Flight nurse interview

  1. Hello, this is my first post ever on this site. I just had a question for all of you Rns. I have been an Rn now for almost 7 years and have worked in critical care and ER, plus travel nursed for 3 of those years. My question is is flight nursing worth the risk? I was actually approached by one of my coworkers about the company he works for and said I'd be a good fit. So I applied and have an interview in a week. I know the pay isn't the greatest but I'm looking more at advancing my skills. I'm currently in school getting my bsn cause I haven't really needed more than my associates for all this time. I also work at a big hospital in the trauma Icu right now and wouldn't be quitting that job. I have a weekend option position where I work sat/sun and get paid full time. The flight job I'm applying for is just part time, so 1 24 hr shift a week and they know I can't work weekends.... My wife is an Rn too in the recovery room and just works prn so she can stay at home more with my 2 yr old daughter. So what do u guys think? Plus has anyone worked for air methods? What should I study for the interview? Just wanted to get someone's opinion cause my wife is still unsure about me flying lol.... Thanks for any feedback I appreciate it
  2. Visit ejelchico5583 profile page

    About ejelchico5583

    Joined: Mar '13; Posts: 2


  3. by   FlyingScot
    Did it and quit it in 2008 when 36 people died in various HEMS mishaps. Is it safe...no. Is it worth the risk...that's up to you. Some questions you need to ask. What is their safety record? How old are their airframes, do they have NVGs (for everyone), TAWS? Do they have AC on the aircraft? Sounds ridiculous but is a very big deal. Also, it may be a part time position but the training is not and should not be. It will be a big time suck for an extended period. Honestly if your wife isn't on-board you should really think twice about this. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer but these are the issues people don't talk about. Sure it's a great job and holds a lot of prestige. No better feeling than zipping up your flight suit and lacing your jump boots for a mission but that isn't the important stuff. The important stuff is what gets you home to your wife and child.
  4. by   ejelchico5583
    Don't worry ur not being a Debbie downer lol these are the types of answers I want, something honest. I know safety is the number one thing but learning how to intubate, central lines, the traumas are the things that make me think about doing this. After I'm done with my bsn, crna is my next plan. So many of my co workers have moved on and are in the program now so I'm just thinking this could be an invaluable experience for me. I still don't know but I really do appreciate your comments, coming from someone that has been through this experience before, it's the best advice
  5. by   Medic/Nurse
    It depends on the life you want.

    I think that flight does NOT have the reputation it did years ago. Used to be best of the best - and in some markets, it does take only the best. But more often, it is all about "boots in the suit". Sorry. It disappointed me too!

    I want to be very clear on this point - a bad day flying is so much worse than the worst day anywhere else. Patients die and, to some degree, we expect it. But, coming from the confines of the hospital - you gotta get your head around the fact that YOU CAN DIE or COWORKER(S) CAN DIE. Please don't believe that certain airframes, gadgets and other options make you superior to any other service or will keep you safe - by a 90%+ margin, the biggest factor in safety is good decision making as most crashes are a result of pilot error or MORE ACCURATELY failure of "flight crew" decision-making. However, making a good decision (aviation or clinical) in the flight realm is rarely black or white - it seems safety decisions would be, but based on crash details over the past decade, it would appear that even "good, experienced, flight crews" make many decisions in that lethal shade of gray. So, while aviation will be new and shiny - never forget that you have a voice and folks a LOT smarter and more experienced than me (or you, for that matter) have "gone along, to get along" at some critical point and some have been LUCKY while others have tragically left a big smoking hole in the ground and, more importantly, left their families in a state of despair that can only go with the loss of you. The air medical industry is very good at memorials - and that is BAD. Period.

    Be sure - the risks are real and the rewards few. After all, it is just a way of getting to point A to point B. Sure, it's cool at times - but it is just transport. 60-80%+ of your flights (depending on time of year and mission profile of your service/base) will be interfacility. Not "exciting" like trauma - but, they can be challenging (more so IMHO) as trauma is a surgical disease and is far more cookbook than other call types.

    I think the most vital parts of preparation are: - rock solid clinical and assessment skills AND - the ability to improvise and critically think. The fact is --- they could hire a well trained money to perform technical clinical skills - the difference is my knowing the WHY or WHY-NOT of the decision behind any clinical skill and that I have sound reasoning in clinical decision making. Accountability is enhanced and you MUST have a well developed sense of self-reliance. I like to say - THEY PAY ALONG WITH A PARTNER ME TO MAKE A GOOD DECISION IN A BAD SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES. Period. So, to that end - if you think you are ready and can step up and "be the guy/gal" - then that box gets checked off as READY.

    You seem to have the requisite experience on paper and that is necessary. Only you know if you (and your family) are willing to accept the risks of this type job - so, that box may require some family input before you can decide that it can or cannot be checked.

    As for interview prep - there is little I could add other than to check the excellent threads on the same topic here and on flightweb.com

    On FW search Mike Mimms posts on prep and interview (I think you have to register to use search function) - there is nothing to add other than my rumblings here. Think it through - yes, it can have its rewards, but.... There are risks and they are real. And killed may not be the worst thing that could happen to you - a few have lived through crashes with varying degrees of serious damage and disability. If during a interview you are told that "we are safe, it can't happen here" - RUN. You life will depend on it.

    Remember it is JUST A JOB. GOOD LUCK with whatever you decide.

    Practice SAFE!
    Fly SAFE!
  6. by   operationflightnurse
    I've worked CVICU, NICU, MICU, SICU, CCU and now flight. It is the best job ever. I took a large pay cut from travel to do what I do and love my job.

    I am a flight nurse practitioner and have spent the last few years documenting some of my more memorable transports (rotor-wing, fixed-wing, and mobile ICU)
    Last edit by Esme12 on Jul 27, '13 : Reason: TOS/solicitation
  7. by   LadyFree28
    ="operationflightnurse;7409892"]I've worked CVICU, NICU, MICU, SICU, CCU and now flight. It is the best job ever. I took a large pay cut from travel to do what I do and love my job.

    I am a flight nurse practitioner and have spent the last few years documenting some of my more memorable transports (rotor-wing, fixed-wing, and mobile ICU).
    ^Sounds great!
    Last edit by Esme12 on Jul 27, '13 : Reason: edited quote
  8. by   operationflightnurse
    please read NREMT-P/RN post on this thread. His is right on and no matter how rewarding, exciting, and fun this job is, there is a risk and it must be considered when applying.

    Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) programs have one of the highest fatality rates per employee than any other occupation and are 6000 times more likely to have an accident than commercial aircraft.
    Last edit by Esme12 on Jul 27, '13 : Reason: TOS/solicitation