FALLS CHURCH, Va. --
November 12, 2016 began as another normal day at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan for Senior Airman Nicole Moore. That day was anything but normal. At 0530, a sudden loud explosion, the result of a suicide bombing attack that ripped through the morning air, changed everything for the young medical technician.
Soon after the attack, sirens filled the Bagram medical facility as Moore joined her fellow Airmen in preparing to treat victims of the attack. Amid the chaos of injured patients rushed into the medial facility, Moore felt confident she could rely on her training and the strength of her team to meet the challenge of delivering care under such trying circumstances.
Looking back on the experience, Moore sees how the ongoing commitment to the Air Force Medical Service (AFMS) culture of Trusted Care helped make that possible.
"Since medics are often the first responders to a mass-casualty incident, we deliver care in some pretty stressful and challenging scenarios,” said Moore. “That’s why it’s so critical for us to stay current on our training and preparedness. Attention to detail, innovation, teamwork – all aspects of Trusted Care, and all help us perform our duties to the best of our abilities, whether it’s in clinic in the U.S., or in the aftermath of a suicide bombing in Afghanistan.”
Moore’s ability to respond to the Bagram attack highlights the AFMS commitment to continuously train and maintain a ready medical force. This is important for medical technicians, like Moore, who play a critical role in saving lives, especially when responding to a crisis.
Air Force medical personal have a dual readiness requirement. They need to maintain their skills to deliver care in a typical hospital setting, but have an additional set of skills and training to complete a medical mission while deployed. Whatever the setting, Air Force medics deliver patient-centered Trusted Care.
Moore agrees that the setting does not change the level of quality care each patient receives.
“I think Trusted Care should be the premier responsibility of all medical Airmen,” said Moore. “As medics, doctors, and providers, our patients rely on us to ensure they are getting the best treatment possible, even in a deployed setting and in the aftermath of a disaster.”
Moore’s ability to deliver life-saving care in the chaotic aftermath of the Bagram attack was the result of rigorous and prolonged training. From Expeditionary Medical Support training stateside to mass casualty trainings at Bagram, the Air Force prepared her to respond effectively in any situation.
“My training played a big part in preparing me to deal with critical patients after the attack,” said Moore. “Even though there was a lot going on at once, everyone knew their roles and how to treat the patient in unison. All the practices and scenarios helped us become familiar with the different ways to assist the providers, broaden our medical knowledge, and helped us focus on each patient to get them the necessary care.”
Moore’s training and dedication to patient-centered care was on full display as she helped treat victims after the attack. Working closely with her fellow medics, Moore helped save 12 lives.
“One of the first patients I saw was very unstable and bleeding from multiple areas of her body as a result of the blast,” said Moore. “We rushed her into the emergency room, hooked her up to IVs, got her oxygen, and were able to resuscitate her. We had prepared as a team, so when the emergency was real, we were able to work together to stabilize patients and give them the best possible care.”
Knowing that her training prepares her to save lives builds Moore’s confidence and pride in her work, and motivates her to do better. The AFMS commitment to readiness and patient centered Trusted Care is clearly seen when Airmen like Moore take the extra steps to prepare and send patients home to their families, alive and on the road to recovery.
“In every situation, I think about how I would want my loved ones to receive medical care,” explained Moore. “As a result of my training, I work hard to make patients feel at ease. I want to make sure they are receiving the very best healthcare and that I deliver a good experience.”