JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. --
National Nurse and Medical Technician Week is celebrated each May. During this time we like to take the opportunity to spotlight some of the many dedicated 11th Medical Group nurses and medical technicians, who are committed to providing the highest quality medical care with kindness and compassion. Capt. Maria Mckie has been assigned to the 11 MDG Same Day Surgery Clinic as a recovery room nurse for the past year and a half.
Mckie cares for a wide range of patients after an operation to ensure they awake safely from anesthesia. She closely monitors their breathing, vital signs and pain level and is ready to take immediate action it there are any complications. She provides comfort and reassurance for patients when they wake up after surgery and keeps their family members informed about their condition.
Mckie is originally from Mason, Michigan and has been in the Air Force for 21 years. Despite having no prior experience with the military growing up, she always wanted to join the service since the time she was a young girl. She enlisted in the Air Force as a medical technician in 1996 and completed assignments at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida and Bitburg, Germany. She then switched to the Air National Guard for five years to pursue a nursing degree.
Mckie was commissioned in 2009 and assigned to Aviano Air Force Base, Italy as a recovery unit nurse and then to Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, where she worked on a medical surgical unit as a clinical nurse and as a nurse manager in the family health clinic, prior to her current assignment at Malcolm Grow Medical Clinics and Surgery Center.
“It may sound cliché, but I’ve always been patriotic and wanted to serve the greatest nation in the world,” she said. "I enjoy helping people and the military enables me to care for the health needs and concerns of active duty members, as well as for their loved ones when they are serving abroad. My approach to patient care is to treat patients like family and always avoid giving them the “run around”. If someone is lost, I’ll walk them to where they need to go or make an extra phone call so they don’t have to.”
Mckie said her biggest challenge is simply to always seek opportunities to improve her skills, knowledge and ability on the job. She is inspired and motivated by the support of her husband and two sons, who are her strength and joy and have sacrificed their time so that she can serve in the Air Force as a military nurse. She plans to retire in 2021 in the sunny state of Florida.
“I would encourage any nurse to join the military,” she said. “We get paid well and have the unique experience of serving abroad."