Nursing professionals are all faced with daily challenges, regardless of where they work. Caring for a patient while airborne however will be entirely different from caring for a patient in a hospital setting. Very few medical professionals have had the benefit of flight training or aeromedical education which will cause decision making to be difficult because of their lack of knowledge and experience.
Flight Registered Nurses on the other hand must receive comprehensive instruction on all the critical elements of flight, and there are many. Everyone who gets on an aircraft, is in a unique environment that has the potential to bring with it any number of stressors that come along with flying. Add the complication of an already compromised patient who is ill or injured, the Registered Nurse must have specialized flight training and the expertise to respond to any medical episode that could occur during transport. Peace of mind for the passenger and family regarding the chance of any in flight issues is tremendously reduced by the accompaniment of a Flight Registered Nurse.
Because of the physical and mental demands placed on Flight Nurses, not everyone would find this a suitable occupation. For Flight Nurses, there are many intrinsic rewards. The impact on the lives of the patient and families, whether its the successful repatriation of a patient to their home province or country, or aiding those travelling with serious health concerns…this is a highly specialized and rewarding career.
Integrity would dictate that everyone in healthcare has a responsibility to themselves and to their patients to obtain as much knowledge and information regarding their specialty and where their duties are performed. Ideally, those with specific expertise should always be utilized for the benefit of the patient. In the case of Flight Registered Nurses, the learning journey will never end.
Whether we realize it or not, we are all on a lifelong journey of learning. Formal education improves how we view the world and participate in it. It provides opportunities to share ideas and experiences that will make us better at what we do.
The Nursing Profession is no exception. With the primary objective of always acting in the best interests of the patient to achieve the best possible outcome, keeping current with the latest care methods is essential and even more in the flight medical environment where you have limited resources specifically trained medical personnel and equipment.
Always put health and safety first, for both yourself and your loved ones when travelling.
Learn more about Air Medical Transportation Assistance at an annual Meet & Greet on Wed April 26th and Tues May 2nd at their offices at 799 O’Brien Drive in Peterborough from 1-4 pm.
By Gail Courneyea RN, President & CEO of Angels of Flight Canada Inc.
The Angels Group of Canadian Healthcare Managed Companies is Celebrating 29 years of Global Medical Solutions.