Nurses, Medical Technicians Week: Inspire, Innovate, and Influence Published May 9, 2018 By Col. Lester Loreto 55th Medical Group OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. -- The nurses and medical technicians of the Fighting Fifty-Fifth’s, Ehrling Bergquist Clinic are celebrating Nurses and Medical Technician Week May 7-11, 2018 at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. This year’s theme, as declared by the American Nurses’ Association, is Inspire, Innovate, and Influence. The annual observance dates back to 1954, when National Nurse Week marked the 100th anniversary of the mission to Crimea undertaken by the founder of professional nursing, Florence Nightingale. However, it was not officially recognized by the United States 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. The Air Force Medical Service has adapted the total nursing force concept that incorporates the Nurse Corps and Aerospace Medical Technician career fields as one team in providing world-class trusted care. As a total nursing force, they are committed to providing safe care every day, everywhere. The nursing team at Ehrling Bergquist is 120-members strong including our active duty registered nurses and medical technicians, civilian registered nurses and licensed practical/vocational nurses. Col. Lester Loreto, 55th Medical Group chief of nursing operations and Senior Master Sgt. Richelle Baker, 55th MDG 4N functional manager for the medical technicians, will host the celebrations with a burger burn and ice cream bar for the total nursing force staff, with the help of volunteers. “The week long observance honors the contributions of registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, licensed practical nurses and medical technicians,” said Loreto. “These highly skilled professionals who possess critical-thinking, problem-solving and care-coordination skills ensure effective and safe care. We are proud of them and they have our leadership’s full support” The nursing and medical technicians at the 55th MDG cover a wide range of specialties encompassing the majority of Team Offutt’s medical needs aiding in the completion of the 55th Wing’s mission to provide global information and electronic warfare dominance at any time in any place All enlisted medics are required to be Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technicians. “This allows us to not only work in multiple clinics in accordance with our scope of practice, but also maintains our competence to support our ambulance services capabilities, and be ready to go into combat operations whenever and where ever we are needed,” Baker said. “Without healthy pilots or maintenance personnel, we would not be able to keep the planes in the air.” The total nursing force at the 55th MDG work together as one team in delivering patient-centered medical care with focus on quality healthcare and patient safety. With pursuit of innovation, they inspire and influence a culture of trusted care within the 55th MDG.