Health & Safety

July 5, 2013

Desert medic chosen for commissioning program

Tags:
Airman 1st Class Saphfire Cook
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office

Tech. Sgt. Pamela Jirsa, 355th Medical Operations Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of the orthopedic clinic, applies a cast to a patients arm at the 355th Medical Group. Jirsa was accepted into the Nursing Enlisted Commissioning Program for the year of 2013.

Not everyone gets to pick their career field when they join the Air Force. As a result, those with a true passion for the job they perform are rare. The Air Force recognizes these individuals and gives them a chance to excel through commissioning programs.

One such opportunity is the Nursing Enlisted Commissioning Program. One of D-M’s own, Tech. Sgt. Pamela Jirsa, 355th Medical Operations Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of the orthopedic clinic, was accepted into the NECP for the year of 2013.

Her interest in nursing began at home.

“When I was 14, my father was diagnosed with colon cancer,” Jirsa said. “Due to lack of insurance the hospital had to send him home before he was completely healed, and my mom had to take over his care. I would watch her pack and dress his surgical wounds, and I thought ‘How amazing is it that you can get paid for essentially saving someone’s life?’ and that’s when I knew I wanted to be a nurse.”

Jirsa began her military career as a surgical technician at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH in 1999.

“When I joined the Air Force, I knew I wanted something in the medical field,” Jirsa said. “I love interacting with patients. I love seeing how your touch, words and kindness can make a big difference in their lives.”

In 2004, Jirsa cross trained into the communications career field and stayed for seven years. But nursing is where she felt she was needed, so in 2010 she went back to her medical roots and joined the orthopedic field.

“For me it’s not just being a nurse, but being a nurse in the Air Force that’s important,” Jirsa said.

“Taking care of our people and our wounded warriors is an essential requirement that needs to be met.”

She is now getting her chance. Jirsa and 47 other Airmen were selected from a pool of almost 200 applicants.

“I am just so grateful,” Jirsa said. “Knowing all the hard work that everyone put into getting the package together and applying to schools makes me feel so honored to be a selectee. I’m feeling blessed right now with this opportunity.”

All NECP selectees will be released from regular duty for 24-months. During this time, they are required to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, pass the National Council Licensure Examination and complete Commissioned Officer Training.

“The hardest part for me, I think, will be time management,” Jirsa said. “I’m going to have to juggle a husband and two kids with being a full-time student. I do, however, have an amazing husband. He is seriously the world’s most supportive man, so I think that will help quite a bit.”

Jirsa offers this advice to future NECP applicants.

“Start early,” she said. “Getting your package together takes a long time. Don’t give up. This is actually my second time applying. Last year, I couldn’t even apply because I didn’t get accepted into the one university that I applied to. So that’s another piece of advice: don’t put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to the university. Also, know exactly why you want to be a nurse. Having that clear motivation is important not only during the application process, but in the job itself.”

Squeezing all of her school, certifications and training into 24 months will be a challenge, but one Jirsa is more than ready to take on.

“I’m most excited about the opportunity to finally be a nurse,” she said. “I’ve wanted to do this since I was 14, and I’m 31 now. So basically half my life ago I decided I wanted to do this, but I didn’t have the resources to go to college and I joined the Air Force right out of high school. I guess I did things a little backwards. But now, as a technical sergeant, with a husband and two kids, I’m finally getting to be what I always wanted to be when I grew up.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Technical sergeant promotion release delayed

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Technical sergeant promotion selection results, originally scheduled for release May 28, will be delayed to enable the Air Force to continue to validate extensive system changes to the Weighted Airman Promotion System (WAPS), officials announced. The 2015 technical sergeant promotion cycle is the first to incorporate recent changes in the enlisted evaluation...
 
 

CAA: Informing, developing the force

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Life is full of decisions. Whether making the Air Force a career or using experience drawn from service to springboard into a civilian profession, always looking one or two steps ahead can be a good way to keep options open and set oneself up for success. In the journey...
 
 
museum02

Program Offers Museum Visits to Service Members, Families

WASHINGTON – From Memorial Day through Labor Day, service members and their families can visit more than 2,000 museums in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and American Samoa courtesy of collaboration among the Blue Star Museums, th...
 

 

2015 Chiefs vs Eagles Softball Game

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey) The Chiefs, made up of chief master sergeants, and the Eagles, made up of colonels, pose for a photo after a charity softball game in which the Chiefs won 23-12 at Thunderbolt Field, Davis-Monthan, Ariz., May 21. The two teams will collectively donate $355 to...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Adam Grant)

That others may live: AFSOUTH heads to Brazil for Search and Rescue SMEE

Campo Grande — U.S. Airmen traveled to Brazil to participate in a week-long subject matter expert exchange with members of the Brazilian air force, from May 11-15, focusing on Search and Rescue capabilities. The Airmen ...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dylan Nuckolls)

D-M A-10s, Airmen complete training in Slovakia as part of TSP

SLIAC AIR BASE, Slovakia — Approximately 40 Airmen and four A-10 Thunderbolt IIs from the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, deployed from Davis-Monthan AFB, completed a micro deployment to Sliac Air Base, Slovakia, ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin