JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. --
During National Nurse and Medical Technician Week we Spotlight Airman 1st Class Michelle Badders, who has worked at the 11th Medical Group for the past 18 months in the Flight Medicine Clinic and Aeromedical Staging Facility. This is her first assignment in the Air Force.
As a Flight Medicine technician assigned to the Flight Medicine Clinic Badders cares for Air Force flyers and firefighters, all Special Forces, and active duty Guard and Reserve flyers. She prepares exam rooms for patient care, screens patients, takes vital signs and helps with medical procedures. While currently deployed to the Aeromedical Staging Facility, she cares for wounded warriors returning from overseas. This involves transporting patients, providing medical and rehabilitative services, and ensuring patients reach their long term destination. She typically helps with two-three missions a week, with about 5-30 patients on each one.
Badders is from Dayton, Ohio and was the first person within three generations of her family to join the Air Force. Her great-grandfather served in the Army Air Corps. She joined the Air Force to provide for her son and secure a stable lifestyle for the family. She chose to be a medical technician because of a strong desire to help others.
“I knew the medical field would provide an outlet to constantly give back to others and that is something I’m very passionate about,” she said. "I love the sense of community that exists within my career field and being able to help other people. I get to meet people from so many different walks of life and it’s inspiring to hear what motivates them and about the things they’ve seen and done, as well as all of the challenges they’ve had to overcome.”
Her approach to patient care and customer service is to treat each patient like a personal family member.
“I think it’s important to validate people in their feelings and concerns,” Badders added. “I strive to make patients feel welcomed, cared for and supported. By thinking of each patient as a family member it sets the bar high and keeps it there.”
She stated her greatest challenge at work was time management and ensuring medical care and requirements were completed in a timely manner.
“We’re a small team and every person has to manage their work load in order to accomplish the mission,” she said. “Some days and weeks can be very long but I never feel alone. That makes overcoming the challenges so much easier.”
Badders said she would describe herself as compassionate.
“I believe it’s important to be kind. You don’t know someone’s background, how hard their day was, or the struggles they may face,” she explained. “I always try to express compassion and kindness in any way I can. If someone asked me about joining the Air Force I would tell them how proud it makes me feel to be able to serve my country. I’m constantly humbled by those I meet who have accomplished so much more than I have and it inspires to me to strive to do even better. I believe if you love what you do, you’ll do it well.”