Medical group pays tribute to nurses

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Martha J. Johnston
  • 377th Medical Group
America's 2.9 million registered nurses save lives and maintain the health of millions daily. From the battlefield to bedside nursing in hospitals and long-term care facilities; from the halls of research institutions and state legislatures to Congress, the depth and breadth of the nursing profession is meeting expanding health care needs.

This year, the American Nurses Association selected "Nursing: A Profession and a Passion" as the theme of National Nurses Week, May 6-12.

To celebrate National Nurses Week, the 377th Medical Group pays tribute to the registered nurses and medical technicians, the largest health care profession, who provide highly skilled, safe, quality care in a variety of settings.

Here are some of the ways that our nurses and medical technicians are promoting patient well-being, patient safety and advancing the nursing profession.

The quality office keeps the medical group current on national standards for patient care and in compliance with meeting those national patient care practices.

The nurse infection control officer identifies and prevents clinic-acquired infections among patients, visitors and clinical personnel through education, monitoring and implementing infection control guidelines and standards.

We have probably one of the best patient safety programs in any facility. The nurse looks at all portions of the health care system so that we can provide the patient with safe medical care. The patient safety nurse works closely with pharmacists to reduce medication errors which are the most frequent errors in health care.

Our surgical service nurses and technicians deliver care for orthopedics, general surgery and ophthalmology patients. Patient teaching and individualized care is provided by the nursing staff. Nurse anesthetists perform more regional anesthesia leading to improvements in postoperative pain relief and more comfort for patients.

Pediatric nurses and medical technicians run the gamut from obstetrical orientation briefings and sports physicals to home health education for patients from birth to 16 years of age.

Family medicine enacted extender protocols that allow patients direct access to nurses and medical technicians. They give patients treatment options and education tools specific to their conditions.

The preventative health assessment program is a success due to the nurses and technicians screening active duty and civilians and seeing them for their checkup.

Patients with diabetes or asthma get personalized information through the community disease management programs. If you are active duty, you may have seen our independent duty medical technicians who receive advanced education and training enabling them to function as providers. 

The flight medicine nurses and technicians ensure the flyers are kept current to fly. The technicians are always on alert to respond to in-flight emergencies. Technicians perform occupation health exams to detect illness or injury from environment hazards.
Women may see our nurse practitioners in the women's health clinic. Here women can receive annual wellness exams, prescriptions, breast and cervical cancer screening and pregnancy testing. They look at the whole woman concept instead of just one medical condition. 

The 377th MDG case manager, Julie Ferguson, works directly with the Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom servicemembers. She is notified of an incoming OIF/OEF Airman or Soldier and starts the process for transferring healthcare. Ms. Ferguson is part of the governor's task force for defining start up and management needs for post traumatic stress disorder services. 

The Health and Wellness Center does more than your physical fitness test. The nurse at the HAWC has patient-centered education programs occurring on a monthly basis.
As nurses, we partner with the medical technicians and licensed practical nurses who are screening, educating, assisting with procedures, updating profiles, giving injections, etc. - they are the right arm of nursing. Everyone in nursing is working to improve your health.