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After I graduate I am looking to be a Flight Nurse. Would anyone be willing to write a short response on what goes on in the life of a flight nurse? I would LOVE to read any stories you might have. :typing
Flight nursing is a very rewarding job to aim for. It will require generally 5 years of critical care experience (ICU,ER +/- prehospital experience) in addition to a heap of certifications but is well worth the effort and wait to do. It is most certainly not an area that you want to shortcut to as it is an advanced practice area and requires good critical thinking skills with lots of experience behind you.
If you are really interested in pursuing a career in this field find out if you can do a ride-along with an air ambulance in your area. You may have to drive a little way to do it but it will give you a good idea if you would even like it or not. You can also pump the crew for lots of stories and career advice!
I also recommend the book, Trauma Junkie. It gives a good insight into what a flight nurse does and the realities of it.
Good luck and study hard.
Thanks for your replys. I do plan on getting a LARGE amount of experience first. I already work for Shands Hospital in Gainesville, FL and they have a flight trauma program which I am interested in........way down the line! Of course, all this rides (no pun) on whether I can stand being in a helicopter. Now, off I go to find that book on Amazon.com!
If you have concerns about your ability to tolerate flying, I'd suggest a ride-along. It would be unfortunate to aggressively prepare to be a flight nurse, only to find out that you cannot tolerate flying in a helicopter without puking.
Hey, Jenafuzzy...I hope to do the same. I also live in Gainesville, though I am not a nurse yet, just finishing paramedic school. Our head lab instructor is a flight medic with Shandscair, they are an amazing program, good training and very safe (excellent pilots). They respond to a lot of scene calls in Marion County(where I work) and the crew is very talented. Some things I have learned to give you a heads up...Shandscair is very hard to get a job with...hardly any turnover and they are picky when it comes to hiring...they need to know who you are. Also, if you want to be a flight nurse with them, you need to be a paramedic as well, their nurses are double certified. Anyway, good luck...go Gators! -Greg
great idea about a ride along! bad, bad thing to puke the first day on the job i know it may seem too early to be worrying about it, but i want to be prepared! my eyes are starting to be opened to what being a flight nurse is all about. getting all the training seems a bit overwhelming, but i'll just have to take it one step at the time. better to get the info up front, eh? thanks to all! your great!
yeah.. you will need to get a lot of expeirience under your belt before being a flight nurse.. i was an exception to the rule of being a flight nurse right out of RN school but that was due to the fact that I was already employed by a flight crew as a flight paramedic for 7 years.. I would suggest that you get as much ER expeirience as you can... I wish you the best of luck and I am sure that you will enjoy it when you do get there.. But just so you know.. it is not all fun and excitement.. sometimes it can get scary. I thought i was going to die one night that we ran into a storm and had a very combative pt. the helicopter was all over the place and so was the pt. all i have to say about that is.. thanks to the doc for the paralytic order!!
thanks nghtflyguy, that was a reality check! do you know if there is any age limit to be a flight nurse? i am 38, but because I have to do alot of my schooling part time i may be 42 when i finally get my ASN. someone had suggested that i will need my paramedic cert before i can even think about the flight program. do you know if this is a universal requirement?
I will be doing the ride along next month, and I am so nervous. The flight crew works 24 hrs on and 3 days off. So I will be with them for 24 hours. Eventually I would love to be a pediatric flight nurse.
I will tell you all about it. We might not even have any cases. But they said, if we don't get to fly out, I can pick another day to stay with them. All I know is that it will be in May. They didn't tell me the day yet.