Depending on which background you come from, in respect to trauma management, you may or may not be familiar with terminology used by another training pathway. Oftentimes we may be discussing the same thing just with different vocabulary and this difference in the use of language can compromise effective communication. For this reason we are listing below, some of the common terms that are used across the spectrum of trauma education and training.


  • Acronym to describe initial evaluation and management of the patient based up TCCC protocol.

NATO ROLE or ECHELON designation

  • The term "Role" or "Echelon" is used to describe the stratification of the four tiers in which medical support is organized, on a progressive basis, to conduct treatment, evacuation, resupply, and functions essential to the maintenance of the health of the force. "Echelon" or "Role" is defined on the basis of capabilities and resources, and is not specific to particular medical unit types. The term "role" is used by land or air forces, while "echelon" is primarily a maritime term. While closely related, they are not exactly interchangeable. The treatment capability of each role/echelon is intrinsic at the higher level, e.g. a role 3 facility will have the ability to carry out role 2 functions. Each level of support has the responsibility to resupply and otherwise support the levels below them. There is no requirement that a patient must necessarily pass through each echelon of care in progression during treatment and evacuation.


  • Tactical Combat Casualty Care

  • Often called TC3