National Nurses Week
The 56th Medical Group is joining the American Nurses Association in celebrating National Nurses Week Monday through May 10.
This year’s theme is “Delivering Quality & Innovation in Patient Care.” The purpose of the week-long celebration is to raise awareness of the value of nursing and help educate the public about the role nurses play in meeting the healthcare needs of the American people. Within the military, nursing includes our registered nurses, nurse practitioners, licensed practical nurses, aerospace medical technicians and certified nursing assistants.
The value of nursing is multifaceted but one thing is consistent — we are the “most trusted profession” 10 years straight per Gallup’s annual honesty and ethics survey, Dec. 14, 2011. Many people are familiar with the roles nurses play when loved ones become ill. Nurses are the ones at the bedside. They are the ones who see the patient first when healthcare is needed. Nurses are the ones providing comfort and care to patients.
The 56th MDG’s nursing value is seen throughout the 56th Fighter Wing and community. One of the recent projects nurses were involved with was to decrease urgent care referrals during duty hours. Their success has been huge resulting in a 78-percent average decrease per month thus saving over $92,000 in healthcare costs over the past nine months. That has resulted in patients empanelled at the 56th MDG having better access to their provider and building continuity with their healthcare team to better manage healthcare needs.
Nursing staff have partnered with Scottsdale Healthcare in establishing an additional site for the Air Force’s Critical Care/Trauma Nurse Fellowship. This fellowship is a year-long program that takes registered nurses and teaches them the specialty of critical care and emergency nursing. The staff at the 56th MDG finalized all legal agreements, gained appropriate staffing and will host the first class this fall.
In the last year, three nurses and 11 aerospace medical technicians have deployed to the Middle East. Whether as a nurse on a forward surgical team or a medic assigned to an Army unit, all members aided the mission they were sent to support.
Nurses are educators, not just for patients but also for local colleges and universities. We instructed 14 nursing students ranging from nurse practitioners to medical assistants and enhanced 2,180 clinical hours, laying the foundation for our profession to continue to thrive and grow.
We are involved in community outreach programs. Whether it was the Retiree Appreciation Day, Women’s Health Expo and Men’s Health Expo or the March of the Fallen, nursing staff directly contributed to the events’ successes. More than 1,800 attendees received health education, had their blood pressure screened, learned a life-saving skill or were reassured during the event that medical care was readily available from nursing professionals.
The 56th Medical Group’s nursing staff is all inclusive: officers, civilians, enlisted and contractors. We are proud of the service we provide and the positive impacts our profession makes on the many facets of healthcare provided by the 56th Medical Group.