Cheryl Elston - Becoming a medic

Running time
1 min 39 sec
Department of Veterans' Affairs


So it was interesting because I still was hopeful that I might be able to go to infantry or artillery, or something like that, and when one of my corporals at Kapooka that said to me, "At what point do you think they might notice that you're not a male Cheryl? 'The showers, maybe?'" But I knew that I wanted to be up and useful and as far forward as I could be, and I knew medic was one of the ways to do that and to look after the guys that were going to the fight. So that's why I wanted to be a medic.

So once we did Kapooka, we were then sent off to our IETs or initial employment training, and that was, at the time, it was down in Portsea, in Victoria, which was a lovely beach-side school of health down there, and it was in the old quarantine station. So it was quite interesting, all the history mixed in there.

We were there for about three and a half months, and we were taught, essentially, basic anatomy and physiology right through to trauma care. And from there, you would then go to one of the field or the military hospitals, which, at the time, was 1 Field Hospital in Ingleburn, or 2 Mil Hospital in Brisbane, Urunga. And you would do another. I think it was about 12 weeks there, on-the-job training or OJTs. Once you completed that six months of training, you would then be posted to your first unit. And my first unit was the 1st Field Hospital at Ingleburn.

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