Quote from Denes21
I've mostly been doing research on Medflight here in Ohio and was wondering if they only require 3 years of experience? Is it better to get that experience in the ICU or ER? Do you have to have your EMT? And height and weight requirements? Thank you
I don't know about medflight since they are in a different part of the state. Unfortunately, it may be better to see if you can talk to someone who works at the company. Most flight programs do community CEs for free or low cost so talking to an instructor may be the best route to go.
If you look under job postings, it does say that they take critical care or ED experience but they make it sound like overall they prefer 5 years experience with 3 years ED or ICU.
Most services are still biased towards critical care because ED usually does not manage vents and they may not get the same type of drips due to a hopefully shorter length of time that the ED keeps an ICU patient down in the ER (although, let's be honest, bed holds happen everywhere). However, the two local services where I work have slowly branched out into accepting ED-only experienced nurses. The thought process was they can train the ED nurses on the drips and it is impossible to train the nurses on every possible drip out there like a NICU nurse may not experience the same drips a neuro ICU nurse may. A SICU RN may not see the same drips of patients that are in a CVCU. It varies. Some will require neonatal ICU experience or pediatric ICU experience such as my newer hospital's service that I work at requires neonatal or pediatric ICU experience because they do not have a dedicated team of neonatal RNs like the two services where I live do.
As for vents, a lot of hospitals are encouraging usage of respiratory therapists in the ICUs with one hospital system I worked at staffed RTs in all the ICUs of the metro division. The trauma center had one on each floor.
It looks like for nurses, you do not have to be a paramedic but will be expected to become at least an EMT-B. The EMT-B is three to six months class on average. The hospital system's transportation services that my friends worked at made nurses become paramedics and they would occasionally move nurses to the trucks to work as a paramedic (with RN pay) or let them pick up medic shifts. The other hospital system just required nurses to be an EMT-B. I am not seeing the 3 year full-time paramedic requirement except for the actual paramedics.
Their weight limit is 230 with gear. Places are usually very strict on the weight limit with weigh ins.
I'm going into the transportation division of a third company for PRN. They were excited that I worked for a large trauma center and worked frequently at different local ERs previously. 4 years total experience but I probably technically have more hours wise since I used to do 72 hours on average for 1.5 years. They liked that I had my paramedic license too.
Certificate wise they were happy I had ACLS and PALS. They do want me to eventually get NRP that they will pay for. Eventually all their nurses and paramedics will get ITLS which the helicopter's owners will bring instructors in. Most services want people to eventually become instructors in at least BLS and ACLS because they do a lot of community outreach with fire departments. It is kind of a "hey, use us!" kind of deal. PR is a huge thing with helicopter services, especially in my area because they have options.
Weight is the biggest issue most services have. A lot of people struggle to make weight.