VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – A Vance allergies immunization technician from the 71st Medical Operations Squadron trained in the St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center emergency room in Enid, Oklahoma, recently.
Senior Airman Dylan Preister received on-the-job training in St. Mary’s from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1 as part of a partnership program between Vance and the medical center.
The emergency room is named that for a reason, said Preister. His training opportunities were diverse and immediate.
The Vance Airman inserted IVs on a daily basis, performed CPR, stitched together a number of wounds and performed many other tasks common to an emergency room but rare at the Vance Clinic.
At one point, a patient came in with a gnarly dog bite that had to be sutured up, said Preister.
This was just one of many situations he had never seen before at the Vance Clinic, and is why the partnership with St. Mary’s is so valuable for Airmen at the 71st Medical Group, he said.
The main difference between a clinic and an ER is the life-threatening nature of an injury. If it is life threatening, you go to an emergency room. If not, you can go to a clinic.
Because Vance does not have an ER, the St. Mary’s partnership allows Airmen here to gain experience with an emergency environment and the opportunity to work with members of the local medical community.
“This has been beneficial for me to treat a wide variety of patients,” said Preister. “I will be able to use this training anywhere I go in the medical field.”
The partnership program helps everyone who is involved, said Valerie Whisler, the director of the emergency services at St. Mary’s. By working hand-and-hand, the staff gained a better understanding of how professional Vance Airmen are, and in the event of a community emergency, St. Mary’s and Vance will be able work together to solve any problem, said Whisler.