'Helping our patients live'

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Alexander Merchak
  • 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – When it comes to healthcare, David Grant USAF Medical Center offers specialized care for a wide variety of patient needs.

The 60th Inpatient Operations Squadron intensive care unit receives patients at a moment’s notice for life saving care.

This past April, Airman 1st Class Sydney Oberg, 60th IPTS critical care technician, exemplified the unit’s values by observing a third-degree heart block in a patient at DGMC, Travis AFB.

“I knew something wasn’t right when I saw the heart rhythm,” said Oberg.

Technicians use telemetry or “tele” to identify life-threatening arrythmias, rhythm changes or irregular rhythm, that indicate something is wrong with a patient’s heart and additional care is needed.

Oberg spotted the life-threatening diagnosis just in time, moments prior to the patient being discharged.

“There was nothing stressful about the situation; it is what we are trained for,” said Oberg. “All of the nurses from the ICU advocate for the patient.”

The Nebraska native called the cardiology team over to look over the printouts and they determined to transfer the patient to the ICU for an immediate pacemaker operation.

“It is definitely a keeping your cool under pressure kind of situation,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Margaret Lockwood, 60th IPTS critical care shift supervisor. “Alarms are nearly almost always going off.”

 According to Lockwood, telemetry is important because it’s their [ICU staff] responsibility to identify irregularities and adjust patient care according to those regularities.

“Airman Oberg is a great Airman and is always striving for above and beyond,” said Lockwood. “She really gets into patient care, and has great consideration for things that will make the unit better and in turn, build strong and resilient families.”

The former civilian ER technician with a call to serve, exclaimed she was elated knowing she would be back in the ICU for life-saving moments like these. 

The best part of the job is having opportunities to positively impact a person’s life and “help patients live,” a mantra of the unit and a belief held by Oberg.

To learn more about DGMC and the units that support it visit the David Grant Medical Center Facebook page.