Nurse Practitioner Air Force Reserve – KODIAK, ALASKA- The island of Guam is far from the environment of Kodiak Island, Alaska. However, for one Air Force Reserve nurse, the change in environment did not stop her from providing specialized medical care to island residents during ARCTIC CARE 2017. care that could save her life.
On the third day of treatment, Capt. Anna Cruz, 624th Aerospace Medicine Flight, Andersen AFB, Guam, was performing an annual physical examination when a patient told her she was having chest pains at work.
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“During my investigation, I found that he had a complaint that could indicate a serious condition, and it should be re-evaluated,” Cruz said.
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Realizing this, the captain immediately sent the patient to the emergency room on Kodiak Island to have more tests done to determine the condition of his heart.
“I was told that they had some serious problems with his heart and that he had to be medically discharged from the island because of the emergency in Anchorage,” Cruz said. “I’m glad we caught that because it was an old disease, and he could have had a serious heart condition. It wasn’t a very good outcome.”
For Captain Cruz, it is an honor to be able to provide medical services on the island, and it is a great value to teach him.
“This is a great training experience. This is my first time participating in an innovative training (IRT),” Cruz said. “This gives me the opportunity to see how I perform in a structured environment.”
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According to Cruz, during a project, the medical equipment and medical facilities provided in a well-equipped hospital are not easy.
“It teaches us how to think outside the box, use tools we don’t use, and collaborate with other services,” Cruz said. “We will see things that we don’t know, which will push us out of our comfort zone, so we can learn new things.”
ARCTIC CARE 2017 is part of the IRT program, which is an Office of the Secretary of Defense supported civil-military partnership aimed at building diverse relationships between US communities and the DoD. ARCTIC CARE 2017 provides training opportunities for US military (Active, Guard, Reserve) and Canadian health service members to prepare for global deployment while supporting the needs of underserved communities on Kodiak Island , Alaska.
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