April 2, 2020
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U.S. Air Force: 1st Lt Shauna Ricci, Nurse

My name is Lieutenant Shauna Ricci. I am
a pediatric inpatient nurse at San Antonio Military Medical Center in San
Antonio, Texas. As an enlisted flyer, I had hit the pinnacle of what I could do
and I had wonderful supervisors who sat down with me and helped me to see the
different paths that were available. I selected and applied for the Airman
Enlisted Commissioning Program to go to school to become a nurse.
You have full pay, full benefits, continue to maintain your time and service but
your job is to go to school. That afforded me the opportunity to remain in
the Air Force and to do what I love to do. I started working as an inpatient
pediatric nurse. What I discovered is that Air Force Nursing is very similar
to civilian nursing except it’s a different atmosphere, it’s a different
environment because you have a bond of being in the Air Force and that changes
the way you interact with one another, it changes your perspective, and it changes
how you do things. These are patients and families that you see on a recurring
basis, these are people that you know their life stories. I would say the most
rewarding thing about my job is really being able to interact with the families
and with the patients. Whenever you see that you make a difference and you can
see how your care and the way that you interact with them, it changes their
perspective, it changes how they view their illness, how they view their
wellness, and knowing that you’re making that kind of a difference is extremely
rewarding because it is a different environment we have a different rapport
with our physicians. Our physicians respect their nurses, they listen to what
we have to say, we sit down, we have collaborative discussions about patient
care. The Air Force has afforded me a unique opportunity to
have many life experiences and through those life experiences I have learned
that I have a passion for children and a passion for prevention and that is why I
have asked to go back to school to become a pediatric nurse practitioner
and because you have the ability to really impact children when they’re
young and really affect the healthcare for future generations.

Tony wyaad