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    Airman, Mother, Nurse

    Airman, Mother, Nurse

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Megan Shepherd | Maj. Devin Conway, a clinical nurse at the 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio, poses...... read more read more



    Story by Senior Airman Megan Shepherd 

    179th Cyberspace Wing


    March is observed nationally as Women's History Month. One way to highlight the history of women in the Air National Guard is to show the amazing things that women have done and are currently doing at the 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio. 

Women are valued for the diversity they bring to the unit and are equal in their ability to get the mission accomplished.

Maj. Devin Conway is a great asset to the 179th Medical Group. She is a clinical nurse here. She has been in for 19 years. Conway was enlisted as an EMT for her first 11 years, but once she got her nursing degree, she commissioned as a nurse. She is the assistant chief nurse and the officer in charge of the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians program and staff development, and the director of the emergency support program.

    “Here in Mansfield, we’ve been able to go on a lot of annual trainings and done some medical humanitarian trips,” said Conway. “My first annual training was actually in Belize in Central America and when we were there they documented that we did 6,000 medical procedures. We saw a lot of things and helped a lot of people.”

    She has also gone to a couple different Indian reservations in Northern and Southern California, where she was able to work in the clinic there and do home care visits out in the community.

    “Actually, when I first joined the military I thought I wanted to go into the Peace Corps and I was hoping to do humanitarian stuff,” said Conway, “so I was excited that I was given an opportunity like that here.”

    In the civilian world she is a registered nurse and does perinatal education and lactation, so she teaches prepared child birth classes and helps families learn how to care for babies.

    “I thought I would wait to do that until I retired, but the opportunity became available to me and I jumped on it because I’m really passionate about helping new families.”

    Conway and her husband both joined the military and started a family at a young age and the nurses and health care providers that helped her really made an impact on her, so she wanted to be able to do the same for other families.

    She wondered how she would be able to correlate this passion to the military, and that opportunity presented itself this past summer.

    The 179th Medical Group got to go to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, for their annual training. Landstuhl actually did not have a perinatal educator and they needed some help. They had a new LPN who was right out of basic training for the Army and she needed to be educated.

    “I was able to work with her one on one and get done in a couple weeks, what her supervisor said would’ve taken about a year,” said Conway

    The moment a woman finds out she is going to have a baby can come with feelings of excitement, fear and every emotion in between. The sudden need to tell another woman the news is a common reaction, because she can understand and relate to that experience.

    Woman need someone they can turn to and share one of the most monumental journeys of their life with, however, this can be difficult if that best friend, sister, or mother is thousands of miles away in another country, which is the case for many military families.

    According to Conway, “centering” is a program that offers that connection. Expecting families come together and get to know each other and do their prenatal visits together. In doing so, they create a support group for themselves and learn about what’s going on throughout the different phases of pregnancy.

    “It makes the group be able to bond and it’s like a network of people that are going through the same thing,” said Conway.

    This program at Landstuhl needed help being run and the LPN needed to be trained on that as well. So Conway was able to help her while she was there. Conway also partnered with Lisa Gonzales, a midwife at Landstuhl, during her time there. Gonzales talked about the health benefits for moms and babies who participate in this type of prenatal care.

    “Statistically centering helps to prevent preterm labor, reduce the triage phone calls that come into the clinic and labor and delivery, reduce some of the anxiety of having a baby and pregnancy,” said Gonzales. “It also reduces postpartum depression and increases breast feeding.”

    Conway has 14 years of experience working with moms and babies and she said she enjoyed sharing her passion and skills for centering with her counterparts at Landstuhl.

    “It’s neat to come on these trips and to be able to come overseas and see how other people thrive and how the world is and use it to better yourself and bring it back to your hometown,” said Conway. “You become more well-rounded. I’m really grateful for my experience in the military and I would do it all over again.”


    Date Taken: 02.09.2019
    Date Posted: 02.13.2019 14:24
    Story ID: 310223
    Location: MANSFIELD, OHIO, US

    Web Views: 261
    Downloads: 1