Flight nurses are the toughest angels in the sky. What does a flight nurse need to do his or her best? These items in the flight nurse toolkit are a good start. Any flight nurses out there? Tell us what we missed!
Not everyone is cut out to be a flight nurse. It requires bravery to care for high-risk patients with few resources. For some of us, just being in a medic helicopter for the ride is scary enough.
2. Ability to work in a small space while in a moving aircraft!
Placing an IV? No problem. Doing it at 20,000 feet in the air through turbulence?! That’s a different story.
Flight nurses must make clinical judgments in a snap. Not much time to think and few colleagues to turn to for help. Comfort with working highly autonomously and confidence in your abilities is a must.
4. Trauma and emergency expertise
Whether it’s a bad MVA, a gunshot wound, or an undiagnosed emergency, flight nurses need trauma know-how to deal with whatever comes their way.
5. Advanced life support skills
A flight nurse needs to feel confident with life support interventions — including CPR and intubation — as well as possess strong prioritization abilities.
6. Calm under pressure
The ability to maintain focus and stay in control of emotions is a must-have asset for the flight nurse.
7. A broad knowledge base
Working as a flight nurse, you will come across a wide range of patients, from neonates to geriatrics, and with a variety of comorbidities. Having a broad knowledge base will help you make those split second decisions.