Malmstrom radiology clinic provides patients with quality care, rapid service

  • Published
  • By By Airman 1st Class Collin Schmidt
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
Providing patients with quality and expedient care is one of the medical community's greatest goals. Every day, throughout the Air Force, thousands of servicemen and women seek the care of medical professionals for treatment. And every day, these professionals work to make sure those who serve get the best treatment possible.

In the military community, healthcare for service members is the supporting framework that keeps our members fit to fight, and their loved ones strong and healthy at home.

Without effective healthcare, the mission could not be completed successfully. Every facet of this framework serves a very specific and special purpose.

At Malmstrom Air Force Base, a critical facet of the installation's medical framework is the radiology clinic. Here, patients in need of diagnostic imaging have access to some of the best technology in the field and a helpful staff that is highly trained in the specialty.

On a daily basis, the clinic provides care for anywhere from five to 25 patients. Last year alone, the department's radiology team helped 3,000 patients. And all while offering one of the shortest wait times in the military, helping patients with wait periods under 15 minutes.

"The best aspect of this job is the knowledge that you are a critical and integral part of the process in the diagnosis and treatment of a patient," said Lee Weideman, 341st Medical Support Squadron radiology technician. "Striving to produce the best quality diagnostic image increases the ability of the radiologist in providing a timely and accurate diagnosis, which has the potential of saving lives."

In the event of an accident, a patient will see their primary care provider who determines if the injury will need to be looked at by a radiologist. If additional examination is required, imaging will be ordered from the clinic to begin the treatment process.

At Malmstrom's clinic, the images are sent digitally to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to be looked at by a certified radiologist who then helps initiate a proper course of action.

For technicians, the single most important part of the job is providing an extremely high quality image for examination.

"Every patient is different, and every patient is a challenge," Weideman said. "It gives you some sense of accomplishment when you can consistently produce high quality images."

According to Staff Sgt. Jason Spearow, 341st Medical Group diagnostic imaging technician, the trade can almost be looked at as an art form. Everything from positioning of the patient to camera angles, plays a part in getting the best picture.

Weideman and Spearow have also helped the clinic achieve a 100 percent certification level, which is rare across the Air Force. For them, the ultimate goal is to provide every patient with the best service possible. Proficiency and precision is the key.

"Helping people is what means the most to me," said Spearow. "How many people can say they get to see all these people and help them out? It can sometimes be a pain for the patient to come and see us because they are not always feeling well, but we do our best to make their experience as quick and painless as possible."