Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Air Force updates medical courses with COVID-19 content, procedures

Image of Two lab technicians wearing full PPE handling vials for testing. Click to open a larger version of the image. Staff Sgt. Alexis Shodeke (left) and Renee Mayhon, both medical laboratory :technicians in the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine’s Epidemiology Laboratory, prepare to load new samples in June 2020 onto the Roche 8800 for COVID polymerise chain reaction testing. The Epi Lab is the sole clinical reference lab in the Air Force, and USAFSAM is part of AFRL’s 711th Human Performance Wing headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. (U.S. Air Force photo by Richard Eldridge)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Health Readiness | Combat Support

Air Force medical instructors and trainers are improving curriculum and adapting procedures to account for COVID-19 operations.

COVID-19 has shed new light on the methods of conducting medical training and education. The U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, in the Air Force Research Laboratory’s 711th Human Performance Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, conducts mission-essential courses while also delivering a medical force able to accomplish every assigned mission.

“This pandemic has pushed medical readiness to the forefront,” said Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Jason Herndon, School of Aerospace Medicine Office of the Dean Superintendent. “USAFSAM continues to innovate to improve our medical capabilities at home and on the battlefield.”

Training programs across the School of Aerospace Medicine are advancing their infectious disease and control training by incorporating lessons learned from the ongoing COVID-19 response, specifically in training Airmen to care for patients during aeromedical evacuations using the Negatively Pressurized Conex.

“We are bringing experiences from those who have been part of the COVID-19 response to inform and improve our training in infectious disease response,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Elizabeth Schnaubelt, Center for Sustainment of Trauma Readiness Skills, Omaha, Nebraska. “Tech Sergeant Victor Kipping-Cordoba, C-STARS Omaha public health non-commissioned officer in charge, and I have both been involved in training Airmen on the Negatively Pressurized Conex, equipping our medical Airmen with the skills needed to safely move and care for patients with COVID-19. We are also developing a separate course on high-level disease containment transport.”

The School of Aerospace Medicine’s C-STARS Omaha program, which focuses on training infectious disease medics on highly hazardous communicable diseases, is also using their COVID-19 patient care experience in upcoming courses.

“Our biocontainment care course, for example, has largely been focused on Ebola and other highly pathogenic respiratory viruses,” explains Schnaubelt. “Because of our partnership with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, we have been involved with their COVID-19 response, providing care to patients in our biocontainment and COVID-19 units. This experience will further enhance our curriculum.”

The C-STARS Omaha team has been involved in COVID-19 response since before it was categorized as a pandemic. They helped in the repatriation efforts of U.S. citizens arriving from China and the evacuation of citizens from a cruise ship.

“Being involved early in the planning, execution and care of COVID-19 patients has advanced our efforts in our current training and will continue to inform future training,” said Schnaubelt.

Additionally, COVID-19 has impacted how courses are taught to minimize risk of COVID-19 while also ensuring medical Airmen receive the necessary training to be fully qualified. USAFSAM’s entire course list was reviewed to determine which courses could be moved online.

“COVID-19 has changed the way we can operate with more classes moving online,” said Herndon. “We have reduced the number of in-person courses offered, and courses, like USAFSAM’s basic instructor course, are being offered online to keep Airmen safe.”

For courses that still have to meet in person, the School of Aerospace Medicine’s team has gone to extraordinary means to ensure the safety of both their staff and students. In addition to adapting to federal and state guidance, they have implemented strict physical distancing measures in the classrooms, ensured the wearing of face coverings, and enforced wellness checks.

“There are some courses, like our Flight Nurse and Aeromedical Evacuation Technician course, as well as our Critical Care Air Transport Team course, that do not work as an online course,” explained Elizabeth Miller, School of Aerospace Medicine En Route Care Training Department deputy director. “To keep Airmen in these courses safe, they are required to wear personal protective equipment, like masks, eyewear and gloves, when they are taking part in those simulations.”

As Herndon explains, COVID-19 has pushed instructors and trainers to be more innovative.

“The ongoing pandemic has forced us to change our line of thinking and how we prepare our medics,” said Herndon. “Before COVID-19, Air Force Lt. Gen. Dorothy Hogg, Air Force Surgeon General, would say that we should think as if the box never existed, versus thinking outside the box. I believe that has never been truer than now as we train our medical force for this new normal. USAFSAM remains committed in their effort to continue its education mission despite a global pandemic.”

You also may be interested in...

Ambulatory Visits, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2017

Infographic
5/23/2018
Ambulatory Visits, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2017

ACTIVE COMPONENT, U.S. ARMED FORCES, 2017 This report documents the frequencies, rates, trends, and characteristics of ambulatory healthcare visits of active component members of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Morbidity Burdens Attributable to Various Illnesses and Injuries

Infographic
5/23/2018
Morbidity Burdens Attributable to Various Illnesses and Injuries

Morbidity Burdens Attributable to Various Illnesses and Injuries, Deployed Active and Reserve Component Service Member, U.S. Armed Forces, 2017

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Morbidity Burdens Attributable to Various Illnesses and Injuries, Deployed Active and Reserve Component Service Member, U.S. Armed Forces, 2017

Infographic
5/23/2018
Morbidity Burdens Attributable to Various Illnesses and Injuries, Deployed Active and Reserve Component Service Member, U.S. Armed Forces, 2017

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Absolute and Relative Morbidity Burdens, Attributable to Various Illnesses and Injuries, 2017

Infographic
5/23/2018
Absolute and Relative Morbidity Burdens, Attributable to Various Illnesses and Injuries, 2017

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Hospitalizations, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2017

Infographic
5/23/2018
Hospitalizations, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2017

This report documents the frequencies, rates, trends, and distributions of hospitalizations of active component members of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps during calendar year 2017.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Heat Illness

Infographic
4/13/2018
Heat Illness

There were a total of 2,163 incident cases of heat illness among active component service members, including 464 cases of heat stroke and 1,699 cases of heat exhaustion.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Hyponatremia

Infographic
4/13/2018
Hyponatremia

Exertional, or exercise-associated, hyponatremia refers to a low serum, plasma, or blood sodium concentration (below 135 milliequivalents/liter) that develops during or up to 24 hours following prolonged physical activity.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Rhabdomyolysis

Infographic
4/13/2018
Rhabdomyolysis

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Cardiovascular Diseases

Infographic
4/4/2018
Cardiovascular Diseases

At the time of entry into military service, many members of the U.S. Armed Forces are young, physically active, and in good physical health. However, following entry, many service members develop or are discovered to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). This report documents the incidence and prevalence of select risk factors for CVD among active component (AC) service members and provides estimates of the incidence rates of major categories of cardiovascular diseases themselves.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Mental Health Problems

Infographic
4/4/2018
Mental Health Problems

This report summarizes the numbers, natures, and rates of incident mental health disorder diagnoses as well as mental health problems among active component U.S. service members during 2007–2016.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Surveillance for Vector-Borne Diseases, Active and Reserve Component Service Members, U.S. Armed Forces, 2010 – 2016

Infographic
2/14/2018
Surveillance for Vector-Borne Diseases, Active and Reserve Component Service Members, U.S. Armed Forces, 2010 – 2016

This infographic summarizes available health records information about the occurrence of vector-borne infectious diseases among members of the U.S. Armed Forces, during a recent 7-year surveillance period (2010 – 2016).

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Preventing Mosquito-Borne Illnesses | Chikungunya | Malaria | Zika Virus | Bug-Borne Illnesses

Malaria U.S. Armed Forces, 2017

Infographic
2/14/2018
Malaria U.S. Armed Forces, 2017

This update for 2017 describes the epidemiologic patterns of malaria incidence in active and reserve component service members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Bug-Borne Illnesses

Outbreak of Influenza and Rhinovirus co-circulation among unvaccinated recruits, U.S. Coast Guard Training Center Cape May, NJ, 24 July – 21 August 2016

Infographic
2/5/2018
Outbreak of Influenza and Rhinovirus co-circulation among unvaccinated recruits, U.S. Coast Guard Training Center Cape May, NJ, 24 July – 21 August 2016

This report characterizes the outbreak and containment measures implemented at the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center Cape May (TCCM), New Jersey, during a July 24 – August 21, 2016 outbreak period.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Integrated Biosurveillance | Influenza Summary and Reports

Department of Defense Global, Laboratory-based Influenza Surveillance Program’s Influenza vaccine effectiveness estimates and surveillance trends, 2016 – 2017 Influenza Season

Infographic
2/5/2018
Department of Defense Global, Laboratory-based Influenza Surveillance Program’s Influenza vaccine effectiveness estimates and surveillance trends, 2016 – 2017 Influenza Season

This infographic documents the annual surveillance trends for the 2016 – 2017 influenza season and the end-of-season vaccine effectiveness.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Influenza Summary and Reports | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Force Health Protection

Insomnia and motor vehicle accident-related injuries, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2007 – 2016

Infographic
1/25/2018
 Insomnia and motor vehicle accident-related injuries, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2007 – 2016

To examine the relationship between insomnia and motor vehicle accident-related injuries (MVAs) in the U.S. military, this retrospective cohort study compared 2007 – 2016 incidence rates of MVA-related injuries between service members with diagnosed insomnia and service members without a diagnosis of insomnia.

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division | Health Readiness | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 61 - 75 Page 5 of 6

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.