NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — On May 6, Nellis AFB began a week-long celebration for Nurse and Medical Technician Appreciation Week to recognize the contributions nurses and technicians make to healthcare.
This year’s National Nurses Week theme “Culture of Safety, It starts with YOU” is exemplified each and every day at the Mike O’Callaghan Federal Hospital. The nurses and medical technicians of the 99th Medical Group are well-trained, disciplined and a motivated team that takes great pride in delivering excellent quality care to their patients.
“Having this week of appreciation is humbling,” said Senior Airman Danielle Washington, 99th Medical Operations Squadron medical technician. “It’s good to know that our hard work as medical technicians and nurses does not go unnoticed and that we are making a difference in a person’s life every day. It’s important to have this week dedicated to nurses and technicians to show others how hard we work and how much we truly enjoy what we do every single day.”
“Not only that, it reminds us as nurses and technicians how important we are to each other. Speaking from a technician’s point of view, I couldn’t do my job without a nurse and I don’t think they could do their job without us. We are a team.”
This weeklong celebration raises awareness of the value of nurses and medical technicians and helps educate the public about the role nurses and technician’s play in meeting the health care needs of their patients.
“Nurses and technicians kind of go under the radar as far as medical goes sometimes because most people just think of doctors,” said Staff Sgt. Rebekah Adams, 99th Inpatient Operations Squadron critical care technician. “Nurses and technicians kind of run the show as far as patient care goes.”
This is an important week for the nurses and medical technicians of the 99th MDG as it highlights the hard work they put in day in and day out that tends to go unnoticed.
“It means a lot,” said Adams. “We try to make the week more about nurses and technicians not having to do anything but just appreciating them. Even the nurses and technicians that are volunteering to help put on this week are getting to partake in the festivities. It’s really cool to get some recognition for what we do.”
Nursing and medical technicians are physically demanding positions and often require working long hours and nights and weekends. These are just a few of the sacrifices that come with the job.
“Inpatient is the most grueling of nursing work,” said 2nd Lt. Erin McIlvaine, 99th Inpatient Operations Squadron clinical nurse. “The days are often 14 hours long and although you only work three to four days a week, the first day off is often spent resting and recovering. Night shift inpatient is even harder, since your whole life is running on lack of sleep.”
The selflessness of nurses and technicians is reflected in their commitment to their patients and plays a vital role to the hospital’s mission success.
“This hospital would not work without nurses and technicians,” said 1st Lt. Elizabeth Cassidy, 99th Surgical Operations Squadron Post Anesthesia Care Unit nurse. “We are the ones that are getting the job done.”
The week-long group appreciation events, spearheaded by Cassidy and her committee team members included a number of free food offerings, an educational brief on evidence-based practice for trusted care delivery and celebrated 13 new Nurse Residency Program graduates. The Las Vegas USO and Nellis Commissary leaders supported a burger-burn and ice cream social to top off the week.