Ten years ago, the future of Rebeccah Dindinger, an officer in the newly created Army Nurse Corps, was described on a 3 inch by 3 inch note.
Before tackling ROTC throughout college, Dindinger knew she wanted to make a difference. She believed she could accomplish this not only by becoming a nurse, but also by becoming an army nurse and caring for service members and their families. After graduating in 2010, Dindinger found her calling in the labor and delivery service.
“I thought (being able to serve) was really awesome. We were at the height of the war and I really felt like it was a way to give back,” said Dindinger, who now works at the division of the women’s health and newborn care at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.” I noticed that the nurse was always a bit more present in the room than the provider, so (nursing) that’s what I wanted to do and how I wanted to take care of people.”
After observing the attention paid to patient care by Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS), Dindinger knew she could do more to help patients and the military healthcare system.
“I had a great clinical nurse specialist, she did a lot of education and teaching and kept us up to date with the latest research,” says the Lilburn, Georgia native. “Then I went to my next duty station and had another great CNS, doing the same thing.”
Knowing of the potential demonstrated by Dindinger, the ICS encouraged her to continue her studies towards advanced practice in order to better serve patients and staff.
“She sat down and planned my life on a note, she was my second call after I started college,” Dindinger said.
Clinical nurse specialists are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who not only provide patient care, but specialize in mentoring, educating, and advancing clinical practice with specific patient populations.
“Research and evidence-based practice really help military medicine stay at the forefront of the care we provide. Both (medical professionals) are doing their best for our patients,” Dindinger said.
History links military medicine to medical advances, particularly in trauma care. Today, the US armed forces have unprecedented survival rates for combat casualties arriving at military treatment facilities, as high as 98%. It is through technology, research and lessons learned that this progress has been possible. According to Dindinger, these innovations save lives.
Today, Dindinger serves as CNS for her service, while remaining heavily involved in mentoring and assisting newer service members interested in the research field.
“It’s really rewarding for me to help develop the bench because I know that one day I’m going to retire from the army, it’s important to train people who get on the court,” said- she declared.
A testament to his dedication to research and the advancement of military medicine was demonstrated recently when Dindinger received honors at the Nursing Research Program’s annual course in Research and Dissemination of Evidence-Based Practice. TriService, where she won the Outstanding Podium Presentation award for her presentation on Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) during pregnancy, a topic she unfortunately knows all too well.
“I’m really passionate about this because I’ve been a victim of emotional abuse and (IPV) since my first marriage. It really influences the outcomes for mother and child both during pregnancy and for the life of the child. child,” Dinderinger said. “I was an army officer and no one ever asked me (if she was a victim of domestic abuse), so hopefully my experience and research can help make a difference in someone else’s life. I was able to speak to leaders across the Department of Defense and hopefully influence them to address this issue and help build our healthcare systems better to combat IPV.
Amusingly, Dindinger’s award-winning presentation during class was described on a 3 inch by 3 inch note.
“You can do a 15 or 30 minute presentation from a (note). I think we tend to forget that sometimes we can do that,” Dindinger suggested.