PRP: keeping nuclear Airmen medically ready every day

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Joshua Smoot
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
On average, the 14-person manned Personnel Reliability Program section in the Malmstrom Air Force Base clinic sees nearly 40 patients per day. The PRP team maintains all 1,900 medical records for those on PRP.

The PRP team's job is to ensure that every patient is medically ready to perform nuclear-related duties. They make recommendations to commanders or certifying officials regarding a member's ability to perform PRP duties and they communicate any potentially disqualifying information (PDI) to commanders or certifying officials.

"Through dedicated teamwork, we are able to ensure the medical PRP reliability for the base," said Maj. Christopher Nelson 341st Medical Group Flight Aerospace & Operational Medicine flight commander.

Malmstrom Airmen are placed on PRP based on what their job entitles and that are able to show they have the capability and responsibility to be placed on PRP. Members on PRP include security forces, maintenance and operations career fields.  

The PRP section is composed of administration technicians, medical technicians, PRP monitors, physician assistants and a nurse.

The administration technicians book appointments, review medical records, ensure access to care, track downtown appointments and documentation, and are in charge of the release of information requests.

The medical technicians ensure readiness standards are met by patients, assist with procedures, review medical documentation for potentially disqualifying information and audit all medical records for missed PDI and discrepancies annually.

The administration technicians and medical technicians both track all PRP patient appointments within the 341st Medical Group. They also ensure all medical documentation is available in a patient's medical record and report PRP status changes to the unit's PRP monitors.

The PRP monitors direct the PRP initial certification program and conduct all MDG PRP training. They also deal with medical record audits in coordination with other units' PRP monitors and ensure all medical records are properly flagged for PRP.

"Our PRP monitors, while not on PRP themselves, ensure that the clinic as a whole meets the standards, maintain training requirements for the PRP mission and prepare for all inspections that involve the PRP clinic," Nelson said.

The PRP clinic nurse provides nursing/telephone triage, notification of lab or radiology results and answers any questions patients may have.

"Our providers evaluate and treat the health concerns, communicate with the certifying officials and provide the competent medical authority oversight for the clinic," Nelson said.

The physician assistants direct and supervise patient care. They also monitor documentation from downtown providers or other MDG clinics for PDI, determine each patient's ability to medically perform PRP duties, complete medical portion of PRP certification, initiate profiles for injured patients and monitor progress and submit medical evaluation board documentation for members requiring MEBs.

"Through the tireless efforts and attention to detail, the PRP clinic meets and exceeds the standards for Malmstrom to ensure medically fit PRP members for successful completion of the nuclear mission," Nelson said.