Requirements for Flight nursing?

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    I am currently a Student nurse. I would love to one day be a flight nurse. What are some of the requirements out there? Any certain amount of experience or specialized training?
    futureflightRN302 likes this.
  2. 4 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    There are a lot of threads on this, so it's worth searching. The best place to find the specific requirements of the position is via the service's page, as they all lay out both their requirements and preferences.

    In general though the short answer is you need to get a job in the ICU and work there for 3 years. Pick up every alphabet card you can get your hands on. Try to get your paramedic card. I'd try to float into the ED if I could, or get a per diem/overtime in the ER at the hospital you work.

    You may also want to consider some other options, as there is the strong potential for a major realignment in the next 5 years with regard to flight services. There are currently too many helicopters in some areas, troubling safety records, and some significant problems with finances. Once you lump in nationalized health care (assuming that exists after the Supremes get done), heli-EMS is going to be around, but hurting.
    FlightJunkie likes this.
  4. 0
    Quote from astn
    There are a lot of threads on this, so it's worth searching. The best place to find the specific requirements of the position is via the service's page, as they all lay out both their requirements and preferences.

    In general though the short answer is you need to get a job in the ICU and work there for 3 years. Pick up every alphabet card you can get your hands on. Try to get your paramedic card. I'd try to float into the ED if I could, or get a per diem/overtime in the ER at the hospital you work.

    You may also want to consider some other options, as there is the strong potential for a major realignment in the next 5 years with regard to flight services. There are currently too many helicopters in some areas, troubling safety records, and some significant problems with finances. Once you lump in nationalized health care (assuming that exists after the Supremes get done), heli-EMS is going to be around, but hurting.
    i just shed a tear. dont say this! Im a soon to be grad and this is one of my professional goals , to be a flight nurse.
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    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but HEMS is currently in a "bubble." As an example, you look at Philadelphia (where I'm from) and you'll see 6-7 helicopters all covering the same territory, based on a 10(!) minute flight time. If you were to open that up to a more reasonable 20 to 30 minute response time, there would be over a dozen helicopters (probably 16-18) all vying for the same territory and business. This is for an area where you can spit and hit a trauma center or burn center, either adult or pediatric. That level of "service" isn't viable.

    Out in the sticks, there is more of a need, but it is harder to support the service, plus you have a more "rural" attitude towards emergencies. People who live 90 minutes from the nearest town tend to accept that it's gonna take a while to get to the hospital. The problem though is that these areas can't support a flight service based on call volume. Prehospital response can't support a helicopter, and there isn't large enough interfacility need in the country. If a helicopter doesn't make money, it isn't in business (medicine is a for-profit venture, y'know.)

    The problem is, most of the HEMS interfacility transports are unnecessary, and largely for the conveience of the hospital rather then a need for urgent transportation (as strangely, some of the most critical cases aren't stable enough to go by air). Insurers (and patients,) who are getting stuck with ridiculous transportation costs, have already been paying close attention to reimbursements, and while they haven't really pushed back yet, you can feel it hanging there. With ObamaCare, a lot of changes are going to occur with insurers (as they will likely get more power then they currently have over the practice of medicine) and HEMS will take a hit (it's inevitable).

    That's going to mean a lot less jobs for flight nurses/medics, and lower pay as well (as people would do it for free if you let them). It's not a career field I'd want to aspire to. Ground critical care, on the other hand, may become a big deal, but that's another post, and not at all sexy.
  6. 0
    Quote from astn
    sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but hems is currently in a "bubble." as an example, you look at philadelphia (where i'm from) and you'll see 6-7 helicopters all covering the same territory, based on a 10(!) minute flight time. if you were to open that up to a more reasonable 20 to 30 minute response time, there would be over a dozen helicopters (probably 16-18) all vying for the same territory and business. this is for an area where you can spit and hit a trauma center or burn center, either adult or pediatric. that level of "service" isn't viable.
    10min flight time...?!?!?! seriously>>> it takes that long to warm up the engines lol, that is a bit ridic.

    out in the sticks, there is more of a need, but it is harder to support the service, plus you have a more "rural" attitude towards emergencies. people who live 90 minutes from the nearest town tend to accept that it's gonna take a while to get to the hospital. the problem though is that these areas can't support a flight service based on call volume. prehospital response can't support a helicopter, and there isn't large enough interfacility need in the country. if a helicopter doesn't make money, it isn't in business (medicine is a for-profit venture, y'know.)
    where im at here, the flight program covers a 150mile radius, 93% is ift/7% scene response... because we are the only level i (adult/ped) outside chicago & its probably better that the pts be brought to us, however a lot of them could go by ground. (a lot are not traumas, and are brought to us bc the crap hospital they were at cant handle a papercut or a gi bleed lol)

    the problem is, most of the hems interfacility transports are unnecessary, and largely for the conveience of the hospital rather then a need for urgent transportation (as strangely, some of the most critical cases aren't stable enough to go by air). insurers (and patients,) who are getting stuck with ridiculous transportation costs, have already been paying close attention to reimbursements, and while they haven't really pushed back yet, you can feel it hanging there. with obamacare, a lot of changes are going to occur with insurers (as they will likely get more power then they currently have over the practice of medicine) and hems will take a hit (it's inevitable).

    when i found out how much hem transport was i almost fainted. its more convineint for the hospital? than to send by ground?
    that's going to mean a lot less jobs for flight nurses/medics, and lower pay as well (as people would do it for free if you let them). it's not a career field i'd want to aspire to. ground critical care, on the other hand, may become a big deal, but that's another post, and not at all sexy.
    i would do it for free hahah. ground is fun too. but its not as awesome as flyin around.

    this ****** me off and i wish it werent true but meh. i guess we cant stop it eh?


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