Not your usual questions

  1. I'm not here to ask how to become a flight nurse. I've read into that a lot already. Just a few specific questions that pertain to my future goals.

    1) Is it possible to get a job in a rural area instead of a city? I really want to move to a more rural area one day.

    2) How do you find companies that do a decent amount of scene calls? I miss my days of being a paramedic and even a few scene calls here and there would be nice.

    3) How common are the totally unnecessary transports? I know it's part of the business, but some of you here, as well as someone I know that worked for a large hospital based company, made it sound like it was complete bull crap all the time. I know everyone has different experiences, so I'm curious what you all think about this part.

    4) Is experience at a tertiary care center good enough, or is Level I trauma center experience really necessary?

    Thanks!
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  2. Visit ScottMedicRN profile page

    About ScottMedicRN

    Joined: May '18; Posts: 11; Likes: 12

    4 Comments

  3. by   offlabel
    "Most" medical transport by rotor wing do not merit that mode of conveyance, i.e. ground transport is appropriate and preferable most of the time.
  4. by   PeakRN
    1) Is it possible to get a job in a rural area instead of a city? I really want to move to a more rural area one day.

    Our flight program rotates medics and nurses throughout all of the bases, most of which are in the city but there are a couple of rural bases.

    2) How do you find companies that do a decent amount of scene calls? I miss my days of being a paramedic and even a few scene calls here and there would be nice.

    You'll have to call and ask. Around here 80% transport is about the norm for all of the HEMS services.

    3) How common are the totally unnecessary transports? I know it's part of the business, but some of you here, as well as someone I know that worked for a large hospital based company, made it sound like it was complete bull crap all the time. I know everyone has different experiences, so I'm curious what you all think about this part.

    The vast majority of transport is either unnecessary or above the level needed. Most helicopter transport would have been stable for either ground or fixed wing. Most CCT could have been transported ALS, et cetera.

    4) Is experience at a tertiary care center good enough, or is Level I trauma center experience really necessary?

    This will also depend on the group. Ours prefers at least 2 years of critical care experience with one in the ICU or PICU for the general transport/911 spots, though on average nurses have at least 5 years of critical care experience when starting. We do not particularly care about level I experience, trauma is a small portion of what our crews respond to and is one of the easiest patients they can encounter.

    Our specialty teams require experience within their area of expertise (NICU, Pediatric, and OB teams).
  5. by   ScottMedicRN
    How does rotating bases work? Do they just tell you that you have to drive far to work and you have to just suck it up and do it?

    I'd imagine rural actually gets MORE unwarranted transports due to extended driving times alone, but rural living is something I want in life.

    I get that HEMS gets abused a lot, I'm just curious HOW bad it really is. A guy I know worked for Johns Hopkins and made it sound like they were flying walking/talking people regularly. They also did 0% scene transfers. He eventually lost it and quit on the spot. Just wondering if that's an exaggeration.

    I've done transport before and I know it's about the money, I just would hope to have a decent amount of interesting critical care cases here and there.

    Just want to hear what it's really like. It seems 50/50 love/hate on this message board.
  6. by   PeakRN
    How does rotating bases work? Do they just tell you that you have to drive far to work and you have to just suck it up and do it?

    I only work on a specialty team so I don't know the their exact bidding process, but they typically spend a few months at a base before they rotate. The nurses and medics can switch shifts with those at other bases if they wish. Specialty teams have a fixed base and with rare exception those nurses and RTs don't pick up or switch shifts at other bases. There are so many people who want to get in that they have to basically take what they get, the competing system does the same thing.

    I'd imagine rural actually gets MORE unwarranted transports due to extended driving times alone, but rural living is something I want in life.

    It depends on what you consider unwarranted transport. Does flying a IA candidate who is otherwise stable for a bus warrant the transport? Time can be a very legitimate reason for flight. Most of the patients that get flown into us should have been okay to stay at most hospitals, but are beyond the capabilities of critical access hospitals.

    I get that HEMS gets abused a lot, I'm just curious HOW bad it really is. A guy I know worked for Johns Hopkins and made it sound like they were flying walking/talking people regularly. They also did 0% scene transfers. He eventually lost it and quit on the spot. Just wondering if that's an exaggeration.

    Back when I worked in Fire we would fly out strokes if they could fly faster than I could have driven them in the bus. Those patients would have been fine with paramedic level care.

    We do get quite a few fixed wing and flights in that I would never have flown, but the sending facility just wasn't comfortable with sending ALS or CCT bus.

    I've done transport before and I know it's about the money, I just would hope to have a decent amount of interesting critical care cases here and there.

    Just want to hear what it's really like. It seems 50/50 love/hate on this message board.


    I hate flying, and my specialty team is ground based. We only fly if we have to, and we have a helicopter flown out to us on scene. Sitting in a burning hot or freezing helicopter and hoping we don't hit a power line just doesn't do anything for me. I would put myself more in the 'hate' category, but I also choose to not have it be my career since I work primarily in the ED of the hospital we are based out of.

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