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

Eielson nurse says technology, readiness integral to military nursing

Image of Military health personnel checking the ears of a patient. Air Force 1st Lt. Katelyn Schoneweis, a clinical nurse at Eielson Medical Clinic at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, checks on Air Force Staff Sgt. Ibrahim Kumenda. Schoneweis says “the cool thing about this clinic – with it being so small, we see a little bit of everything, from newborn babies to retirees.” (Photo by: Courtesy Air Force 1st Lt. Katelyn Schoneweis).

Recommended Content:

Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | Nursing in the Military Health System

Air Force nurses serve in diverse positions at military medical treatment facilities throughout the country and around the world. They could be stationed anywhere from a large, multi-service hospital like Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, or at a small family clinic like Eielson Medical Clinic at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.

As a family health clinic nurse, Air Force 1st Lt. Katelyn Schoneweis, a clinical nurse at Eielson, part of the 354th Healthcare Operations Squadron, explained how most of her focus is on dependents and retirees, but she also functions as a pediatric nurse due to the clinic's small size.

"My main focus is on the family health side, family members of active-duty and a lot of kids," said Schoneweis. "But with our clinic being so small, we help each other out often. So, I do see a good number of active-duty patients as well."

She added that being at an installation like Eielson allows her to see a wider array of patients than she might see at a larger facility, and that it's a good place to learn.

"That's kind of the cool thing about this clinic – with it being so small, we see a little bit of everything, from newborn babies to retirees," said Schoneweis. "It's good place to be for a newer nurse like me."

Schoneweis' only other duty station was Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, where she worked in the inpatient medical/surgical unit for two years.

"This is a whole different realm in every aspect – moving from Las Vegas to Fairbanks, Alaska, my job, the environment. Everything here is completely different," she said.

In general, nursing provides the opportunity to branch out into areas that you may not have considered upon embarking on a career in medicine, she noted.

"Being a nurse, you can do so much in so many different positions, especially in the military because you're constantly moving," said Schoneweis. "It's been a great experience for me so far."

She compares her current position and her last one is to a civilian nurse going from working at a large hospital to a small family practice.

"I would think we do things pretty much the same, except that we're dealing with the military and dependents," she said.

The difference, she noted, is that service members, both patients and providers, are constantly moving, but that MHS GENESIS, the Military Health System's new, electronic health record, has helped immensely with the tracking of patients' medical histories.

"It's kind of a constant battle and one of the challenges we face in military health care. You don't have a set primary care provider. You have a provider for maybe three or four years and then start over somewhere else," said Schoneweis. "That's why we're so thankful for MHS GENESIS. It helps us keep much better track of our patients' medical history, past bases they've been at and gives us the ability to see their up-to-date health records."

Military health personnel wearing a face mask checking the blood pressure of a patient
Air Force 1st Lt. Katelyn Schoneweis (right) checks the blood pressure of Air Force Senior Airman Neil Cariaga. Before working at Eielson Medical Clinic at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Schoneweis, a clinical nurse, was at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada for two years (Photo by: Courtesy Air Force 1st Lt. Katelyn Schoneweis).

"It's been a huge help," she said. "It's fairly new to us. We just went through the transition in October, but so far, we're really liking the benefits."

Although it's still early in her career, Schoneweis said she's already been exposed to the benefits of working partnerships between departments and service branches, including sharing patients and specialty care with Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals when she was at Nellis, and now with Bassett Army Community Hospital at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska.

"They're a decent sized full-service hospital, so we end up interacting with them quite a bit," she said of Bassett "We use them as much as we can for hospitalizations as well as obstetrics care. We take care of our pregnant patients up until about 34 weeks and then we transition care over to Bassett because that's where they're going to end up giving birth."

She said the ability to care for their patients up to a certain point provides base residents the ease and convenience of being able to visit the clinic on base, where most of them live, and forego the 30-minute drive between Eielson and Wainwright until the final part of their pregnancy.

"It's good to have that connection and shared responsibility with the Army," she said.

Conversely, she said, a patient from Eielson who requires emergency room care would first go to Bassett and then be seen for any follow-up appointments back at Eielson.

"(MHS) GENESIS has helped immensely in this regard too because we can almost immediately see all of their emergency room records and we're not guessing what was done or constantly requesting records," said Schoneweis.

As with any service member, part of her work also entails maintaining readiness to be deployed. She said this has been accelerated by the arrival of F-35A Lightning IIs from the 356th Fighter Squadron to Eielson, which began arriving earlier this year. Schoneweis' husband is an F-35 pilot.

"The F-35s coming here turned Eielson into an operational base and our wing commander has been huge on readiness, not just for F-35 pilots, but the entire base," "We're always getting ready to go, when we need to go," said Schoneweis. "They've put the mindset on every squadron, including medical."

This includes a unique set of requirements for the clinic.

"For medical, that means making sure our airmen are always ready to deploy, staying up on immunizations, dental – making sure our personnel are good to go," she said.

A more operational mindset, she said, was facilitated not only by the arrival of the F-35 squadrons, but also by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I think the pandemic kind of sparked that, probably for a lot of bases and people across the country, and we realized that maybe we weren't as prepared as we thought we were for something like this," said Schoneweis. "Now we know we need to be ready for anything that could happen."

In her eyes, constant training for real-life scenarios is the only way to prepare.

"Up here in interior Alaska, we're pretty isolated. We need to be able to take care of as many patients as we can to the greatest degree we can," she said. "COVID showed us that we can't wait for something to happen before we start training for it. If I'm getting deployed, I need to be flexible, ready and well-trained."

You also may be interested in...

Eglin Hospital transitions to new health records system

Article Around MHS
9/23/2022
MHS GENESIS

The 96th Medical Group goes live with the Defense Health Agency's new health record system here Sept. 24.

Recommended Content:

Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | MHS GENESIS

Columbus AFB upgrades to MHS GENESIS

Article Around MHS
9/21/2022
MHS GENESIS

The 14th Flying Training Wing will join nine other military installations scheduled for the launch of the new Military Health System (MHS) GENESIS and electronic health record, beginning in September 2022.

Recommended Content:

Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS

MHS GENESIS is Coming to Keesler

Article Around MHS
9/14/2022
Information card displayed at Keesler Air Force Base

Keesler will transition to the Military Health System’s new electronic health record system, MHS GENESIS, on Sept. 24.

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS Toolkit | Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | MHS GENESIS

Technology and Medicine: The Digital Age of Health Care

Article
8/26/2022
Photo of an afternoon panel of four people

Technology is transforming health care and incorporating new elements for providers in their practices.

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | Health Care Technology | Defense Health Information Technology Symposium

Maxwell Clinic Transitioning to the MHS GENESIS System Sept. 24

Article Around MHS
7/26/2022
MHS Genesis infographic

The 42nd Medical Group will begin transitioning to MHS GENESIS Sept. 24 patients can expect to see an increase in wait times and a reduction in available appointments for approximately 120 days as healthcare teams adapt their office and clinic practices to new, standardized workflows.

Recommended Content:

Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | MHS GENESIS

MHS Virtual Education Center Empowers Patients to Improve Outcomes

Article
7/14/2022
Army Col. (Dr.) Maria Molina provides insight on the latest MHS digital resource for patients.

The Defense Health Agency is developing the Virtual Education Center: A web-based library and communications platform that enables providers and patients to access, store, and use vetted MHS education resources more easily than ever before.

Recommended Content:

Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | Ready Reliable Care | Health Care Technology | MHS GENESIS

MHS GENESIS Live at WBAMC

Article Around MHS
7/7/2022
Military personnel at ribbon cutting ceremony

The Military Health System's new electronic health record, MHS GENESIS, was introduced on June 11 at William Beaumont Army Medical Center and El Paso Market.

Recommended Content:

Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | MHS GENESIS

How MHS GENESIS will become essential to patients' health journey

Article
6/21/2022
Dr. Robert Marshall, program director of the Department of Defense Clinical Informatics Fellowship at Madigan Army Medical Center.

Ensuring proper training of both providers and patients is essential for the successful integration and sustainment of MHS GENESIS into MHS care.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Health Care Technology | MHS GENESIS Toolkit | Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | MHS GENESIS

Patients at Naval Branch Health Clinic Albany can take steps now to prepare for MHS GENESIS ‘Go Live’

Article Around MHS
5/17/2022
MHS GENESIS log on

Naval Branch Health Clinic (NBHC) Albany will transition to the Military Health System’s new electronic health record, MHS GENESIS, on June 11

Recommended Content:

Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | MHS GENESIS

Future of Nursing: Telehealth, More Innovation and Maybe Some Robots

Article
5/13/2022
Second Lt. Nina Hoskins, 81st Surgical Operations Squadron operating room nurse, briefs Col. Debra Lovette, 81st Training Wing commander, and other base leadership on robotics surgery capabilities inside the robotics surgery clinic at the Keesler Medical Center June 16, 2017. (Photo: Kemberly Groue, U.S. Air Force)

The future of nursing is here due in part to changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Nursing in the Military Health System | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Army Public Health Nurse offers thank you to nurses across Army: Reminder of where we came from

Article Around MHS
5/9/2022
Military personnel on infographic

U.S. Army Public Health Center thanks all Army Public Health Nurses for the hard work and dedication you show to the communities you serve every day. 

Recommended Content:

Nursing in the Military Health System

How One Military Nurse Persevered Through the COVID-19 Response

Article
5/5/2022
Air Force Capt. Courtney Ebeling, a medical-surgical nurse at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Family Health Clinic, Texas, was deployed to support the COVID-19 response in Afghanistan in 2021. They administered vaccinations to U.S. citizens, service members, and foreign military members as well as supported the preparation to withdraw from the country. (Photo: Courtesy of Air Force Capt. Courtney Ebeling)

Nurses across the Military Health System have played a vital role in providing routine patient care and meeting the needs of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Nursing in the Military Health System

‘I Love the Intensity’ – One Nurse Recalls Three COVID-19 Deployments

Article
5/5/2022
In 2020, Air Force 1st Lt. Tiffany Parra, an ICU nurse at the 633rd Medical Group, on Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, was deployed to a North Dakota hospital to support a FEMA COVID-19 mission. In the photo, she trains on equipment used for critical patients in a North Dakota ICU. (Photo: Courtesy of Air Force 1st Lt. Tiffany Parra)

Nurses are unique, they follow a calling to care for others. Military nurses do that as well as serve their nation. For Nurses Week, the MHS highlights some of their own.

Recommended Content:

Nursing in the Military Health System | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Winn ACH prepares to transition to MHS GENESIS

Article Around MHS
5/4/2022
Military Health Personnel in Army hospital

U.S. Army Medical Department Activity Fort Stewart – Hunter Army Airfield healthcare continues to prepare to transition healthcare records to the new Department of Defense system - Military Health System GENESIS.

Recommended Content:

Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | MHS GENESIS

New MHS GENESIS Capabilities Deployed at BAMC and LACKLAND

Article
5/3/2022
Trauma personnel receive an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or ECMO patient into the Emergency Department at Brooke Army Medical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Jan. 24, 2022. MHS GENESIS new functionalities support BAMC’s Level I Trauma Center. (Photo: Corey Toye, Brooke Army Medical Center)

Wave BAMC and Wave LACKLAND simultaneously deployed the new single common federal electronic health record (EHR), which the DOD calls MHS GENESIS. With these Waves, the DOD activated over 11,000 new MHS GENESIS users.

Recommended Content:

Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | Program Executive Office, Defense Healthcare Management Systems | In the Spotlight
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 9
Refine your search
Last Updated: April 25, 2022

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.