Air Force Flight Nurse

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    Hello! I am an RN in the Cardiac ICU and am considering joining the Air Force Reserves as a Flight Nurse. Can anyone tell me about the process/job/lifestyle and the suggested amount of Nursing Experience prior to being a Flight Nurse in the Air Force? Also, does anyone know the difference between being a Flight Nurse and being on CCATT? Any help would be very much appreciated. Thanks!!
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  3. 5 Comments so far...

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    Welcome to AN! The largest online nursing community!

    thread moved to military nursing........
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    Unless you are brand new, your experience would be fine. I am a flight nurse in the WY Air Guard. Flight nurses take care of the non-CCAT patients and are in charge of all patient management. We are considered part of the flight team and coordinate with the pilot and flight crew. CCAT nurses only take care of their assigned patient and are not considered "flyers" as they will also transport patients on the ground. As a result of this, you wouldn't get flight pay, flight training, or crew rest. But you would get to use your ICU skills. You can read an article I wrote about a typical day here http://allnurses.com/government-mili...ir-754221.html. CCAT patients are stable but are usually intubated or on drips. They almost always have very serious injuries. A CCAT team is a physician, nurse, and RT. You accompany the patient from hospital to hospital, while the flight nurse does not leave the plane.

    The best way to get in is to directly contact the reserve unit near you. They can hook you up with their recruiter and you would apply for the job directly with them. You need a clean arrest background, little or no drug use in your past, and be able to keep up with yearly PT tests. Initial training would be Commissioned Officers School (5 weeks), flight nursing school (4 weeks), and some other survival trainings for up to 5 days each. I don't know how long the CCAT school is. Feel free to email me with any other questions.
    traumaRUs likes this.
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    Thank you so much for the advice! I have a couple of questions if you don't mind?
    - What is the difference between the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserves?
    - How does flight pay differ from the standard Air Force Reserve Officer Pay?
    - What is "Crew Rest?"
    - How do I coordinate the time to do 5 weeks of COT, 4 weeks of Flight School, and various Survival training days while working as a nurse in the hospital? (i.e. Are these classes continuous/consecutive wherein I would need approximately 2-3 months off of work?)
    - So far I have 1 year of nursing experience, 2 months of which are in the Cardiac ICU and everything prior to that was in the Cardiac IMU. How much nursing experience would you recommend?
    Thanks a lot!!!
    P.S. that article you wrote what incredibly inspiring and really excited me to serve my country. thank you for your insight!
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    The Guard has both a federal and a state mandate, reserves are only federal. All personnel are paid the same, you can google pay scales by rank and years of service. Crew rest means after so many hours of flying you must receive rest- CCAT can be worked hard and does not have regulated rest. You don't really coordinate schools per se; your squadron tells you when they are, you tell your job, and you go. Check USERRA for further about your civilian job. As far as experience, more is better but it can take up to two years to get commissioned. If you apply, by the time you enter you would have quite a bit more experience. Good luck.
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    That all sounds great- thank you so much for being so helpful and informative. Do you know if there are any existing opportunities to shadow a Flight Nurse in either the Air National Guard or AF Reserves? If not, what are some good ways to find out firsthand of this is truly a good calling for me? Thanks again!


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