A flight nurse or transport nurse is the one who can provide her services during transportation. Usually, they are registered nurses who serve during air travel. Their training includes critical care, first aid, pre-hospital care, and post-hospital care. Their job is in no way an easier one. The scope of a flight nurse is vast. There is a huge responsibility on the shoulders of flight nurses. As they have to keep the patient stable until the doctor is available. The job of a flight nurse is critical as he or she has to make some timely decisions. Right decision-making is one of the important roles that a flight nurse has to perform. Here we will discuss the scope, importance, and requirements of a flight nurse.
Training of flight nurses first started in 1943 when about 39 nurses graduated from Bowman field college with a major in flight nursing. The field of flight nursing is expected to grow by 16 percent over the next 10 years. A flight nurse is highly demanding in terms of flexibility to adjust to every situation and to be comfortable in all areas (Phipps, 2017). They have to work in a small space and take prompt decisions in extreme conditions. The salary of flight nurses varies from $50,000 to $120,000 per year, depending on location, role, and organization. Moreover, the exact salary depends on various factors. The factors influencing salary are location, employers, experience, and expertise. Flight nursing programs are offered by many teaching hospitals and aviation companies.
Educational Background for a Nurse:
For becoming a flight nurse, one has to do 4 years BSN program or 2 years of ADN. Moreover, the experience of working in emergency serves a lot. Some of the nurses opt to do an MSN degree too. Flight nurses, in most cases, have to work during emergencies. So the nurses who are working in ICUs or in emergencies can be the best candidate for flight nurses.
Only nursing education is not enough to be a flight nurse. There are some international certifications that can enhance their skills and abilities to perform their services in the best possible ways. Such as:
• Basic Life Support(BSL)
• Pediatric Advanced Life Support(PAL)
• Transport Professional Advanced Trauma Course
• CEN or CCRN
Scope of Flight Nurses
Working space and situations handled by a flight nurse are unusual from others. So they got more compensation as compared to others. Flight nurses mean the difference between life and death to many soldiers Wells, Helen. (Braithwaite & Ann-marie, 2020). The work of flight nurses is continuously increasing. So they are in demand and their demand is increasing.
Job Description of Flight Nurse
A well-trained flight nurse has to take care of patients pre-hospital, during, and post-hospital care. They have to handle critical situations with limited available resources. They are responsible to provide complete possible care during the flight. They have to follow clinical and flight protocols. They also held responsible for following organizational standards. Recording patients’ information from time to time is also part of their job. Here it is important to note that flight nurses are of two kinds, civilian and military (Newton, 2016). Both have their own domain of works which may differ from place to place.
Flight nursing is the level-up job of an emergency nurse. Indeed it is a thrilling job and students are more attracted to this field. However, it is not an easy job because it requires a high level of expertise to make the right decision timely to rescue people far away from hospitals and doctors. There are many challenges faced by flight nurses including an amorphous working atmosphere, limited support, limited supplies, and improved assessment tactics. People who are working in ICUs should try moving toward flight nursing. The scope of flight nurses is increasing in commercial flights i.e air ambulances, assistants or a part of a flight crew.
Braithwaite, Ian, and Ann-marie Steele. “Flight Nurses,” or “Nurses Who Fly”? An International Perspective on the Role of Flight Nurses.” Air Medical Journal (2020).
Newton, Joanne Booth. “Flight Nurses’ Narratives of Traumatic Patient Care Events: Why Do They Stay?.” (2016).
Phipps, Marcy. “Home for Christmas: Flight Nursing and the Symbols of Hope.” AJN The American Journal of Nursing 117.12 (2017): 68.