Dr. Laura Witte
The Army National Guard (ARNG) Physician Assistant serves to ensure the medical readiness of their soldiers whether that be at the unit level or during the annual readiness event. Readiness includes ensuring all soldiers are up to date on their immunizations, periodic health assessments (PHA), hearing and visions requirements, and that any current medical issues are assessed for a temporary or permanent profile or if the soldier is capable of returning to duty without any limitations. Within the state they serve in, the ARNG PA can be assigned to various units in an Infantry Battalion, aeromedical physician assistant assigned to an aviation unit, or part of the state Medical Command.
The ARNG PA must be well versed in many policies critical to ensure the readiness of their soldiers. These include the Army Line of Duty policy (AR 600-8-4), Standards of Medical Fitness (AR 40-501) and Medical Readiness (AR 40-502) among others. The ARNG PA must also be able to provide guidance and feedback to commanders on the medical readiness of the soldiers within the unit.
In the deployed environment the ARNG PA can serve as the primary medical provider where responsibilities can include providing routine medical care, but also the resuscitation, stabilization, and evacuation of soldiers as needed.
Ponton D. The Role of the Army National Guard Physician Assistant. University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository. 2021; 3(3).
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