JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. --
During National Nurse and Medical Technician Week we spotlight Capt. Mavis Bean. She is assigned to the 11th Medical Group and has worked as a critical care nurse at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for the past year. She has over six years of experience in critical care nursing and has also worked in medical-surgical units and the emergency department.
As a critical care nurse, Bean cares for critically ill patients, including wounded warriors, veterans and dependent family members. Her responsibilities include monitoring critically ill patients and their vital signs, titrating life-saving medications, managing advanced equipment, and caring for complex wounds while ensuring that every detail is documented as part of the patient’s record.
Bean is originally from Maryville, Tennessee. Growing up she had no experience with the military except for a grandfather who served in the Coast Guard. She completed her nursing studies at the University of Tennessee in 2007.
“I was interested in nursing because I loved the sciences and caring for people when I was growing up,” Bean said. “I thought the Air Force would be a great way to experience nursing on a global scale and wanted to care for our brave military members. I was drawn toward critical care because it seemed like one of the more challenging nursing specialties.”
Bean stated she enjoys getting to know patients and coworkers from all over the world and loves the team/family environment in critical care.
“We all work so well together and I like mentoring junior staff members,” she said. “As a senior nurse and leader, I feel like I can make a positive impact on the lives of others.”
“My approach to patient care/customer service is simple: everyone deserves five-star treatment,” she added. “I want patients to have a positive experience with military medicine so I strive to give excellent and compassionate care to all.”
Bean stated the main challenge in critical care is staffing and time management and that both of these problems can be overcome by working as a team and taking care of each other. During times of short staffing everyone works together to ensure the mission is completed. When daily tasks are overwhelming team members help each other. She emphasized that it was all about taking care of each other and the mission.
Bean is inspired and motivated by her patients.
“When patients smile or express relief that they feel better or understand what is going on, I’m inspired by knowing I was able to help them have peace of mind,” she said. “It also feels great to be able to help injured troops survive trauma in a deployed setting and return home to their family.”
Bean described herself as flexible.
“I try to be flexible with patients, situations, problems, and personal life and just go with the flow,” she explained. “Being flexible makes life a lot less stressful.”
On her days off she spends time with her husband and son and, when there’s time, works on online classes to further her knowledge and skills.
“At the end of my life I want to feel like I did something worthwhile and that I made a positive impact on someone’s life,” she said. “I can’t think of a better group to serve than retirees, active duty service members, and their families who have sacrificed so much for this country.”