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Bagram Nurse making a difference, one life at a time

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Cierra Presentado
  • 455th AEW Public Affairs

In a deployed location, one of the most crucial assets is a hospital. Here at Bagram, Airmen assigned to the Craig Joint Theater Hospital are always ready to help save lives.

One such Airman is Capt. Mavis Bean, 455th Medical Operations Squadron critical care nurse deployed to Bagram from Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., who works in the intensive care unit taking care of patients affected by major trauma.
A 2007 University of Tennessee graduate with a degree in nursing, Bean commissioned in the Air Force in 2009 after first serving as a civilian nurse. For Bean, she never imagined serving in a combat zone.

“As I transitioned from a civilian to a military nurse, I never imagined I would be here. When I received my orders to deploy I couldn’t believe it, I was deploying,” Bean said. “I just felt a sense of pride and although I was leaving my family behind, this was an experience I knew would change my life as a nurse.”

Being deployed to a combat environment brings added challenges not seen at home station.

“Providing medical care in Afghanistan is a lot different than providing care stateside,” said Bean. “We see more traumatic injuries and that definitely makes you appreciate life more. I also feel like I’m becoming a better nurse by working alongside the world’s best nurses and medics to stabilize and treat these patients. We perform to the absolute best of our ability to get our patients back to good health and then home. Being a part of that is incredibly humbling.”

Bean cares for an average of two patients per day. Not only does she tend to Department of Defense civilians and military patients, she also treats Afghan National Defense and Security Forces and local Afghans.

“We provide the highest level of care possible here, so if something happens to our coalition partners or to innocent locals we’re first in line to treat them,” she said. “We do as much as we can to get them the care they need.”
Bean also enjoys working with young Airmen and the entire ICU team.

“Working here there are lots of opportunities to teach and mold young Airmen into better medics,” she said. “I love helping others and whether it be helping a patient recover or teaching the Airmen, I’m here to make a difference. I’m also humbled and impressed by the skills of the people around me. They truly are the best of the best and I have full confidence that because of all the talent around me, we can successfully tackle any challenge this hospital faces.”

When asked what she enjoys most about her job here, Bean expressed how she loves seeing her patients get well after being so close to death.

“I like the fact that someone can come in near death and in a weeks’ time, if they are still with us they can ultimately discharge and go home. It’s an awesome feeling knowing that I can be a part of the team that brings these patients from near death to being well and on the way home safe to their family. I love seeing the difference.”

With almost two months into her six month deployment, Bean said she hopes to continue to make a difference in people’s lives through her duties.

“This is an experience I will never forget. By being here I can now see the challenges we face as a country and I’m grateful and proud to be here serving. I will always continue to help others and I know when I leave here I will be a better person and a better nurse,” she said.