Sometimes you must wonder if modern technology has really done us any favours. When you really need to talk to someone it is not comforting to have to talk to an answering machine when you have a medical emergency. Even worse if you don’t receive a reply!
When time is of the essence in a medical crisis away from home, effective communication flow is imperative. You need to talk directly with an experienced healthcare provider who understands the challenges you’re facing. It is essential for all team players to connect, cooperate and assist each other to advocate in the best interests of the ill or injured traveler.
Hopping on a plane because you think you can, could prove to put your present health issues at further risk. That is why you want to communicate with a Registered Nurse Navigator who will spend the time talking with you about your realistic options. As there is no “one -size-fits-all” rule, travel arrangements can be complex. Every medical situation is different, so are the resources and equipment that may be utilized. These are things you need to know and talk about. In a fast-moving world, not everyone takes time to do their ‘due diligence” on services available in the medical flight environment.
Accurate communication must flow continuously between treating healthcare professionals, family members, employers, insurers and service providers. The Nurse Navigator who takes the lead to co-ordinate ground transportation, family support, flights, medical escorts and a receiving hospital, achieves success through continuous communication. Regardless of changing time zones, dozens of hours will be spent communicating information and formulating a plan for a safe medical transfer.
Challenging situations are more easily addressed and overcome when everyone participates. Only with continuous lines of effective communication, can we hope for a positive outcome.
That is why we need to “talk to each other.” That is why communication is truly vital. If you’re ever faced with a medical crisis away from home, when you start making telephone calls, your first question should be “do you have an experienced Flight Nurse Navigator that I could talk to”?
By Gail Courneyea
Angels of Flight Canada Inc.