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New SMART rotation of military personnel begins in February

Jan. 25, 2024, 2:24 PM

Christopher Brown MS, CC-P, Strategic Medical Asset Readiness Training (SMART) program manager, teaches a scrub and sterile procedure class for a rotation of military medical providers. (photo by Erin O. Smith)
Christopher Brown MS, CC-P, Strategic Medical Asset Readiness Training (SMART) program manager, teaches a scrub and sterile procedure class for a rotation of military medical providers. (photo by Erin O. Smith)

The next Strategic Medical Asset Readiness Training (SMART) rotation, which includes 11 members the United States military, is coming to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to work in clinical areas of the adult hospital Feb. 6-20.

The U.S. Army Medical Command developed Operation SMART to establish partnerships with civilian health care facilities and verified Level One trauma centers such as VUMC to enhance the training of military medical personnel.

“This rotation we are hosting four medics, five nurses, and two operating room techs. Some of the soldiers are coming from as far away as Alaska,” said SMART Program Manager Christopher Brown MS, CC-P. “We look forward to sharing patient contact experiences with them and providing them the opportunity to keep their medical and trauma skills at peak performance.

“These military rotators are easy to spot by their red ID badge lanyards. Please extend them a warm Vanderbilt University Medical Center welcome and help to mentor these soldiers while they are here.”

While these personnel are well equipped to provide routine health care for soldiers and their families, they often have limited exposure to trauma and critical care during non-deployment military medical service. The SMART program enables them to sustain and expand their skills as they care for a greater number of high-acuity patients, those  with challenging medical conditions who often have significant, unpredictable needs requiring a high level of monitoring and care.

To date, more than 110 military members have trained at the Medical Center as part of the SMART program since its inception in May 2021. During their two weeks at VUMC, SMART participants rotate through the emergency department, operating rooms, Surgical Intensive Care Unit, Post-anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), Burn Intensive Care Unit, Trauma Intensive Care Unit, Labor & Delivery and Orthopaedic Clinic.

SMART rotators are licensed or certified in their specialty, and while at VUMC they are active in all aspects of patient care, from triage to discharge. Each SMART participant has an individual critical task list (ICTL), or a list of specific skills required by the U.S. Army to maintain their combat readiness. During their rotation, there is an emphasis on patient assessment, trauma resuscitations, and medication and blood administration.

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