The Epitome of Airmanship: SrA Boyd 6th MDSS laboratory technician

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jenay Randolph
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
Mary Boyd joined the United States Air Force with no idea of what her job would be. She came in willing to take on any job that came her way. Mary longed for what the military would offer her, such as opportunities to travel, educational benefits, and the experiences that are unique to service members.  

In 2013, Airman 1st Class Mary Boyd arrived to MacDill Air Force Base, Florida after graduating from technical school and dove into the world of the 6th Medical Support Squadron as a clinical laboratory technician.

Working in the laboratory, technicians contribute to keeping military personnel deployment ready by providing laboratory services to keep them healthy and able to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities.

"What most people know about the lab is phlebotomy. While that is an important section in the lab, there is much more that goes into being a laboratory technician," explains Boyd. "Behind the scenes, specimens are tested and there are multiple sections to work in to include hematology, urinalysis, chemistry, microbiology, and shipping."

Depending on the work section, the day-to-day tasks could range from examining differentials under a microscope, troubleshooting analyzers, or identifying the bacteria that grows on plates.

Boyd explained she enjoys being more behind the scenes in patient care because of the gratification she receives by making a big impact on patients' healthcare and medical treatment.

She distinguished herself from her peers at every turn since her career began and proved herself essential to the mission among her leadership. As a result, she was awarded senior airman below-the-zone.

"SrA Boyd is an invaluable asset to the clinical laboratory flight," expressed Tech. Sgt. Warren Hansen, 6th Medical Support Squadron NCO in-charge of hematology. "She is one of our most trusted Airmen, one who can be counted on to flawlessly execute our complex day-to-day tasks."

For Boyd and the technicians that work alongside her, it is so important to constantly practice attention to detail while working with patient samples because any mistake will affect the patients' treatment or healthcare, which for Boyd can be stressful.

Aside from the stressors, Boyd has remained helpful to others "with a smile on her face". She has been described by her superiors as one that can always be counted on to get the job done right the first time.

"I feel very fortunate to have received this job," expressed Boyd. "It is a wonderful stepping stone into the medical field."

Being a laboratory technician has had a huge impact on Boyd's career goals. Currently, she is finishing her Bachelor's Degree in Healthcare Management and is applying for the Medical Service Corps commissioning program.

"SrA Boyd is part of a select group of scarce Airmen," expressed Hansen. "These are Airmen who follow diligently and without question the tasks that are assigned to them, who carry out those tasks with upmost professionalism and enthusiasm, and give themselves to the mission irrespective of personal cost."