April 8, 2020
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My name is captain Elena Arushanyan, and I work as a family nurse practitioner at Randolph Air Force Base.
I’m originally from Russia. My family immigrated to the U.S. in 1995. I’ve
worked as a nurse in several civilian institutions and then I joined the
U.S. Air Force in 2004. I pursued the Air Force because it had more
opportunities for education, plus all the general benefits: health insurance
that covers the entire family was big for me because I already had two
children when I joined, as well as working in various environments. I didn’t
have to be limited just to one town, one clinic, or one hospital, and my superior
officers as well were very much interested in growing a person, and so
they would ensure that all the members were well taken care of
versus just me trying to make it on my own. Life on the Air Force Base… it’s
pretty much like a small town. We have a commissary, we have base exchange, schools
for the children, and the youth center. Since I have two children, I’ve pretty
much used all the services this base has to offer, including the gym, which was
very important to me. I was very excited when I was accepted to the master’s
degree program through the Air Force Institute of Technology to become a
nurse practitioner. During that two-year time frame, I was still receiving full
benefits of being an active duty Air Force member, and all I had to do was pay back
the four years of service of working as a family nurse practitioner which it was
great. I work alongside a physician. We take care of our patients as a team in a
collaborative way. We are assigned about 2,500 patients, and so I see about 18 to
21 patients a day. In between appointments or afterwards I also
address any lab work or x-ray results that I’ve ordered or another provider
needs me to follow up on. I can either continue on the clinical
route and maybe eventually become master clinician, which is basically like
a teaching role, plus you’re still seeing patients, so it’s very much a clinical
route. I can also change it up a little and maybe go more administrative route
as well, as in like a flight commander and then moving on. I am drawn to education
and so the education will never actually end for me I don’t think. I am completely
comfortable with not knowing everything, but you always need to stride towards
trying to know as much as you can. I feel like I’m living my long-term goal.
I have to come up with the next one I guess. Still thinking about it.

Tony wyaad