by Senior Airman Laura L. Valentine
20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
5/15/2014 - SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- The
20th Medical Group reached out to show appreciation for its nurses and
medical technicians May 6-12 in observance of Nurse and Medical
Technician Week. This year's theme is "Transforming Health Care through
"The 20th MDG delivers care through the model of a Patient Centered
Medical Home," said Col. Curt Prichard, 20th MDG commander. "Our nurses
and technicians are the foundation of the medical home and provide our
patients with unmatched, compassionate care on a daily basis. Nurses and
technicians are more than mission enablers; they are the team leaders
for personalized patient engagement. It's a privilege to honor them in
any way that we can."
Throughout the 20th MDG there are approximately 30 nurses and 70
technicians who provide care for the nearly 2,030 medical patient visits
"Our mission as nurses and technicians is to support providers," said
Senior Airman Phillip Salmans, 20th Medical Operations Squadron medical
technician. "We ensure readiness for all military personnel on base,
including 20th Fighter Wing, Ninth Air Force, and U.S. Air Forces
Central Command Airmen, and U.S. Army Central soldiers."
Because technicians and nurses interface so often with patients, they
are able to know their patients on a very personal level and focus on
delivering the greatest level of care possible.
"Most rewarding about our job is seeing that patients are taken care
of," said Tech. Sgt. Kathy Cooper, 20th MDOS Pediatric Clinic NCO in
charge, "and seeing a smile on their face. It's a nice feeling to know
you've helped someone."
For Cooper, the decision to join the medical career came from advice
from her family. And it is advice that still rings true today, "the
medical profession will never go away, it's always needed wherever you
go," she said.
Nurses and medical technicians across the Air Force - Active Duty,
Reserve, guardsmen, civilians and contractors - support servicemen and
women across the globe and have been a part of the impressive strides in
the field of nursing, especially in the deployed environment.
During the week, nurses and technicians were recognized with small
tokens of appreciation. May 9, the 20th MDG hosted Col. Julie Stola,
U.S. Air Forces Central Command deputy surgeon general and a Nurse Corps
officer, for a group mentorship session where Stola shared her 24-years
of Air Force medical experience with approximately 30 professionals.
"Once you are in a nursing or healthcare profession, you'll always be in
it," she said. "The military gives us the opportunity to make, and
participate in, medical history."
Stola ended with emphasizing that the medical professionals should
strive for furthering educational experiences and "remembering your
passion" for serving others.
National Nurses Week was first celebrated in 1954. It recognized the
100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing
with her work in the Crimean War. Nurses week is an annual
commemorative celebration that started in 1991.