Love for anything medical

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Derek Seifert
  • 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs
A bed centered in an operating room waits to be filled by a patient as bustling feet covered by protective gear move hurriedly around it. A large wooden door leading to the room swings open revealing a U.S. Airman responsible for ensuring the room is ready for the forthcoming surgery.

Airman 1st Class Gustavo Lombana, a surgical technician with the 633rd Surgical Operations Squadron, makes his way to a cabinet filled with scrubs and receives a list of required equipment for the procedure.

According to Lombana, surgical technicians are vital assets for doctors and nurses in preventing infections and preserving patient safety.

A surgical technician's main responsibility in an operating room is to ensure all surfaces are sterile so contaminations cannot be transferred to the patient during a procedure. Technicians are also responsible for providing the surgeon with necessary equipment while maintaining instrument accountability and discarding all used tools.

For Lombana, the duties of a surgical technician don't stop at the end of each surgery; it isn't just a job, it's a lifestyle.

"The patient's life depends on my lifestyle. If I'm not healthy then I can compromise the safety of the patient," he explained. "I don't allow that to be an option by obtaining enough sleep, having a good diet and exercising regularly."

Lombana's dedication to health and the medical field was inspired by a life-changing experience during a church camping trip when he was 14 years old.

"We were playing volleyball and the ball ended up down in the lake," said Lombana. "I had gone after the ball, but I couldn't swim and I started to drown. I didn't see anyone coming to help and I thought, 'this is it, I'm dying.'"

At that moment, Lombana's love for the medical career field ignited and he decided to help others who may feel as helpless as he did.

"From that point on I wanted to grow within the medical field," he said. "I went through [Emergency Medical Technician] school, paramedic school and then joined the military."

According to his supervisor, Staff Sgt. Ryan Donaldson, a surgical service technician assigned to the 633rd SGOS, Lombana has shown great motivation and determination to be trained in all aspects of his job in order to accomplish the mission at home and for future deployments.

"He's definitely an overachiever," said Donaldson. "His normal standard is somebody exceeding the standards. He really makes what he does look easy."

The assistance provided by Lombana and other Air Force surgical technicians carry on while deployed.

"Anywhere you go there will be a hospital with sick patients," said Lombana. "In times of war, there will always be wounded warriors, and doctors will need surgical technicians helping to do whatever it takes to save a Service member's life."