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Nurses, medical technicians week 2019: Beyond Hurricane Michael

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Dillon D. Wright
  • 325th Medical Group
The nurses and medical technicians assigned to the 325th Medical Group invite you to learn about the history of their field during National Nurses Week annual observance, May 6-10, 2019.

This year’s Nurses Week theme is “4 Million Reasons to Celebrate.” The observance week launches on National Nurses Day, celebrated on May 6, and culminates on May 10, two days prior to Florence Nightingale’s birthday, who is widely known as the founder of modern nursing.

The annual observance dates back to 1954 when National Nurses Week marked the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s mission to Crimea, but wasn’t officially recognized in the U.S. until President Nixon signed a proclamation 20 years later. In 1993, the American Nurses Association board of directors declared May 6-12 as permanent dates to observe National Nurses Week, as a commemoration to Nightingale whose birthday is May 12.

According to U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Angelique Vann-Patterson, 325th MDG chief nurse, the observance honors the contributions of advanced practice nurses, registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, licensed practical nurses, and medical technicians.

The U.S. Air Force Medical Service has adapted a total nursing force concept that incorporates the U.S. Army Nurse Corps and the Aerospace Medical Technician career fields as one team in providing world-class patient care. The total nursing force concept also includes civilian registered nurses and licensed vocational nurses.

Through the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, which struck Tyndall Air Force Base last October, the 325th MDG personnel have worked together as one team in delivering patient-centered medical care with a focus on quality healthcare and patient safety.

“After the storm, our medical technicians were some of the first people on the ground providing care to those who were here trying to put the base back together,” said Tech. Sgt. Samantha Elliot, 325th Medical Operations Squadron superintendent/4N functional. “Unable to return to the buildings they were accustomed to working out of, they worked out of tents. They used the supplies they had and didn’t always have everything they needed. Some personally lost everything, their homes were in shambles and they chose to put the mission and their fellow Airman before themselves and they did it all with smiles on their faces and positive attitudes. They are resilient and have truly persevered.”

The 325th MDG will kick off the observance week with a breakfast buffet and a comedy show. Medical Group personnel will also conduct daily trivia games, give out prizes, set up a photo booth and conclude the week’s events with a serenity massage session.

The Military Health System kicks off the week with a wreath-laying ceremony from 1-1:30 p.m., May 6, at the American Red Cross Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The ceremony will also be live-streamed via Facebook. To watch the ceremony, visit