Fort Polk soldiers train in combat support hospital - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Fort Polk soldiers train in combat support hospital


On the outside, it looks like a collection of tents but take a step inside and you walk into the heart of the 115th Combat Support Hospital. 

"It's a package of the total hospital, so this is 44 beds," explained Chief Nurse, Rebecca Douglas. "We can set the hospital up in different variations." 

Soldiers at Fort Polk train in the hospital for two weeks at a time.

"We can practice not only setting up the hospital, but practice our roles as well and train on our standard operating procedures," Douglas said. 

It's not as sterile as your standard commercial hospital, but it is equipped with the latest medical tools and technology. An emergency room, operating room, radiology and pharmacy labs, complete the 270x230-foot facility. 

All of that's important because you can't take care of a patient if you don't have all of the services that are required and you also need all of the ancillary support and personnel as well," said Douglas.

In combat, the idea is to stabilize injured soldiers so they can be transported to other facilities. The high level of training soldiers go through in situations at Fort Polk, is clear in the high rate of survival.

"You'll still see a fair amount of soldiers injured but the fatalities have decreased significantly as a result of technology and all of the life saving pieces of equipment and training that we now have," Douglas said.

Soldiers train in the combat support hospital for two weeks at a time. When they're not operating out of the combat support hospital, they train in the hospitals and classrooms around post. 

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