CMT vs Student

I'm a first year student nurse, and I've been really into the idea of joining the TA for some time now (Probably 243 Field Hospital). I was a cadet for seven years (yea, ain't I and want to join the regulars when I'm a qualified nurse anyway, so the TA seems like a natural step to take. However, I do have a couple of questions:

1) Time commitment. Weekends and weekdays are fine, I don't live too far away from the unit I'm planning on investigating, but the two weeks annual could be. My university is really against large blocks of absence during study periods, and to be honest, I don't want to risk getting to far behind (even if I am doing something really cool). What are the normal times for annuals? Are they likely to co-incide with my holidays? (August through to beginning of September)

2) My level of fitness is not great. It's not bad, but I would only just scrape through on the fitness test (and I mean just). Would it be recommended to wait till my summer break and work on it then before joining, or just give it a go and join up anyway? If I do wait, and join around September time, would they mind if I didn't do the two weeks till the following summer?

3) If I do decide to go ahead, are there any advantages or disadvantages of joinging as a combat medical technician, or a student nurse?
I joined the TA as a student nurse right at the start of my training and i have not found any problems with the time committment so far as my unit are very understanding about students not being able to make it to annual camp durnig study periods and placement. Are you aware that you will have to do a 2 week recruits course tho? I found i could fit this around my holiday periods without a problem but i have friends who have had a problem getting this course in.

In terms of the differences between joining as a CMT or a student, getting time off for the 2 week trade courses for the CMT training may also be a problem for you. Having said that, speaking to mates who are CMTs the courses sound pretty interesting/usefull to a student nurse if you were able to get time off to go on them.

I have found personally that there is a role for student nurses within the unit and i also get to attend (in unit) training with CMTs, if you are the sort of person who will enjoy the TA and be able to function well within your unit im sure you will get a lot out of either option. Good luck!
Thanks browndog, that was really helpful! I wasn't aware there was a two week recruit training, is that in addition, or instead of the annual camp for the first year? And you say the CMT's have additional trade training, does this mean students don't? Sorry for the barrage of questions, I want to make sure I get all the facts before jumping in :D
No problem smookle. The 2 week recruits course counts as your camp in your first year, you can do both if you want to but you dont have to. CMTs do 3 courses, CMT3, 2 and 1. Each course is 2 weeks long, and there needs to be 12 months in between each course (for in unit training.) As a student nurse you dont need to do any trade training (as you are busy learning your trade at uni.)

I forgot to answer your fitness question yesterday, are you male or female and how old are you. Have you timed yourself round a 1.5 mile run, or ever tried to see how many situps and pressups you can do? If not, give it a go today!
Righto, you had me worried for a moment there! I thought I'd have to fit in four weeks as opposed to just two! The student nurse route sounds quite good then, especially if you get to take part in CMT in unit training aswell. Does the same go for nurse training sessions too? I think after what you've said about trade training, the student route may be the one I take, if I do go for it. :D

As for fitness, I'm female, aged 20, and can do the 1.5 mile (minus 800m warm up, haven't managed to get that far yet lol) in 14-15 mins, (meant to be 13/14mins I think), I can do all 40 situps, and can do the amount for normal pressups (arms not under shoulder), but the army ones are weird, and I've found I can't do a single one (unless I do the knee version, in which case I can manage 5 lol)...though I'm working really hard on getting some upper body strengt. Should I wait till I can do some press ups before contacting the unit?

Thanks again!
I am also a first year student nurse, and a CMT3(V) in an RLC unit. If you are joining a Field Hospital unit you might spot CMTs doing no more than erecting tentage and stagging on ( its costing a unit I know of dearly in retention ) and may be best advised to followoing the nursing route - however I think working as a CMT may give you a rounder awareness of AMS ( first aid coverage so far at my Uni has been pretty poor, I ended up explainingng most of the lesson in the canteen, hope that will be covered in depth later ).

Commitment-wise most units are happy to arrange alternative camps - even getting driving licences can be used as a camp.

Fitness-wise dont worry about your press ups - only the run is pass/fail - rest of BPFA seems to be just there to cause extra suffering.

Theres my tuppence-worth.

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