New rotation of military personnel begins in February

Jan 30, 2023 at 07:43 pm by Staff

Past SMART participants Army LPN Sgt. Josiah Cubol, left, and Army LPN Spc. Jacob Pritchard, practice ultrasound techniques with Army Military-Civilian Trauma Training Team Emergency Medicine physician Maj. Christopher Bickett, MD.


by Jill Clendening

The next Strategic Medical Asset Readiness Training (SMART) rotation, which includes 10 members the United States military, is coming to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to work in clinical areas of the adult hospital Feb. 7-21.

The U.S. Army Medical Command developed Operation SMART to establish partnerships with civilian health care facilities and verified Level 1 trauma centers such as VUMC to enhance the training of military medical personnel. 

“Vanderbilt is uniquely poised to provide excellent mentorship on trauma care, given the mix of volume, acuity and the knowledge, professionalism and dedication of our providers and staff,” said VUMC SMART program manager Christopher Brown, CC-P.

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. High-acuity patients are those with challenging medical conditions who often have significant, unpredictable needs requiring a high level of monitoring and care.

To date, 79 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, 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.

SMART participants during February are: Sgt. Xavier Sanchez, LPN; Sgt. Ashley Lee, LPN; Spc. Joseph Song, LPN; Spc. Mercedes Brawley, OR specialist; Sgt. Breanna Lumapat, OR specialist; Spc. Angelia Wallen, OR specialist; Cpl. Megan Vessels, OR specialist; Pfc. Katelyn Fels, combat medic; Sgt. Michael Lawrence, combat medic; and Spc. Josue Guiterrez, combat medic.

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