Flight Nurse vs Flight Paramedic - page 3

by EMTJeremy

92,844 Unique Views | 72 Comments

Hello all, Until the other day, I had no idea there was a such thing as a flight paramedic. I thought all of them were flight nurses. What are the differences in pay and training of a flight nurse vs a flight paramedic? ... Read More


  1. 0
    Hello,
    I actually worked in Level One trauma in L.A. 17 years ago, seriously difficult.I love ER. I am only saying or trying to figure out where I want to be. I really want ED but I have had problems reentering the field of ED because of lack of current experience. I am going to go to Creighton University, Nebraska, RN to Paramedic if accepted next May 09.I am searching for the next facit and am interested in flight because I want to move to Alaska where a daughter lives. I would be ok with ED and also truly never said paramedics are inferior to hospital based nurses. I want to learn to be a Paramedic, go to school, work in prehospital and hospital.Decision preparedness is what you learn after TNCC, ACLS, CEN. Paramedic is what I want to study for to enhance and progress. I actually feel paramedics are above RN's seriously due to the life crisis and no error for mistakes on judgement. I have dealt with parents of teens killed on streets in L.A. in the ED controlled environment and literally a childs demise is not a controlled event in any place or time.In fact hospitals see more traumatic grief because parents expect the child to live once they arive in a hospital.In any event I am only asking what you think a good paramedic program would be. I initially was going to go for P.A. then realized I love ER.Why not prehospital. I don't know that I would fly with dual certification, but as a flight nurse paramedic is the edge I need to get into the field in Colorado.If you are a nurse and a paramedic you might be on the flight crew; prehospital before a regular RN.
  2. 1
    Quote from candys12
    ...I actually feel paramedics are above RN's seriously due to the life crisis and no error for mistakes on judgement...
    I could not agree with you any less!

    First, spend any time in an ICU? What about with a critical patient? Say a massive anterior/lateral MI with posterior wall involvement. Intubated, sedated, mechanically vented, art line, central line, PA cath, IABP, and about three or four pressors. Then, imagine this: Wife is hysterical carrying on crying, drama, you know, the works. Daughter is out of control and son is trying to steal medical supplies.

    Then, your patient goes into A-Fib and you are left trying to fix your IABP because autopilot plus afib does wonders for the timing. Oh, lets not forget the horrid pressures and the three drips you have been titrating all night long. Oh, by the way, you still need to get ahold of the doc and let him know about the A-fib. Hopefully, the phone stops ringing long enough for you to make a call out. Perhaps, your patient will live long enough to make it to the OR, let alone survive the intervention.

    For the most part, nurses and paramedics work in a different environment. One provider is not superior to the other. Both providers are equally important in their areas of specialization. Any error in judgment can be fatal for the patient of both the RN and paramedic.
    apocatastasis likes this.
  3. 0
    Hello,
    ICU NUrse I am not discussing in hospital nursing, I am talking about prehospital, EMS in the field. I also was an ICU nurse at UCLA in 1981 for three years then went to University Utah Med Cntr. I actually worked with Barney Clark in that SICU, Balloon Pumps pre cardiac transplant and Post. My discussion is about the roles prehospal nurses do versus Paramedic. I am and will always be a nurse but I want to go prehospital as a change. I have worked for 28 years and feel i have a new way to expand re-invent myself out of 12 years ICU and 5 ED which I loved
  4. 0
    Hello,
    I really do not know if there is a difference in Paramedic Fight Nurse or if they have such things. I wanted to go back to the ED and have no current experience. I have all the certifications and still hit roadblocks. I thought prehospital as i met a couple new grad nurses who were paramedics and doing Flight For Life here in Colorado. Thus i thought go to school and get a Paramedic. I am not saying all nurse should. I just know my roadblocks.
  5. 0
    Quote from FlyingScot
    I'm really hoping you're kidding because if not that's pretty damn ignorant of you to say. As a flight nurse I depend on my medic and absolutely believe they are underpaid which is why we, the nurses, on our crew are sticking our necks out to try to get them better pay. But I NEVER have needed a medic to tell me when or what drug to use on a patient. WE work as a team and discuss our plan of care, often we don't even have to use words just looks to get the job done. I don't think my job is harder than the medics and the medics don't think theirs is harder than ours. We have a ton of mutual respect for each other and it shows by us not making stupid ccomments such as these.
    boy I'm glad you said that. .. I was thinking that as I was reading this thread. A medic "telling" a nurse when to give a drug, pleeeaaassse. Little high and mighty for no reason, are we??
  6. 0
    Ok, but technically speaking, the training of an RN is at a higher level than a paramedic when it comes to medications, procedures, and protocol. I would expect and RN and an EMT-P to work together as a team, each just as valuable as the other, just like other medical teams do or should, RNs and CNAs and EMT-Ps and EMT-Bs. RNs, despite them both of them having associates degrees, have a higher medical authority, thats just how it works. Lets not kid ourselves.

    Also, with as much experience as I have in the field, and now becoming an RN, I would say that I have about the same expertise as a Paramedic....and once I graduate, I will have a higher medical authority as well.

    Look, im not trying to upset anyone, and if you knew me, you would know how much of a team player I am and how I treat EVERYONE in the medical team equally and value their expertise specifically and their help, for that matter. But, just as I acknowledge a NP, PA, and MD as higher medical authorities, RNs are higher medical authorities over Paramedics. Just my two cents.

    Now, please do not get me wrong. I have met nurses that I have had more experience than, and more common sense too, as an EMT-B. But RNs should not be held to a stereotype of not having field experience just as Paramedics should not be held to a stereotype of an RN being "better" than them. Its just not true. Just because someone is a RN and another person is a Paramedic, that does not make one "better" than the other, but unfortunately, even if the RN lacks common sense, skill, and everything else, the RN is still the higher medical authority. Yes, most RNs focus more on in-hospital/medical facility, but others dedicate their entire lives to working in the field and in undesirable environments.....as I will be doing and have already done.

    A Paramedic/Nurse Flight Team is invaluable and should be treated as such, but technically speaking, the RN has a higher medical authority and training.

    I hope this doesnt anger anyone, I'm just telling it how I know it to be in Cali. I have many years of experience in the medical field, as an EMT-Basic, a medical assistant, an emergency dispatcher, and now an RN.
  7. 0
    Having EMT experience and nursing school is not equivalent to paramedic school. While a RN may be considered higher medical licensure in your neck of the woods, that is simply not the case in other areas of the country. In New Mexico for example, the paramedic is a licensed profession much like nurses. In addition, some states require RN's to obtain paramedic credentials before they can work in the EMS or transport environment.

    In addition, any flight company worth anything will recognize what each provider brings to the table. Giving the RN ultimate authority is potentially dangerous IMHO. Both team members must know when to take the lead or take a supportive role. Creating an environment that prohibits a provider from applying their specialized skill set is a recipe for disaster.

    IMHO as always.
  8. 0
    And that is precisely why California RNs have higher reciprocity than those of other states. Other states may require additional schooling, testing, or licensure, but an ADN RN from California is able to work in a much more broad region than RNs from other states.

    AND there are other states that have the same as California RNs. To my knowledge, California and some other states have the highest standard of Nursing.

    I do indeed believe that having as many years of EMT experience as I have and getting my RN does surpass the expertise of most Paramedics that I know, not to mention the higher medical authority.

    Bottom line is, there are two different territories, the field and the hospital, and each has their own specialty, but the RN is the higher medical authority, at least California RNs are and they are held to the highest standard, along with a few other states.
  9. 0
    Might I just add one more thing. Also, with ambulance companies, which I have many years of experience with, if a patient needs a higher level of care, the MD requires an RN, if the patient is not as critical as to need an RN, a Paramedic is requested.

    RNs can also extend their scope and licensure to the field as MICNs, CCRNs, as well as others. These specialties prepare RNs even more for what they face in the field. Some companies may request these credentials and others do not. I am unaware of an expanded scope of practice for Paramedics like they have for RNs in California.
  10. 0
    Absolutely disagree. I have many years of EMS and flight experience under my belt along with the typical alphabet soup and I do not consider my self the medical authority. You are sorely mistaken in thinking your experience is better than a paramedic. In addition, with few exceptions, ( online courses ) RN reciprocity is fairly easy. I was not educated California, and have had not problems with reciprocity. I have never been told that California has superior education when compared to other states. Does the NLN have a special California nursing school credential?

    While undereducated shake and bake paramedic courses still exist, many of the old standards are going away. This is especially true in light of the EMS SOP changes. In fact the technician has been removed from the paramedic title and soon all PM national standard courses will require certification.

    While things may work one way in your area, do not assume this is a national standard.


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