20th MDG nurses, technicians celebrated

The 20th Medical Group celebrated National Nurses Week with various events for their nurses and technicians at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., May 6-12, 2018.

The 20th Medical Group celebrated National Nurses Week with various events for their nurses and technicians at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., May 6-12, 2018. Nurses and technicians work to provide trusted care to Team Shaw service members and families so they can support their various missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Destinee Sweeney)

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 20th Medical Group (MDG) gather in the clinic atrium for a cake-cutting ceremony at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., May 9, 2018.

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 20th Medical Group (MDG) gather in the clinic atrium for a cake-cutting ceremony at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., May 9, 2018. The 20th MDG celebrated their nurses and technicians during National Nurses Week, May 6-12. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Destinee Sweeney)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Christopher Aubuchon, 20th Medical Operations Squadron aerospace medical technician, left, takes the vitals of a patient at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., May 10, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Christopher Aubuchon, 20th Medical Operations Squadron aerospace medical technician, left, takes the vitals of a patient at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., May 10, 2018. Medical technicians record the height, weight and vitals of a patient and ask them questions about their health before the doctor evaluates the patient. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Destinee Sweeney)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- On the frontline of health care, nurses and technicians are likely to be some of the first faces an individual sees upon entering a medical facility. These trained professionals work to listen to concerns and prepare patients for treatment in addition to striving to provide trusted care.

The Airmen at the 20th Medical Group are no exception.

“We don’t take this job for recognition, but it’s good to know someone does appreciate you and what you do,” said Staff Sgt. Lindsey Critser, 20th Medical Operations Squadron pediatrics noncommissioned officer in charge. “You don’t hear it every day, ‘Good job. Thank you for healing my sore throat.’”

National Nurses Week begins annually on May 6 and ends on May 12 providing an opportunity for individuals to recognize the achievements and hard work of nursing professionals.

The 20th MDG also uses the observance to honor their technicians, who work alongside nurses, to ensure Team Shaw receives trusted care.

During the week, nurses and technicians were treated to lunches, breakfasts and a cake-cutting ceremony. Blank posters were provided for patients to write thank you notes to nurses and a display of medical Airmen memorabilia was available for viewing.

“I chose to do this because I think morale is a big deal in the military,” said Critser, who helped organize the week’s events. “Without morale, people get burnt out. People need to know they’re appreciated. Even though most of them will tell you they don’t need to be recognized it’s still nice to know that someone does see what you’re doing.”

While supporting more than 8,000 active-duty service members and approximately 12,000 family members, nurses are responsible for patient triage, administering injections, refilling prescriptions and writing referrals.

“It takes a strong person to become a nurse, just because of the things we see and the things we have to do,” said Pamela Anderson, 20th MDOS registered nurse. “Also a compassionate person, I think when you’re caring for someone who doesn’t feel well, you have to be compassionate and empathetic and keep that in mind. A lot of times you’ll see people at their worst and that can be hard to deal with.”

Air Force medical technicians are found in a wide range of clinics including public health, bioenvironmental engineering, laboratory, physical therapy and pharmacy units supporting treatment processes, administering tests and providing customer service.

“If fighter pilots can’t get their immunizations, they can’t go overseas to accomplish their mission if they’re not properly protected against those viruses or bacterial strains,” said Senior Airman Christopher Aubuchon, 20th MDOS aerospace medical technician and immunizations back-up technician. “We definitely play a huge role when it comes to Shaw Air Force Base and the fighter wing. Those members then trust us when they deploy to take care of their spouses. Trusting that we’ll take care of their wife, their husband and their kids, takes a burden off of them as well.”

Technicians and nurses assigned to the 20th MDG support Team Shaw service members, families and missions. By observing National Nurses Week, Team Shaw showed their gratitude to the medical professionals who work to keep their wingmen healthy.