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Nurse and Medical Technician Appreciation Week
Staff Sgt. Ingrid Williams is in an instructor at the 383rd Training Squadron. Sergeant Williams teaches the AeroSpace Medical Service Apprentice course. (U.S. Air Force photo/ 882nd Training Group)
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Nurse and Medical Technician Appreciation Week

Posted 5/7/2009   Updated 5/7/2009 Email story   Print story


by Lt. Col. Susan Bassett
882nd Medical Group

5/7/2009 - SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE,Texas -- Nursing is a profession that embraces dedicated people with varied interests, strengths and passions because of the many opportunities the profession offers.

This year as the Air Force Nurse Corps celebrates its 60th Anniversary. The theme for Nurse and Medical Technician Appreciation Week, "Building a Healthy America", reflects the commitment nurses make every day for their patients and the compassion and quality of care they provide for their community.

At 2.9 million strong, nurses represent the largest group of health care workers in America. The Air Force medical technicians constitute over 60 percent of all medical Air Force specialty codes in the Air Force, officer, enlisted and civilian, and are nationally registered emergency medical technicians.

Nurses and medical technicians have been recognized as the professionals who make a cost effective difference in providing safe and high-quality patient care. An important goal of celebrating National Nurse and Medical Technician Appreciation Week is to remind the public of nursing's contributions to the health and well-being of the nation.

Nurse and Medical Technician Appreciation Week is also celebrated so that personnel involved in the nursing profession can reflect on how rewarding their career can be and to share our passion for nursing with others.

This week is an opportunity to take pride in what we accomplish as nurses and technicians, and also to inspire others to choose this challenging and fulfilling profession.

According to projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses top the list of the 10 occupations with the largest projected job growth in the years 2002 through 2012. The tremendous growth of health care needs for an aging population coupled with current trends of nurses retiring or leaving the profession, could lead to a shortage of more than one million nurses in the near future.

At Sheppard, nurses and technicians are assigned to the 82nd Medical Group or the 882nd Training Group. At the 82nd MDG, 34 clinic nurses and 60 medical technicians work to keep 9,000 active duty members "fit to fight," keep family members healthy, and take care of more than 2,000 proud patriots who served our country in years past.

We have 20 nurses and 72 medical technicians engaged in teaching students at the 882nd TRG. Instruction ranges from teaching over 1,500 basic pipeline medical technicians and surgical apprentices annually to finely tuned specialties like infection control courses, nurse manager preparation courses and our new aeromedical evacuation contingency operations training course.

National Nurse and Medical Technician Appreciation Week is devoted to highlighting the diverse ways in which registered nurses and medical technicians work to improve health care. From bedside nursing in hospitals and long-term care facilities to the halls of research institutions and the fields of battle, the depth and breadth of the nursing profession is actively involved to meet the expanding health care needs of American society and our military warriors.

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