Commentary

October 26, 2012

Behind the red line

Staff Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev., — Members working in the Operation Room at the Mike O’ Callaghan Federal Medical Center strive to provide the best medical support to military members and their families, and authorized DOD and Veterans Affairs beneficiaries.

From preparation to the end of surgery, these Airmen and civilians work around the clock, performing a variety of support specialties behind the red line.

OR staff are required to don surgical scrubs, head covering, and shoe covers to keep everything as clean and sterile as possible once behind the red line. All surgery procedures are conducted behind the red line.

“The OR supports 12 different Air Force and VA surgical specialties ranging from excision of skin lesions, to orthopedic joint replacement, to state of the art endovascular aneurysm repair,” said Maj. John Mansuy, 99th Surgical Operations Squadron interim flight commander.

With patients constantly being received and released, the OR staff ensures maintaining an organized process.

“Communication is the key in the OR,” said Capt. Chastity Williams, 99th Surgical Operations Squadron operating room nurse. “Our practice is always guided by the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses standards. We also use checklists to ensure critical stages of surgeries are accomplished in the same manner each time. Patient safety is always paramount.”

Surgery operations and airfield operations may be on opposite sides of the Air Force spectrum, but both require a great deal of precision and skill, Mansuy said.

“All of our nurses and technicians are as versatile as the F-16 Fighting Falcons on the flight line,” said Mansuy. “Our multirole, team players operate within multiple teams at any given time with a high degree of interchangeability. There are subject matter experts such as the surgical team leaders, but for the most part, given the high degree of training, when a surgical emergency arises at 2 a.m., whoever is there to take care of a patient will do a great job.”

A typical day consists of preparation to ensure safety followed by providing surgical care to beneficiaries.

“An average day at the OR begins with the first patients of the day typically being prepared for surgery followed by discussion and preparation for the slate of cases scheduled that day,” Mansay said. “Then the six main operating rooms get underway and provide high quality surgical care to our beneficiaries.”

If a situation arises that was unplanned, the OR staff is ready to react quickly and efficiently.

“If an emergency arises during the day, we consult with our surgeons and anesthesia providers to determine how to best safely and efficiently proceed with the emergency,” Mansay said. “It’s a dynamic, fast-paced environment operating within a framework of dignity, respect, and professionalism. I’m thrilled to be a part of it as the interim flight commander.”

For some who work in the OR, coming to work is more than a job that provides a sense of accomplishment, Williams said.

“If you ask anyone working in the Operating Room why they chose the OR, the answer seems to be the same, ‘surgery is exciting’,” Williams said. “It’s amazing what happens behind the red line that separates us from the rest of the hospital and every day is different.”

—See photo feature here.




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


 
 

 

Quiet pioneer wanted to fly

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Maj. Gen. Dewey K. K. Lowe didn’t set out to be a pioneer; like many of his generation, he just wanted to fly. Born to immigrant parents in 1924 in Oakland, California, his father died when he was just two, leaving his now-widowed mother to raise three small children....
 
 

US Embassy Singapore, AF team up for diplomatic success

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, recently passed away at the age of 91. Given Lee’s stature and standing, all of us at U.S. Embassy Singapore expected a large state funeral and a high-level U.S. delegation would be named and arriving soon; the funeral was just a few short days away. It didn’t...
 
 
U.S. Air Force graphic by Staff Sgt. Jessica Hines

What’s your social media thumbprint?

U.S. Air Force graphic by Staff Sgt. Jessica Hines Just as you would lock the front door of your home or secure your wallet, social media users should aim to lockup and secure their online personal information and do regular ch...
 

 

Heavy drinking: Highway to disaster

81st Medical Operations Squadron, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. — Heavy drinking is defined as consuming five or more standard drinks in one sitting. It is also considered “high risk” drinking due to the health concerns associated with drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Many stories about heavy...
 
 

May is Asian American, Pacific Islander Heritage Month

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. — In 1978, Congress established Asian-Pacific American Heritage Week to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans to U.S. history and culture. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush extended the celebration to the entire month. On Oct. 23, 1992, Congress officially designated May of each year...
 
 

April is America’s PrepareAthon month

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Everyone plays an important role in bolstering our preparedness for hazards of all types. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has launched the “America’s PrepareAthon” campaign to build and sustain national preparedness. Thousands of individuals, organizations, schools, and local governments across the nation are actively participating in America’s Pr...
 




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