Wartime Competencies for the USAF Nurse: Training for Sustainment


Name: Catherine Sykes

Rank: Maj, USAF

Organization: The Geneva Foundation

Performance Site: 59th Medical Wing, Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX

Year Published: 1999

Abstract Status: Initial


The Air Force Medical Service is challenged to prepare for worldwide deployment in support of military missions. In order to meet the challenge it is essential that nurses be trained so they are able to respond to any contingency. Currently the opportunities for training for the largest group of nurses in the Air Force, the 46N3 Staff Nurse are extremely limited. The purpose of this training grant is to increase readiness of the Air Force 46N3 active duty and reserve nurses using a web-based computer assisted training program and an innovative simulation laboratory. In addition, this program will formally evaluate the sustainment of these skills acquired during this training. The web-based site will provide a method for education on cognitive skills (e.g. knowledge of the steps necessary for placement of an intracranial pressure monitoring).The web-based system will include validated cognitive tests and provide information and a method for testing on these skills 24-hours a day, seven days a week. All the resources the participant needs for the training will be readily available. The second component of the training is an innovative project that through the use of contingency appropriate scenarios and a state-of the art simulation model will provide a realistic representation of the types of casualties expected during various contingencies. The nurses will have the opportunity to train in a realistic environment with the equipment that is available in the contingency facilities. The essential component of this grant will be the systematic evaluation of the sustainment of this training. This formal evaluation will facilitate evidence-based decision by Medical Readiness planners concerning the frequency of training on these critical skills. The education and training staff in this program will use advanced teaching methods to aid the participants in developing critical thinking skills and clinical judgment that will increase medical readiness. The project will also provide the opportunity for training of nurse instructors for the reserves, critical care, and the nurse anesthesia programs. In addition, the validated cognitive tests will be available for dissemination to other Air Force Medical Treatment Facilities.