TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - While virtually no one looks forward to a hospital visit, Senior Airman Vincent Floyd, 60th Surgical Operations Squadron Orthopedics Flight medical administration specialist, does his best to change that mindset one patient at a time.
People who walk up to Floyd’s desk for their appointment have often experienced traumatic injuries to their skeletal system, like broken collar bones, legs, elbows, you name it. Their suffering is severe and sometimes chronic, so Floyd knows he needs to do more than ask questions and annotate answers. He needs to help ease their anxiety and pain.
With a broad smile, attention to detail and caring manner, he sets the pace for a positive experience for even the most feared doctor’s appointments.
“Being in patient admin, we don’t do much physical care of patients, but when people first walk up to me, I’m the face of the clinic, and I want to put a smile on their face, even make them laugh,” said Floyd. “It helps put them at ease before they go back to the doctors and technicians.”
Every year the clinic cares for thousands of active duty, reserve, retired and family member patients, performing hundreds of surgeries. Before hands-on care like hip, elbow and knee surgery begins, Floyd and his co-workers are the first step in the journey to healing.
His supervisor, Staff Sgt. Paul Cummings, 60th SGCS orthopedic technician and acting non-commissioned officer in charge, says Floyd is an important part of the care patients receive.
“For the most part, he bridges the gap between the patients, doctors and technicians. He makes sure everything flows well,” said Cummings.
It is obvious Floyd is great with people, but Cummings says his level of knowledge is exceptional.
“He tries to maintain a level you would expect of someone who is two ranks higher. It’s really impressive.”
With a family tradition of military service, Floyd appears to be a natural Airman. His father retired from the Air Force after serving 20 years as an avionics electronics technician, and his grandfather and uncles served in the Chinese and Taiwanese militaries, respectively.
“It felt like I was entering the family business,” said Floyd.
Whatever his natural calling may be, he is making the most of his opportunities in the Air Force. Medical administration specialists have a lot of competition when they compete against their peers at David Grant USAF Medical Center, but Floyd hit the ground running when he arrived at orthopedics eighteen months ago.
“I don’t believe I have the toughest job at DGMC, nothing like a surgical tech or Airmen in the lab, but I make sure I’m as diligent and committed as anyone else.”
Floyd credits Cummings and the orthopedics staff for his professional growth, saying he’s treated as a fellow Airman, not an Airman of a lower tier.
“They made a conscious effort to groom me and prepare me to be a staff sergeant, so while I’ve learned how to be better at medical admin, perhaps more than anything I’ve become a solid Airman,” Floyd says confidently.
It did not take long for his leaders to recognize his value to patients and the Air Force. Just two months after joining their unit, Floyd was named Airman of the Quarter not only for the 60th Surgical Operations Squadron, but also the 60th Medical Group and the 60th Air Mobility Wing.
As for the future, Floyd is in it for the long haul, hoping to one day be a chief master sergeant so he can have greater influence on nurturing the development of other Airmen.
“Right now I’m just focused on the people I serve, but the Air Force is definitely my calling. I want to make my family proud, but most of all I want to take care of my career field and all my fellow Airmen.”