiene and sanitation
- Perform specific environmental health and preventive medicine duties
- Collect specimens and perform basic laboratory procedures
- Operate and maintain medical and life-support equipment
- Perform electrocardiograms and audiograms
- Initiate, maintain and distribute medical records, documents, reports and returns
- Maintain, replenish and account for general and medical supplies
Medical Technicians spend most of their careers working directly with the Forces within Canada, on ships at sea, and deployed on international missions. They usually work in shifts and, occasionally, on call.
Pay and career development
The starting salary for a fully-trained Medical Technician is $49,400 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Medical Technicians who demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression, promotion and specialist training, such as Operating Room Technician, Preventive Medicine Technician, Biomedical Electronic Technician or Aero-Medical Technician.
Related civilian occupations
- Primary Care Paramedic
- Emergency Medical Attendant
- Ambulance and First Aid Attendant
- Registered Nursing Assistant
- Licensed Practical Nurse
Basic military qualification
The first stage of training is the Basic Military Qualification course, or Basic Training, held at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. This training provides the basic core skills and knowledge common to all trades. A goal of this course is to ensure that all recruits maintain the Forces physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding.
Basic military qualification – land course
After Basic Training, Army recruits go to a Military Training centre for the Basic Military Qualification - Land Course for approximately one month, which covers the following topics:
- Army Physical Fitness
- Dismounted Offensive and Defensive Operations
- Reconnaissance Patrolling
- Individual Field Craft
Basic occupational qualification training
Medical Technicians attend the Canadian Forces Medical Service School in Borden, Ontario. The course takes 16 weeks and covers the following material:
- Delivering health care in the field
- Nursing medical and surgical patients in field conditions
- Use of therapeutic drugs
- Preventive medicine and
- Medical documentation
Medical Technicians then attend the Paramedic Academy of the Justice Institute of British Columbia in Chilliwack (for training offered in English), or the Ahuntsic College in Montréal, Quebec (for training offered in French). These courses are tailored to military requirements while meeting performance standards set by the Paramedic Association of Canada and approved by the Canadian Medical Association. Medical Technicians receive the professional credential of Primary Care Paramedic Level I.
Within their first 18 months of work, they are required to complete the Maintenance of Clinical Skills Program.
Medical Technicians may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:
- Operating Room Technician
- Preventive Medicine Technician
- Biomedical Electronic Technician
- Aero-Medical Technician
As they progress in their career, Medical Technicians who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include:
- Medical Supply
- Diving Medicine Technician
- Aero-Medical Evacuation
The minimum required education to apply for this position is the completion of the provincial requirements for Grade 12 or Secondaire V in Quebec with Grade 11 applied math (or Quebec equivalent) and any Biology and Chemistry course at the Grade 12 or Secondary V level.
This position requires a valid driver’s license.
If you already have a college diploma and a Primary Care Paramedic Level I certificate, the Forces may place you directly into the any required on-the-job training program following basic training. Basic training and military occupation training is required before being assigned.
Non-commissioned Member Subsidized Training Education Program (NCM-STEP).
Because this position requires specialty training, the Forces will pay successful recruits to attend the diploma program at an approved Canadian college. NCM SEP students attend basic training and on-the-job training during the summer months. They receive full-time salary including medical and dental care, as well as vacation time with full-pay in exchange for working with the Forces for a period of time. If you choose to apply to this program, you must apply both to the Forces and the appropriate college. For more information, click on Paid College.
This occupation is available part-time within the following environments: Air Force, Navy, Army.
Serve with the Reserve Force
The role of the Canadian Forces Health Services Reserves is to provide trained personnel to support, augment and sustain Canadian Forces Health Services organizations for Forces operations and training activities, while building and maintaining links between the Forces and the local community.
This position is available for part-time employment with the Primary Reserve at certain locations across Canada. Reserve Force members usually serve part time with a military unit in their community, and may serve while going to school or working at a civilian job. They are paid during their training. They are not posted or required to do a military move. However, they can volunteer to move to another base. They may also volunteer for deployment on a military mission within or outside Canada.
Medical Technicians may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army or the Royal Canadian Air Force as part of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group. They are employed to assist and support Medical Officers and Nursing Officers to treat the sick and injured in Forces units and operations. When they are employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis they usually serve in a medical unit at a location within Canada.
Reserve Force training
Reserve Force members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts. They must be licensed to practise as a paramedic in their province. Once enrolled, they usually begin training with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required basic professional military standards. Following basic military training and further training to Soldier Qualification, Medical Technicians attend the Canadian Forces Health Services Training Center in Borden, Ontario to achieve the remainder of their military qualification.
If you are not a qualified civilian paramedic and do not meet all the qualifications for Medical Technician, you may be interested in a similar career as a Medical Assistant.
Reserve Force members usually serve part-time with their home unit for scheduled evenings and weekends, although they may also serve in full-time positions at some units for fixed terms, depending on the type of work that they do. They are paid 85% of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.
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