Mass Physicals...No Problem!

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Eric Amidon
  • 934th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Members of the 934th Airlift Wing participated in the completion of their Preventative Health Assessments, en masse this past weekend in an unprecedented fashion setting the benchmark within Air Force Reserve Command.  The 934th Aeromedical Staging Squadron conducted a massive operation to perform PHAs for all participating wing members during the April unit training assembly.

The significant savings, in terms of both money and manpower hours, will only serve for continuous improvement and readiness for the 934 AW.  By evaluating and processing more than 945 Airmen through the operation, including more than 350 long physicals and more than 590 short physicals, “Individual Medical Readiness increased by 4 percent, growing the deployable readiness rating for the wing,” said Senior Master Sgt. Becky Hanson, a medical air reserve technician from the 934 ASTS.

In the past, a long PHA generally took upwards of six hours to complete while a short PHA typically took about two hours to process.  With the newly established method, that time was significantly reduced to take only an average of 30 minutes per long assessment and approximately 10 to 15 minutes per short assessment.


To add a dollar value to the savings referenced, assuming the average pay period (one 4-hour period) across the base equates to $135 (which is the approximate base pay for a 10 year Master Sgt.), the wing is now saving nearly $100K through this process.


Prior to this success, during a typical UTA, it would take approximately 45 personnel from the 934 ASTS to conduct nearly 90 PHAs over the course of two 4-hour periods.  These 45 personnel will now get one of those 4-hour periods back during 11 out of the 12 months.  Compounded with the time savings mentioned above, the benefits are phenomenal.  From the perspective of the more than 945 members who received their PHA’s, nearly 3,000 manpower hours are now being saved.


The 934 ASTS began pre-planning and coordination with wing leadership approximately one year ago in March of 2015.  Their goal at that time was to expedite the assessment process in order to meet the organizational readiness goals of the wing.  In order to achieve this goal, months of effective planning to streamline the process and make everything as efficient as possible was required.  The efforts of the 934 ASTS were met with overwhelming positive results possibly opening the window for other wings within the Air Force Reserve Command to do the same. 


According to Master Sgt. Kara Wrolstad, “We received positive feedback from both members of the wing and staff members participating in the execution of the process.”  Many Airmen expressed gratitude when they were finished with their physical due to the amount of time they saved from previous experiences.  When calculating the amount of time saved through this process, on average including short and long physicals, members will now be saving more than three-hours each.


During the execution of the mass physicals event, Tech. Sgt. Ray Holman, a medical technician from the 934 ASTS, provided guidance for members going through the process.  “The drastic improvement in efficiency was a shared result of the efforts of the members of the 934 ASTS, the support and involvement of other units and the adherence to the process by members participating in the mass assessment process,” said Sergeant Holman.


“I can say with certainty that the mass physical was the most pleasant experience I’ve ever had at the medical facility,” said Master Sergeant Matthew Griffin, 934 weapons safety manager.  “It was the quickest physical I’ve ever had and I had a long physical too.  I probably went through the process in less than 20 minutes getting everything done.  I would highly encourage the unit to continue that process,” Griffin explained.


The newly established process not only improved participant morale, but according to 1st Lt. Jon Polos, medial administrative officer, this development will also serve as a vehicle to alleviate stress on health monitors conducting the assessments.  This in turn allowed for more time during the month to prepare for UTA’s and significantly increase training opportunities for nurses and medical technicians integrated throughout the new system.


In addition to the PHAs that the 934 ASTS performed, more than 450 blood draws were also taken within the time constraints outlined above.  Moreover, the 934 ASTS also held 128 dental examinations and 103 hearing tests during the April UTA.


Going forward, members of the Wing will continue to enjoy a refreshingly streamlined preventative health assessment process into the future while the members of the 934 ASTS can be proud of the results of their dedicated efforts to improve organizational processes necessary to meet the readiness goals of the 934th Airlift Wing.