Pre and Post Medical Deployment Experiences: A Qualitative Study


Medical Deployment
Field Hospital
Pre and Post Qualitative


The Royal Medical and Dental Corps have served in a variety of medical deployments over the last fifty years, including battlefields, peacekeeping missions, and natural and man-made disasters, to provide the best care possible for the Malaysian Armed Forces, rescue disaster victims and refugees, and alleviate their sufferings. The healthcare professionals serving in military field hospitals encounter several hurdles during field operations that require mental and physical preparation, especially for first- timers. By sharing their invaluable prior experience, perhaps the military and other organisations will learn how to execute medical missions more effectively. This study was conducted to determine the pre- and post-medical deployment experiences of military healthcare professionals. Utilising face-to-face interviews, a qualitative study was conducted using a sample of twenty-one healthcare professionals who served in various field hospital deployments. To guarantee a varied population of informants, both purposeful and snowball sampling techniques were used. All interviews were transcribed from audio recordings and analysed for recurring issues and themes in the text, which were separately coded and validated by the researchers. Seven significant themes were highlighted. Four themes emerged for pre-medical deployment experiences: operational assessment and preparation, personal preparation (mental, medical skills, fitness and family readiness), force health protection (vaccination and medical check-up), and logistic preparation. Meanwhile, three themes emerged in terms of post-medical deployment experiences: operational withdrawal, force health protection (mental and physical check-up), and logistic withdrawal.