125th Medical Airmen train in the tropics

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jesse Hanson
  • 125th Fighter Wing

Nearly 50 Airmen assigned to the 125th Medical Group, Florida Air National Guard, and the 165th Medical Group, Georgia Air National Guard, traveled to Tripler Army Medical Center, Army Post Schofield Barracks, to satisfy annual medical training requirements July 1-15, 2022.

“This is going to be a manning assist to Tripler AMC and it's accomplishing a lot of the inpatient clinical hours that are required of the med techs that must be accomplished at an inpatient treatment facility,” said Capt. William Johnson, emergency and trauma nurse, 125th MDG. “So it’s dual-purpose. We're back filling their shortfalls and we're gaining opportunity to complete our annual training.”

The cohort included a multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, administrators, dental and bioenvironmental technicians, representing every specialty found in the 125th MDG, said Johnson.

“The hospital provides the necessary environment to procure the inpatient hours they need. We don't have a hospital at the fighter wing” he said. “We're actually seeing sick people, doing PHAs and physical stuff. We are able to see a task or skill here that we wouldn't be able to see otherwise. This environment is pretty unique and we don't have an opportunity to train in this environment very often.”

In addition to satisfying sorely needed inpatient clinical hours and upgrade training, the mission allowed for Airmen to build relationships with Georgia Guardsmen working in similar disciplinaries, he said. In fact, both groups were recognized as top-performing teams landing in the top 17 ANG medical units in the country.

One of those Airmen, Staff Sgt. Reanna Rodriguez, 125th MDG aerospace medical technician, echoed how tremendously beneficial the hospital setting is for treating patients who need immediate medical care.

“During drill weekends we primarily just do clinical work,” said Rodriguez. “Unless you work in the hospital as a civilian, you don't really get to see a lot of the stuff that you get to see here in the hospital setting.”

The training allows all Airmen, even those who work in civilian hospital settings, the chance to work in a military facility, exposing them to a broader scope of practice, she said.

Airmen also learn modern practices and advanced procedures for medical treatment, said Johnson.

“It’s nice to be exposed to a high functioning military treatment facility that has really up-to-date state-of-the-art equipment,” he said. “They’ve at least seen it if they have to deploy downrange and you send them this equipment.”

He added, “The clinical experience for most of these folks is going to be great. They wouldn’t have been exposed to this otherwise and most of the nurses were able to help train to a higher level that we're not able to do at home. Being able to mix a great environment with a great training opportunity has been awesome. It’s really kept people motivated and kind of kept our eyes on the target.”