How to Be Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS) Physician - Job Description, Skills, and Interview Questions

The Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS) Physician is a critical resource for law enforcement officers and the public during high-risk operations. In addition to their medical expertise, the TEMS Physician provides tactical medical support, risk assessment, and casualty management in dangerous and unpredictable environments. Their presence can reduce the risk of injury and death by providing immediate medical response on the scene of an emergency.

TEMS Physicians must also be able to provide medical advice to the tactical commander, anticipate medical needs, and manage casualties during a chaotic situation. Furthermore, they must be able to develop innovative strategies to successfully manage complex emergencies while integrating with other organizations. As a result, the presence of a TEMS Physician helps to ensure a safe and successful outcome during high-risk operations.

Steps How to Become

  1. Earn a medical degree and become a licensed physician. This typically requires four years of medical school, followed by at least three years in a residency program.
  2. Obtain certification in emergency medicine. This can be done through the American Board of Emergency Medicine or the American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine.
  3. Become certified in Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS). TEMS certification is offered through the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA). The certification process includes completing an 80-hour course, passing a written exam, and completing a practical exam.
  4. Get experience in the field. You will need to have experience in a tactical environment in order to become a TEMS physician. This can be done through clinical rotations or volunteer opportunities with local police departments or other organizations.
  5. Consider additional certifications. Becoming certified in tactical medicine, wilderness medicine, and other specialties can help you stand out as a TEMS physician.

Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS) requires highly qualified and reliable physicians to ensure that injured and ill personnel receive the best possible care during emergency situations. To become a TEMS physician, one must have an unrestricted medical license, must have completed a residency in Emergency Medicine, and must have attended training courses specifically related to tactical medical support. TEMS physicians must also be certified in Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) and Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS), and must be knowledgeable in the use of weapons, communications systems and emergency medical equipment.

In addition, they must also be prepared to work in austere environments and often must be able to function without direct supervision. The combination of these qualifications and skills makes a TEMS physician uniquely qualified to provide the highest level of medical support in a variety of scenarios.

You may want to check Remote Area Paramedic, Event Paramedic, and Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for alternative.

Job Description

  1. Provide medical consultation and pre-hospital care to patients in a tactical environment.
  2. Design, develop, and maintain medical protocols and response systems for special operations.
  3. Coordinate medical care and transport of injured personnel.
  4. Participate in operational planning and execution of tactical operations.
  5. Provide medical command and control to field medical assets.
  6. Develop, implement, and maintain training programs for TEMS personnel.
  7. Provide medical advice to commanders during operations.
  8. Direct activities of medical personnel in the field.
  9. Monitor medical supplies, equipment, and personnel to ensure readiness for operations.
  10. Ensure compliance with applicable medical standards and protocols.
  11. Research and develop new medical techniques and procedures for use in tactical operations.
  12. Consult with other medical professionals on patient care and treatment plans.

Skills and Competencies to Have

  1. Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification
  2. Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) certification
  3. Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) certification
  4. Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) certification
  5. Airway management skills
  6. Knowledge of pharmacology, especially in regard to emergency medicine
  7. Diagnostic and therapeutic ultrasound
  8. Advanced knowledge of trauma, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems
  9. Knowledge of wilderness medicine and survival skills
  10. Advanced wound care and suturing techniques
  11. Ability to perform rapid assessment of a patient’s condition to determine the most appropriate course of treatment
  12. Ability to work with a multidisciplinary team in highly stressful situations
  13. Ability to assess and treat a variety of medical issues in austere environments
  14. Ability to provide medical direction and guidance to non-physician personnel
  15. Ability to provide medical advice to local first responders and other medical personnel

The role of a Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS) Physician is critical in providing medical support in high-risk, dynamic situations. To be successful in this role, the most important skill to have is the ability to think quickly and make decisions decisively. This ability is essential for providing timely, effective medical care in a rapidly evolving and often dangerous environment.

TEMS Physicians must have the capacity to handle high levels of stress and uncertainty, as well as the physical and mental stamina to remain alert and focused for long periods. Furthermore, they must possess the capacity to work collaboratively with law enforcement personnel, emergency medical technicians, and other first responders during an active incident. The ability to quickly and accurately assess and manage medical situations while developing plans to safely evacuate personnel is also essential.

the ability to think quickly and make decisions decisively can mean the difference between life and death in a high-risk, dynamic situation.

Helicopter Paramedic, Critical Care Flight Paramedic, and Community Paramedic are related jobs you may like.

Frequent Interview Questions

  • What experience do you have working in Tactical Emergency Medical Support?
  • How do you handle difficult medical decisions when dealing with hazardous environments?
  • How would you prioritize medical tasks in a high-pressure environment?
  • Describe your experience in providing medical care and support for law enforcement personnel?
  • How do you handle pressure from law enforcement or military personnel?
  • What is your approach to patient care in a tactical environment?
  • How do you stay informed of the latest developments in tactical medicine?
  • What unique challenges have you faced as a Tactical Emergency Medical Support Physician?
  • What strategies do you use to ensure patient safety in hazardous environments?
  • What is your experience with monitoring and controlling infectious diseases in tactical environments?

Common Tools in Industry

  1. Radio Transceiver. A device used to transmit and receive radio signals, used for communication in TEMS operations (e. g. Motorola Talkabout T62).
  2. Protective Gear. Equipment used to protect the TEMS physician while providing medical aid (e. g. hard hat, ballistic vest, gloves).
  3. Airway Kit. A kit containing airway management tools such as suction devices and endotracheal tubes (e. g. King LT-D Universal Airway Kit).
  4. Trauma Kit. A kit containing emergency medical supplies for treating traumatic injuries (e. g. North American Rescue CAT Combat Application Tourniquet).
  5. Medical Monitoring Devices. Devices that monitor vital signs of patients such as heart rate, oxygen saturation, and blood pressure (e. g. Masimo Radical-7 Pulse Oximeter).
  6. Defibrillator. A device used to deliver an electric shock to the heart in order to restore normal heart rhythm (e. g. Philips HeartStart FR3 AED).
  7. IV Therapy Supplies. Supplies used for administering intravenous drugs and fluids (e. g. IV start kits, IV catheters, IV tubing).

Professional Organizations to Know

  1. National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP)
  2. Wilderness Medical Society (WMS)
  3. American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)
  4. American Medical Association (AMA)
  5. National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT)
  6. National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA)
  7. International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers (IAMAT)
  8. International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
  9. National Association of EMS Educators (NAEMSE)
  10. International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM)

We also have Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Paramedic, Field Paramedic, and Critical Care Paramedic jobs reports.

Common Important Terms

  1. Paramedic. A healthcare professional who provides pre-hospital advanced life support to patients in an emergency.
  2. EMT. An Emergency Medical Technician is a healthcare provider trained to respond to medical emergencies in the field.
  3. Medical Director. An authority responsible for overseeing and coordinating the medical care provided by a team of healthcare professionals in an emergency setting.
  4. Trauma Care. The treatment of serious physical injuries sustained in an accident, often involving multiple organ systems.
  5. Airway Management. The maintenance of an open airway during an emergency situation to ensure adequate oxygenation and ventilation of the patient.
  6. Resuscitation. The restoration of circulation and respiration in a patient who has suffered cardiac or respiratory arrest.
  7. Pre-Hospital Care. Medical care provided to a patient before they reach a hospital or other definitive care facility.
  8. Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS). A program designed to provide a standardized approach to the management of trauma patients in both pre-hospital and hospital settings.
  9. Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC). A set of trauma care guidelines developed for use on the battlefield, focusing on preventing preventable deaths through the use of immediate, effective treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS) Physician? A1: Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS) Physician is a medical professional who provides pre-hospital care for law enforcement and other tactical operations. Q2: What qualifications does a TEMS Physician possess? A2: A TEMS Physician typically possesses at least a Bachelor's degree in medicine, and may also have additional certifications or training related to emergency medical services, such as tactical medicine, critical care, or wilderness medicine. Q3: What types of medical care does a TEMS Physician provide? A3: A TEMS Physician provides on-site medical care for law enforcement and other tactical operations, including rapid assessment, stabilization, and transport of injured personnel. Q4: What is the scope of practice for a TEMS Physician? A4: The scope of practice for a TEMS Physician includes providing pre-hospital medical care, including airway management, resuscitation, trauma management, medical evacuation, and medical direction. Q5: What is the average salary of a TEMS Physician? A5: The average salary of a TEMS Physician is approximately $190,000 per year.

Web Resources

  • Tactical Emergency Medical Service | School of Medicine
  • Special Operations Tactical Rescue Technician (TEMS)
  • Development of a National Consensus for Tactical Emergency …
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