May 10, 2012

National Nurses Week recognizing medical professionals this week

Story and photo by Natalie Campbell
RWBAHC Public Affairs Officer
Spc. Aaron Kamiaz, a 68W combat medic health care specialist at Raymond W. Bliss Army Health Center, prepares an IV for Spc. Norman Roberson, also a 68W at RWBAHC, on May 3. As 68W health care specialists, Kamiaz and Roberson are able to be more versatile serving the military community as opposed to nurses on the civilian side. 68Ws are able to move to different clinics, and their duties range from working as an MSA at a clinic front desk, to performing toenail removal procedures and administering immunizations to other Soldiers.

All across the United States, people are making a special effort to salute medical nurses this week.

The Raymond W. Bliss Army Health Center is joining the American Nurses Association in celebrating “Nurses: Advocating, Leading, Caring,” as part of National Nurses Week, which is held May 6-12, every year.

The purpose of the weeklong celebration is to raise awareness of the value of nursing and help educate the public about the role nurses play in meeting the health care needs of the American people.

In honor of the dedication, commitment and tireless effort of the nearly 3.1 million registered nurses nationwide to promote and maintain the health of this nation, the ANA and RWBAHC are giving special recognition to registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and 68W combat medics this week for the health care they provide seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Colonel William Moran, commander, RWBAHC, describes the important role nurses play.

“The nursing staff at RWBAHC are a team of consummate professionals who treat every patient with respect and dignity and uphold our Gold standard of excellence in everything they do. Our RNs, LPNs, and 68W health care specialists work day in and day out providing safe, high quality care to our Soldiers, family members, and retirees.”

The clinical nurse officer-in-charge of the Soldier Centered Clinic, 1st Lieutenant Michelle Chavez, explains why nursing in a military treatment facility is different from that in a civilian facility.

“One large difference between a civilian hospital and an Army MTF are our 68W [combat medics]. A 68W works in a capacity that gives an extra asset to the team. When treating Soldiers, a 68W’s scope of practice is like having additional LPNs. To point out how a 68W medic has made a difference to the Army Medical Corps is the impact they have made on the survival rate of our injured Soldiers on the front line, which is over 95 percent! I am proud to be an Army nurse and a part of an amazing team!”

In honor of “Nursing: Advocating, Leading, Caring,” all registered nurses in America are encouraged to proudly wear the official ANA “RN” pin or any other pin that clearly identifies them as registered nurses, and/or their nurses’ uniforms this week.

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