So I think in terms of qualities you need to be a medic, you need to be able to work long hours. You need to be able to carry a lot of kit. You need to be able to be on top of your admin, because you don't have the time to look after people, look after yourself and have poor admin, because there's not enough hours in the day.
And so quite often you'd have to be up before... you’d have to be the first one up in camp in the morning before patrol. But then, so you might spend a full day patrolling. You come back, everyone kind of chills out for a bit. But there’s always people coming to you saying: 'Have you got some paracetamol?' or 'There’s a local down at the front gate, he’s had his hand blown off by a grenade,' or whatever. So you've then got all that to sort out.
So I think being a medic involves lots of different qualities. You have to be able to: 1) look after yourself, 2) look after other people whilst you're looking after yourself, and 3) just being able to administer yourself in a way that allows you to function throughout the day. On my last tour, I was functioning on probably three and a half, four hours [of sleep] for around about three or four weeks.
This transcript is from a 2013 interview with Corporal Graeme Harding, 16 Close Support Medical Regiment, Royal Army Medical Corps. (NAM. 2013-04-6)