The Little Engine That Could...

  1. Hello All...

    I guess I'm just looking for a little boost of confidence from those who have been in my shoes. Like many, I have an interest to fly. I'm in my 18th year of working ground ambulances (yes, that's plural, I love my job as a Paramedic and I had, and still own, many ... apparently it's been said that makes me an EMS sl*t)

    I'm now an RN for 1.5 years and have worked solely for a community hospital ER, which sees about 33k patients annually. Becoming a nurse is a good thing, but leaving EMS (the job I love) to become a slave to patient needs/argumentative whining and losing my autonomy/performing advanced field skills has really beaten me down . I don't enjoy work, because of the endless responsibilities that are bestowed on us from :bowingpurOn High. Not to mention how the Supervisor belittles, and Patients & Families are overly demanding. Much of this is probably because a community hospital needs to pamper their customers for hopeful payment and influx of repeat business, and the community becomes spoiled and expecting particular high-end treatment ("can I mix that sugar in your tea for you??").

    I know I need to be back doing what I Love and also what I do Best. I was far, far more compassionate and felt good about myself, even if I had no calls for the day. I have a profound desire to work in a different setting of EMS (flight) because of the higher acuity, it's teamwork driven by motivated professionals, and, let's face it... a Dauphene is more sleak and interesting than a Ford .

    I've applied to a few flight services, but I feel undeserving should I be offered a job. And what are the chances of being offered that job? :uhoh21: I hold the certs (CCEMTP, RN, TNCC, NRP, blah, blah, blah) and experience of many years, but not "in a busy EMS system" or for a mega-city hospital. Although I've seen and dealt with my fair share of serious patients, especially given the difference of Rural EMS and InnerCity (much longer transport time, high-speeds, etc.)

    How do flight agencies consider their multitude of applicants? Am I written off and need to get my butt kicked harder in a Large Level-1 ER for 3 more years and absolutely have a BSN and then still get cast aside... or am I comparible? As stated in the beginning, maybe I just need a boost... but I also need the truth. Has anyone felt this way, been in these shoes, or otherwise landed a flight job with similar or less experience? Your responses will be insightful. Thank you, ALL
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    Joined: Mar '08; Posts: 3; Likes: 6


  3. by   Medic/Nurse
    I share your frustration with nursing after paramedic practice. Sure the $ was better, but being a paramedic was a better job. At least I felt better suited and satisfied with paramedic practice.

    I did my time. I learned everything I could - took the worst assignments, the most critical patients. Bring it on. Not sure what I was going to do with the experience, but I knew that it would present me with options.

    I grew weary. I became nearly unrecognizable even to my husband. He remarked that "I don't even know you anymore. You are so unhappy." And I was. I was leaving nursing for law school. I had left nursing for a "break" after 3.5 years - My experience was in smaller (25-50K visits) ER's, limited L1, some ICU. I could not find lasting satisfaction as a staff nurse.

    I was offered a transport position a year and a half ago and have been flying for a year or so. This so fits. I have the best of everything. Challenged, respected, valued and really good at what I do. I remain aware of just how blessed I am.

    I do not think that my RN (or paramedic) experience was exceptional - just solid. Even more than that - I think that I was just a good "fit" for the positions.

    I do not think that community ER is a negative and you note that you applied to flight services? Have you gotten any responses? You have 1.5 years of RN experience and although that is too low for serious consideration, I would think that any service would welcome your inquiry into their requirements for flight nurses.

    I think that you may benefit from looking at ER/ICU nursing as essential for getting the knowledge and experience to get to where you want to be. Kinda helps to re-frame the necessary this way! Focus on being as great a nurse as you were a paramedic helps too!

    Keep you chin up! (Easier to look at the sky that way!) You can do this. There are many posts on here and as to the requirements for flight nurses. Most of the advice is spot on. Not sure what area of the county you are in, but - if you have any geographic flexibility there are a lot of great jobs out there!

    Anyway, keep on keeping on! Set up some goals/timelines and focus on getting the best preparation possible. I have an amazing paramedic partner, but I am expected to have a different knowledge base (And I do!). We complement each other in every way. Our patients get the best we have to offer. I will say that the really sick folks use every combined skill set/knowledge base that we have -- even with over 30 years of collective experience between us.

    Better is out there! The best advice I have is decide what you want to do and then aggressively work toward it with a goal in sight! I wish you the best of luck!

    Practice SAFE!
  4. by   Rio
    Most likely you'll need a minimum of three years experience. Get some ICU experience to round out your critical care. One of the best ways to get hired is to follow through.
    NREMT-P/RN gave you some excellent advice along with a couple questions. Yet you havn't replied.
    "Stay in school." Jake