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The symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can often be debilitating, significantly affecting a patient’s quality of life. Air Force mental health professionals have successfully treated many Airmen with the use of prolonged exposure therapy. Through this collaborative therapy, the patient is safely and gradually exposed to trauma-related memories and situations that have been avoided. The eventual goal is to alter the patient’s relationship with and reaction to the traumatic event so it no longer affects their quality of life and ability to do their job. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Josh Mahler) A peek behind the curtain: Prolonged exposure therapy for PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder can be debilitating, but there are therapies that can reduce symptoms, improve quality of life, and help Airmen return to duty. One of the most effective therapies, practiced by many Air Force mental health professionals, is prolonged exposure therapy.
0 7/03
2018
Maj. Shane Runyon (right), Baltimore’s Center for the Sustainment of Trauma and Readiness Skills (C-STARS) program deputy director, and Master Sgt. Sean Patterson, a respiratory therapist and superintendent of C-STARS Baltimore, set up for patient arrival at the Trauma Resuscitation Unit (TRU) at the University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, June 13, 2018. The U.S. Air Force’s C-STARS Baltimore program partners with the R Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center to ensure medical Airmen train on the latest trauma care techniques. These techniques prepare medical Airmen to treat trauma patients in a deployed setting. (Courtesy photo) Baltimore C-STARS partnership prepares Airmen for battlefield medicine
Civilian partnerships are a vital readiness resource for the Air Force Medical Service, refreshing medics on trauma skills and taking lessons learned to deliver life-saving trauma care downrange. The Center for the Sustainment of Trauma and Readiness Skills program in Baltimore, Maryland, prepares medical Airmen for deployment through immersive training at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center.
0 7/03
2018
Air chiefs from across the Americas convene in Panama City to promote cooperation Air chiefs from across the Americas convene in Panama City to promote cooperation
Air force leaders from 19 nations in the Western Hemisphere met in Panama City June 18-22 for the 58th Conference of American Air Chiefs. Much of the value of CONJEFAMER comes from the relationships built among air chiefs that makes cooperation easier when a rapid response is needed. This year, the council voted to move Jamaica from an observing nation to a voting member, making them the 21st member nation of SICOFAA and further cementing the organization’s presence in the Caribbean.
0 6/26
2018
Many Airman are unaware what the initial meeting with a mental health provider looks like when they seek PTSD treatment. The goal of the first meeting is to make the patient feel comfortable and to be as transparent as possible about what is going on and what treatment options the patient has. As a result, the patient and mental health provider will more likely have a collaborative and trusting interaction, making PTSD treatment more successful. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Josh Mahler) A peek behind the curtain: The first step of PTSD care
Perhaps the most difficult part of seeking help for post-traumatic stress disorder is making that first appointment, since Airmen are often unsure of what to expect. Not knowing what to expect from mental health providers can get in the way of effective PTSD treatment.
0 6/26
2018
Those that suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are consistently trying to regain some sense of the normalcy they had before events that caused pieces of themselves to go missing. Misconceptions and stigmas surrounding PTSD get in the way of successful recovery and the ability to return to duty. (U.S. Air Force illustration by Master Sgt. William Vance) A peak behind the curtain: PTSD barriers and stigmas
Effective treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder is possible, but many Airmen falsely think seeking medical help for PTSD will hurt their career and will not help them get better. These stigmas and misconceptions create perceived barriers, preventing Airmen from seeking care. Delaying treatment can cause the anxiety and fear following a traumatic event to affect an Airman’s readiness.
0 6/20
2018
Joint terminal attack controllers brief 391st Fighter Squadron F-15E Strike Eagle pilots during Green Flag West, June 12, 2018, at the National Training Center, Ft. Irwin, California. The NTC replicates the tough, realistic operational environment that America’s war fighters face in combat. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno) Green Flag West: a day in the desert
On June 12, 2018, I woke up at 01:45, donned my Air Force uniform and headed for the hotel lobby in Las Vegas, Nevada.
0 6/17
2018
Publio Gonzalez, a biologist with the Gorgas Institute, holds a bat in Meteti, Panama, June 6, 2018. Gonzalez and U.S. military doctors were participating in an Emerging Infectious Diseases Training Event, in which they received informational lectures from Panamanian infectious disease experts and field studies of possible virus-carrying wildlife and insects. The event took place during Exercise New Horizons 2018, which is a joint training exercise where U.S. military members conduct training in civil engineer, medical, and support services while benefiting the local community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dustin Mullen) Emerging infectious disease training event bolsters medical readiness
A team of U.S. military doctors, public health specialists and members of various other career fields participated in a week-long Emerging Infectious Diseases Training Event June 4-8 in the Air Force Southern AOR. The event, aimed at enhancing attendee cultural competencies and professional knowledge, consisted of briefings, lectures, and a day of field study.
0 6/11
2018
Capt. Daniel Gibson, 92nd Medical Operation Squadron psychologist, goes over the Nexxus Biotrace with Staff Sgt. Donald Durst, 92nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron aerospace medical technician, May 4, 2018 at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. The program allows patients to see how their body is responding to both physical and mental stress. The patient is able to visualize what his or her body is doing under stress and see how it differs when in a relaxed state. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samantha Krolikowski) A day in the life: Mental health supports Airmen, readiness
As with any Air Force healthcare provider, Capt. Daniel Gibson, a clinical psychologist with the 92nd medical group, Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, relies on a collaborative, patient-centered approach to care.The mental health clinic at Fairchild Air Force Base uses a collaborative approach to ensure the best patient care.
0 5/16
2018
U.S. Air Force Special Operations Surgical Teams practice integrated operations during a Special Tactics exercise, Hurlburt Field, Fla., Oct. 16, 2015. Air Force Medicine is adapting the SOST model for battlefield care, to provide additional support for future combat operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Callaway) Ready today, ready tomorrow - Air Force prepares for the future of medical readiness
The future of warfare is uncertain, and tomorrow’s conflicts may not look like today’s. To prepare for this uncertainty, the Air Force is assessing how it prepares its medical forces to support the warfighter.
0 4/23
2018
Lt. Col. Brandi Ritter and Lt. Col. Lewis Wilber, the Chief and Deputy Chief, Air Force Medical Evaluation Support Activity, examine the lights above a surgical table at the AMESA test facility at Ft. Detrick, Md. on Feb. 15, 2018. AFMESA investigated whether new, light-emitting diode (LED) lights could replace traditional surgical lights for use in deployed environments, but found that under the LEDs, surgeons could not determine if a patient’s flesh was necrotic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Shireen Bedi) Air Force lab puts medical devices through their paces
“We break stuff,” said Lt. Col. Brandi Ritter, chief of the Air Force Medical Evaluation Support Activity, showing off the facility where her unit tests the devices medical Airmen use to complete their mission.
0 4/09
2018
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