An Cosantóir

February 2020

An Cosantóir the official magazine of the Irish Defence Forces and Reserve Defence Forces.

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Page 24 of 39 THE DEFENCE FORCES MAGAZINE | 25 psychology doctoral students, post-graduate nursing students, and visiting international military medical officers are formally evalu- ated on their clinical knowledge and leadership abilities in a simu- lated, resource-constrained, dynamic, and demanding far-forward tactical field setting. Students assume leadership positions in a joint battalion aid sta- tion, where they are presented with operationally current, reality- based missions and operational problems while managing the clinical care of large numbers of simulated disease and non-battle injury (DNBI) patients, including combat psychiatric casualties. During the 2019 exercise, my role involved serving with USUHS faculty to contribute to the teaching, mentoring and evaluation of leadership, clinical skills, combat psychiatric care, and general field duties for military clinical psychology doctoral trainees, with ad- ditional input to the training of post-graduate military psychiatric nursing students. It was an honour to furthermore assist in translating the exercise objectives into meaningful training events, while controlling and facilitating the exercise scenarios for the students. Learning out- comes for the military healthcare trainees included the develop- ment of deployment-focused competencies in triage assessment, treatment planning, interventions, managing privacy and confi- dentiality, multi-disciplinary working, consultation, leadership, and balancing patient needs with both the objectives of the mission and the priorities of command. Students were also instructed on the applications of behavioural science to the organisational systems of operational environments. Additional training saw students conducting real-time behavioural health-needs assessments via quantitative and qualitative data collection, which they applied towards their briefings to command- ers in the field. Highly experienced international military medical instructors have contributed to the event for several years. However, I was both the first member of the Defence Forces and the first interna- tional military clinical psychologist to participate in this exercise. This incredibly rewarding experience requires instructors to be competent in demonstrating and delivering clinical knowledge and skills, teaching abilities, and military experience. My US colleagues valued the expert contribution from an international perspective, as it represented the multi-national composition of many contem- porary deployments. It also reflected the wide-scale use of military medical reservists on many international operations. The result was an outstanding exchange of clinical and opera- tional concepts, capabilities and processes, which will enhance my on-going service in the military. My participation illustrates the great value that members of Ireland's military reserve can bring to international military operations, and it is hoped that it will serve to facilitate further collaboration between USUHS and the Defence Forces' Medical Corps. Capt McCauley with Surg Capt Prior, a Consultant Anaesthetist with the Royal Navy and one of several international military medical personnel involved in Operation Bushmaster. Capt McCauley with several US military clinical psychology staff and students involved in Operation Bushmaster.

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