I work for a large academic hospital flight program and we work 12 hour shifts , rotating days and night shifts. Usually the first 2 hours of our shift is committed to checking our aircraft, equipment, setting up night vision goggles (if on nights) attending the pilot's briefing and doing specific chores required for that day. Once that is done, completing chart QA is required. We are then available to assist in the hospital , specifically ICUs, ED and responding to Code Blues, Rapid Responses, Stroke codes and Major Traumas. In all these situations however, we are supernumerary as there are full time RN's assigned to do that as well. We never take patient assignments as we need to be able to leave at a moments notice. We carry out procedures in ICU and ED's as well , typically Arterial line insertions and occasionally need to place IV's in hard stick patients using ultra sound. We also have a ton of Online training requirements to complete; both Healthstream for the hospital's clinical requirements as well as Online training for aviation , survival, navigation, hazardous materials and safety . We also need to spend time in the OR every 2 months to get additional anesthesia and airway management training and experience and often we try and get this during a shift in an area that does not require us to change into scrubs
etc. Sure there is down time , when there are no calls or other requirements that need doing. That is when you can catch up on reading a journal (air Medical Journal, JEMS, Critical Care) do some research using the medical school library or work on your own projects. Most 12 hour shifts however , if you really are honest, there is something work related that you can be doing/ should be doing. I'm answering your question here on night shift at my desk, when I could be studying for my Neonatal Resuscitation Provider (NRP) renewal course in two weeks time . Best of luck.