Honoring Our Veterans
The contributions and sacrifices of men and women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces have been significant in maintaining the freedoms enjoyed by the American people. This Veteran’s Day, UnityPoint Clinic is proud to support our nation’s servicemen and women.
This is the story of Joel Faust, a clinical assistant in Des Moines, Iowa, who has served as a Navy Hospital Corpsman. Through his service, Joel has traveled the world to care for military members and has equipped military personnel with life-saving combat skills.
For Joel, a clinical assistant at UnityPoint Clinic – Cardiology – in the Des Moines, Iowa area, serving in the U.S. Navy was an opportunity to receive quality medical training, travel the world and carry on his family’s tradition of military service.
Joining the Navy in 1997, Joel underwent 16 weeks of training to become a Navy Hospital Corpsman. During training, Joel learned the fundamentals of nursing and emergency medical treatment both on and off the battlefield. “Training consisted of drawing blood, administering vaccinations, splinting and IV insertions,” Joel said.
Joel also received ongoing training for casualties of nuclear biological and chemical warfare and Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC). “In TCCC, we learned how to do needle decompressions on victims who may have a tension pneumothorax, intraosseous fluid administration through the sternum, insert nasopharyngeal airways, perform emergency cricothyroidotomies and implement other life-saving techniques on the battlefield,” Joel said.
While serving on active duty for eight years in the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman, Joel was faced with the challenge of taking care of multiple wounded individuals at one time. “When caring for multiple casualties, triaging comes into play and you have to sort patients based on priority,” Joel said. “Triaging patients in combat situations is different than those in a civilian setting. The goal is to get the wounded back on the front lines to complete the mission.”
Serving as a Hospital Corpsman has proved to be a rewarding experience for Joel. “I have been able to travel all over the world to care for military members and their beneficiaries,” Joel said. In 2013, Joel went to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to care for veterans from wars and conflicts both past and present. “I felt very honored to meet some of the wounded military members from the Wounded Warrior Project,” Joel said.
In 2014, Joel was asked to be an instructor at Operation Golden Coyote in South Dakota where he trained personnel from Denmark, Germany, Canada and the U.S. with life-saving combat skills.
Joel is currently in the Navy Reserve at Fort Des Moines and is preparing to begin his Masters of Public Health. “My goal is to attend Officer Development School and become a commissioned officer of the United States Navy Medical Service Corps upon graduation,” Joel said. “I look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve.”