ER or ICU to Flight Nurse? - page 2

by 8jimi8ICURN 9,931 Views | 16 Comments

Hello, I live in Austin, Texas. I'm a 3rd semester ADN student with about 7 months to go until my RN. I'm also about 2 months out from completing an EMT-B program. Originally when I was choosing my path I was... Read More


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    Quote from framps
    No doubt about it... ICU. ED just won't prepare you for those 6 drip, ABG interpreting, MODS, SIRS, ARDS nightmare transfers.

    As an ICU nurse, your expertise begins at the edge of your medic partner's comfort zone.

    Lastly, do not be in a big hurry to run out and be an NP. If you want to fly you don't need it. Does nothing for you in the air. You want to someday be the chief flight nurse administrator person - go for it. Further, I personally would discourage any newbie nurse from jumping right in to a NP program. Don't underestimate the importance of experience and how do you even know you want the NP if you haven't worked next to one.

    My 2 cents, do what you want and be psyched about it.
    Yes and no. As I stated, ER can be a mixed bag. Some ER nurses will obtain the said experience while most ICU nurses will obtain the said experience. Obtaining NP education can be helpful with specialty programs. For example, I have worked with teams that utilize neonatal NP's for specialty transfers.
  2. 1
    Part of my personality, leads me to pick the highest point (or seemingly) and aim for that. I definitely appreciate your comments. I am *not* going to rush off to ACNP school. I wouldn't realistically consider it until after i've got about 5-6 years and certification. I definitely want to push for my masters or NP. I eventually would definitely want to work in the ER as well. Transport nursing seems to be the most exciting, so when i saw the ACNP w/ an emphasis on flight nursing... it just logically seemed like the goal. i'm 31 and just going to finish RN in 6 more months. So, I'm feeling behind the game by about 10 years, so a rapid progression doesn't feel out of the ordinary to me; however i know that clinical hours / patient care experience is what will really prepare me for these advanced titles.
    ProgressiveThinking likes this.
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    I would think a combination of ED/ICU would be ideal. Maybe 2 years in each setting. Advance practice would just be an added perc. Truly experience always speaks for itself.
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    Hi there! Whatever you decide, try to get in there at Breckenridge Hospital where you will see PLENTY of trauma and a great mix of CCU/ICU/SICU patients! If you sit yourself in one of the community hospitals you won't get the experience you need, IMHO....
  5. 0
    Not the case at all, worked in a small US/Mexico border town ER off a major interstate. The amount of trauma we saw was staggering. It was not uncommon to do a couple of RSI's per shift. The experience was second to none because of limited staffing and relatively high volume. For example, at night, we had one RN, one LPN, and our physician. The physicians ranged from internists to pediatricians. Some of the docs relied on us heavily for assistance.

    There was no competition with residents or students. We often did not have specialty staff such as RT, and had to manage intubated patients with multiple drips and critical problems until the flight team would extract the said patient. In addition, the docs allowed us to have a significant amount of autonomy within facility policy and BON SOP of course.

    After only a year, I had been directly involved with countless codes, RSI's, and saw stuff that I did not even see in Afghanistan. I remember having a patient present in a complete heart block and being the only other person assisting the doctor with the placement of a temporary transvenous pacemaker. We had mass casualty incidents from 20+ vehicle pileups on the highway with our spring dust storms to a HAZMAT incident where multiple contaminated factory workers were staged in our makeshift parking lot decontamination stations. I learned how to transduce my first invasive line from an old battle axe nurse when one of our docs placed a central line in the femoral artery. Some people would have lost the plot, she simply stated, "now we have an art line, may as well transduce it."

    The experience I gained along with developing the ability to improv my way through difficult situations served me well. ER nurses who excel in a rural high volume setting with limited resources are a special breed. However, you still need a solid critical care skill set to excel in most flight environments.
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    I can see your point GIla, but in Austin, UMC at Brackenridge is the only trauma center in our area. Otherwise its chopper over to san antonio where they have a level 1 trauma as well as Brooks Army Medical Center (which has a monster burn unit).
  7. 0
    Quote from 8flood8
    I can see your point GIla, but in Austin, UMC at Brackenridge is the only trauma center in our area. Otherwise its chopper over to san antonio where they have a level 1 trauma as well as Brooks Army Medical Center (which has a monster burn unit).
    Oh yeah, I spent a little time at BAMC when I was in the military back in the 90's. I remember some big Korean fire or accident occurred, and several of the burn patients were flown into BAMC just for the burn services.


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