Flight Nursing Requirements
Regulations for flight nursing vary from state to state. These specialty critical care nurses must care for the most critically ill or injured patients across all specialties of medicine or disease. It is the ultimate test of experience, education and skills that a nurse can endure and requires physical strength and stamina. This job can provide adrenaline junkies with a rush while allowing them to serve their communities an aid others.
The Physical Requirements
A flight nurse may find themselves repelling down a cliff or wading through an icy creek to save a life. They may be in an urban setting saving a burn victim one day and the next on the side of a mountain rescuing a mountain climber with a broken leg. No matter what the situation, these nurses must be prepared and capable of handling the situation. This will never be a routine job and there will always be challenging life or death decisions to be made. Be ready to meet these challenges by being in top physical condition.
Training for a Career as a Flight Nurse
After receiving an RN degree, interested candidates should gain experience as an ICU or trauma nurse. Most states require at least 2-3 years of experience before applicants are able to apply for a flight nurse job. Working with as many types of patients as possible will be beneficial. Also be prepared to get a pediatric advanced life support certificate and an advanced cardiac life support certificate. It may also be a requirement to be trained as an emergency medical technician or a paramedic.
The Air and Surface Transport Nurses Association offers many opportunities for anyone who is looking for a career as a flight nurse. They also offer networking with other professionals in the field and educational training. The associationís transport nurse advanced trauma course may be particularly useful to candidates. This class provides an overview of flight nursing and how air transportation may affect the disease process. There are also clinical studies, lectures and other courses available to candidates and experienced employees.
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Where to Work?
Flight nurses can work in a variety of settings. There are civilian flight nurses who work for hospitals or the government. They may also work for fire department, private medical evacuation firms or other agencies. In addition the military employees a number of flight nurses. These individuals work as part of an aeromedical evacuation crew that provides in-flight management and care of patients. They should be able to provide appropriate medications and know how to use supplies and equipment to transport their patients safely to a medical facility.
This rewarding career choice is perfect for those who want to help others in a field that can provide a sense of fulfillment. Be prepared to work under a lot of pressure as patients are often critically ill or severely injured. It can be emotionally draining and not everyone can handle the work. Because of this it is important to have the right training and the proper certifications.