Military medics prepare for war zones at local hospital

Bayfront Health St. Petersburg has become a training ground for special operations medics preparing to work in battlegrounds.   

Clinical coordinator Scott Wienhold, who is an Army veteran, said they are serving as the initial provider for any patient coming into the hospital, whether they be medical or trauma patients.

"They serve in that capacity for the first time and actually get the lab experience," said Wienhold.

Two students, who are not being identified for security purposes, are currently training at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg.

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"It would help us when we deploy or go to a war zone by giving us the experience of seeing it before or seeing something similar," said one student. "It will gain vote of confidence while we're being able to treat those casualties or injured people while we're deployed."

The students are working alongside hospital doctors and nurses on real-time emergencies. Some of the cases they work on include motor vehicle accidents and traumatic wounds like ballistics or stabbings, which are things they could see in a battlefield.

"Day one from showing up, it's kind of like, Hey, Sergeant, get in here and you're just hands on right away," said the other student. "They have a lot of confidence in us. And the saying goes, confidence breeds confidence and calmness breeds calmness."

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They aren't just preparing for combat injuries. One student said the training forces them to broaden their scope and role, so they can provide good medical care to those who may not have access to it. 

It's training to save those who are protecting the country. 

"I'm very proud, and I guess I'm very proud of being able to be the guy that people look to when they're hurt or they need something," said one student.

"It's honestly, it's a great. I take a lot of pride in it being able to be a medical provider for other people that are volunteering and doing elite stuff and putting themselves on the line and knowing it's my job to take care of those kind of top tier guys", said the other student.