NATO Special Operations Combat Medic (NSOCM) Course
The objective of the NSOCM course is to transform International SOF First Responder Medics with the ability to treat life threats on the battle field and the capability to sustain life to a maximum evacuation time of four hours, into a NSOCM medic with the ability to perform prolonged field care on a medical or trauma casualty with an evacuation time of up to 36 hours. The aim is also to meet the standard, given by NATO Special Operations Coordination Centre, that is defining a NATO standard for a SOCM, and thereby create a completely interoperable medic for all NATO countries. This course is in accordance with the NATO SOF Training Standards Directive NSCC Med 75-001 (version 1.0 2009), CoTCCC Guidelines, and PHTLS Guidelines.
- Basic Sciences
- Anatomy & Physiology
- Dead Tissue Practical
- Trauma Fundamentals
- Kinematics of Trauma
- Trauma Lectures
- Trauma Practicals (including moulages)
- Cadaver Lab
- Operational Medical Planning
- Operational Medical Planning Lectures and Case Studies
- Mass Casualty & Triage Theoretical and Scenarios
- Tactical Combat Casualty Care
- Care Under Fire
- Tactical Field Care
- Tactical Evacuation Care
- Vehicle Extrication
- Rescue Techniques in Special Environments
- High Angle Rescue
- Water/Snow Rescue
- Clinical Medicine
- Physical Exam
- Surgical Procedures
- Sports Medicine & Human Performance
- Dental Emergencies
- Environmental Medicine
- Tropical Medicine
- Operational Medicine
- Military Working Dog
- Prolonged Field Care
- Nursing Skills
- Wound Management
- Pain Management
- Patient Nutrition & Hygiene
- Field Training Exercise
- Clinical & Trauma Rotations
- Emergency Room
- Operating Room
- Intensive Care Unit
Course duration is 22 weeks*.
The intent of the NATO Special Operations Combat Medic Course is to provide a twenty-two week POI of theoretical classes, demonstrations, hands-on skill stations, trauma runs, prolonged field care clinical runs, mass casualty scenarios, clinical and trauma rotations, rescue techniques, and a FTX.
During the first three and a half weeks, the students will be heavily immersed in basic sciences which will cover from anatomy and physiology to basic pharmacology.
The next three and a half weeks are dedicated to fully understand the trauma fundamentals taught through theoretical lessons and challenged through trauma runs then ending with a cadaver lab.
Operational medical planning will then be taught on the following week covering medical duties before, during, and after deployments, case studies, and mass casualty scenarios with triage.
Next, the three phases of Tactical Combat Casualty Care will be heavily trained for two weeks.
One week of different rescue techniques will follow. The students will learn and practice several rescue methods needed for special operational environments (i.e. mountain, water, and vehicle extrication).
Five intense weeks of clinical medicine will cover physical examination, surgical procedures, pathophysiology, sports medicine with human performance, dental emergencies, environmental and tropical medicine, operational medicine (i.e. diving and aerospace medicine), and Military Working Dog medicine. Prolonged Field Care will be a culmination of all previous modules which will also include nursing skills, wound management, pain management, and patient nutrition and care. This module will take two weeks.
One week of testing and accreditation will be mandatory before going into the clinical and trauma rotations which will include a FTX.
During the 3 weeks of clinical and trauma rotations, the students will be exposed to a wide variety of patient encounters while attending the emergency room, operating room, intensive care unit, and other departments distributed amongst different military hospitals.
The course will be focused on creating an interoperable SOF medic that will be standardized with Medics graduating from SOF medical courses like USAJFKSWCS, CANSOF, and the Nordic NSOCM programs.
The course is intended for SOF operators serving or designated to serve as SOF team medic or SOF troop/platoon medic. Students must be graduates of the ISTC AMFR course or of equivalent national level SOF medical training course in accordance with NSOFAFR critical tasks or have higher medical training. Students may be officers, NCOs, or enlisted soldiers. Students will be expected to pass a Medical Knowledge Entry Test, a Physical Training Test, and an English Comprehension Test.
Pre-course medical study material will be provided to students once they are identified by the nations. It is highly encouraged that the students study all material before attending the course. There will be an optional pre-testing day on week 30 of CY 2016. Students that were admitted during the pre-testing will not be tested again upon arrival.
Students must score a minimum of 70% on the Medical Entry Test upon arrival. This test evaluates basic medical knowledge common to SOF medics or medics trained to the Advanced First Responderlevel. Graduates of the Advanced Medical First Responder Course (or similar course) should be familiar with the knowledge needed to pass this test.
Students must score 80% or higher on the Defense Language Institute English Language Center (DLIELC) English Comprehension Level (ECL) Test upon arrival. Prospective students are encouraged to visit the following websites for additional information on the English test:
The Entry Physical Test will be comprised of a 3000 meter run, hang-ups (pull-ups), push-ups, and sit-ups. The standard will be delineated to the students upon arrival.
During the course, any student’s repeated failure to meet the standards (theoretical exams, practical exams, and/or physical tests) will result in a board, composed of members of ISTC Medical Branch and ISTC Staff, to assess the individual’s performance. The board will then give a recommendation to the ISTC Commander. The ISTC Commander will decide whether the individual will be Returned to Unit, continue the course without receiving a certificate, or continue without any further consequences.
Dress throughout the course will be working dress.
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*Further details can be found in the Joining Instructions available at the sending Unit or the respective Ministry of Defense (MoD).