The United States Coast Guard maintains a health services technician rating to serve the medical needs of its Service personnel. The rating of Health Services Technician is the first line of defense in the military Coast Guard healthcare system, Servicemembers report to their Health Technician at their units when they become ill on active duty, and Health Technicians work to deal with routine healthcare and emergency situations. They work in smaller locations both ashore and aboard ship. The Coast Guard maintains clinics at larger locations but most large Coast Guard bases have doctors and surgeons that are staffed at them, while Health Maintenance Technicians are responsible for assignment to smaller Coast Guard units that do not support a Doctor or surgeon.
Services that are routinely provided by a Coast Guard Health Technician include performing routine diagnosis, medical testing and other types of diagnostic care. Coast Guard Health Technicians are roughly equal to the position of Navy Medic, but the organization in the Coast Guard has its health Care technicians performing more of the tasks that normally are performed by Doctors and Nurses in the Navy. They perform direct medical care to Servicemembers, their families and even prescribe medications in some situations. The first duty of Coast Guard Health care technicians is normally serving with a larger Coast Guard Facility, working on under direct supervision. As a Health care technician serving in the Coast Guard you will work to gain experience and eventually be tasked to a smaller command, serving as the main contact person for the medical needs of Coast Guard small boat stations and units.
The Coast Guard is a smaller service, and serving as a health service technician can involve duty not only in the medical facility, but also in the field. You can be tasked to serve in the field as a member of a search and rescue team, or on board a Coast Guard helicopter as needed. You will begin your Coast Guard career with basic training for 9 weeks at Cape May New Jersey, and then progress to additional training. You will attend a 13 week Class A school in Health Service Technology learning evaluation, biology, physiology, and anatomy. As you develop medical skills you will work toward being in charge eventually of your own medical small station facility, as the senior medical enlisted person in charge.