Posted on Oct 16, 2020
Roger Smith
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hospital corpsman or 68w which is better in a the military and which gives you more opportunities in the civilian side
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SFC Senior Brigade Career Counselor
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You're looking at it all wrong. Army or Navy is the question you need to ask yourself. Both will give you nothing more than a Basic EMT cert and both will open doors to other medical fields. But neither will directly translate to a significant medical career field in the civilian sector after the military
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SGM G3 Sergeant Major
SGM (Join to see)
7 mo
Getting an EMT-B in the military will get you an EMT-B job in the civilian world, and that might be a contract ambulance for $9/hr.

68C Practical Nursing Specialist is the equivalent if an LPN/LVN in the civilian sector, if you are looking for something that will qualify you for a job in a hospital without having to go back to school to start over.
I'm sure the Navy has a C school for this too.

Since the topic is more opportunities, I would recommend enlisting as a 68C, or 68 anything and applying for the AMEDD Enlisted Commissioning Program to get your RN paid for and some RN experience before you get out,

https://recruiting.army.mil/aecp/
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PO2 Emergency Medical Technician (Emt)
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Great question. It depends on what you want out of it and your goals. A 68W is a Combat Medic, and in the Army, any enlisted medical personnel will go to basic training and then to their AIT (Advanced Individual Training) to learn their specific role. So in this case, a 68W while go to Combat Medic school in Fort Sam Houston, TX. I am not in the Army, so I don’t know much about the MOS’s advanced fields, but I do know that 68W allows you to obtain your National Registry EMT Basic, which transfers well to the civilian side.
Now, the Navy is a little different. HMs attend A School after boot camp, which is our version of AIT. There are many specialties within the HM community, but every Corpsman completes HM Basic (A School), which is about a 4 month process. You are taught a broad range of skills that merge into a hybrid of anywhere from a nursing assistant to a paramedic or nurse. After completing A School, you will have the opportunity to specialize throughout your career and attend what is called a C School. We have many specialties ranging from Surgical Tech, Respiratory Tech, Cardiovascular Tech, to more combat/special ops specialties like Fleet Marine Force Corpsmen (green side that are embedded with Marines), Dive Med Techs, Marine Recon, and what’s called an Independent Duty Corpsman (IDC). IDCs are usually E-5 and above, and are essentially trained as PAs that can work independently of a provider and prescribe medicine and treat patients at a very high level, and are considered providers. We no longer offer Corpsmen the opportunity to earn their NREMT in A School, but you are eligible to challenge the exam. Specialties come with certifications as well.
I personally prefer the Navy because we are very adaptable to any given situation. All Corpsmen are basically trained, therefore we are one of the most sought out medical communities of all branches, as well as one of the most decorated. This means that if I were a Surgical Tech, I would still have the basic knowledge base to function outside of my specialty, which happens more often than not. This is different than the Army, who I have had the privilege of working with in the past. Their 68C (LPN) are limited to their scope, and are of no use in situations requiring skills above their scope, as Corpsmen have the ability to do much more. The same goes with the 68W, who essentially becomes limited to the scope of an EMT-Basic, which is also of no use in certain situations requiring more advanced or nursing care.
That’s just my take. Both offer great opportunities for experience. If you have a specific goal or just want certifications, maybe Army is your best bet. But if you want to be well-rounded and learn skills from every angle, go Corpsman.
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Roger Smith
Roger Smith
7 mo
Thank you for the great explanation, I am planning on joining next year and I want to pick a job that I can make a career out if after the military while still doing something exciting and traveling the world. They are both great options but this explanation opened up my mind
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PO2 Emergency Medical Technician (Emt)
PO2 (Join to see)
7 mo
Happy to hear I could help. I am clearly a little biased, but I recently worked with the Army and we butted heads a lot because Corpsmen are hybrids that tend to be all over the place. Our scope is basically limited by our knowledge base and the trust of our providers. If a provider trusts us and knows that we can perform competently and ensure patient safety, then your only limit is yourself. Always seeking to learn more and gain experience is the key. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there is a limit to what we can do, but you gotta find it lol. And if you want certifications Navy wise, the Navy has a program that pays for those certifications. You just have to put in the work. Good luck!
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SGM G3 Sergeant Major
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7 mo
Technically, 68W requires you to obtain AND maintain your National Registry EMT Basic.
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PO2 Emergency Medical Technician (Emt)
PO2 (Join to see)
7 mo
Yes, I was aware of that requirement SGM. The only other requirement for an MOS that I personally know of is the LPN license with the 68C. I really like that the Army requires civilian certifications for many of its enlisted medical specialties, which helps a lot in the long run, although it proves to be a big difference between the role of the Navy’s HM and the Army’s 68 MOSs.
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PO2 Sergio Johnson
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HM is the biggest job field in the Navy. 45 K strong and over manned at 127% when I was in. If your intention is to stay for 20 years and retire. I recommend that you talk to your recruiter and pick anther job field. Or join the Army as a 68W. I was also an Army Medic in the Reserve and to be honest it sucked for me because I could not treat patients like I did when I was in the Navy. Pick wisely. I would not change what I did while I was in and have missed it very much since I got out. Respectfully HM2
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