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Flight Nurse Specialist

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  1. RickyRescueRN

    Best shoes for OR nursing

    Hey all, I'm looking for your input on what you find the best and most comfortable shoe is , to wear if you work in the OR. When I worked in the ICU years ago, I found my Dansko's to be pretty comfortable. Any feedback/recommendations greatly appreciated.
  2. RickyRescueRN

    Specialty change Flight RN to CVOR

    So after many many years working as a flight nurse on board a Life Flight helicopter, I finally resolved to put in an application at my facility as a CV OR RN. I had a good amount of OR experience many years ago in a CV OR (in South Africa) where we scrubbed an circulated; however I was drawn into ICU, Trauma Resus and Flight for most of the next 21years . I feel that I am stagnating in what I currently do and the OR presents an entirely different world with new challenges and experiences. What does the typical OR interview involve these days and what are the main focus of the questions (besides the usual behavioral , communication type questions). Any pointers and input from you, my experienced colleagues, would be greatly appreciated. Apprehensive, but excited here and ready for a new challenge in our great profession.
  3. RickyRescueRN

    Shock Trauma OR Offer!

    Wow what an amazing opportunity. Sounds like the perfect job for an adrenaline loving RN (like myself). Hope you are enjoying it. What did you choose eventually ?
  4. RickyRescueRN

    Not your usual questions

    It sounds like you have most of what is required for a Flight position. I would recommend a Trauma Course as well (Transport Provider Advanced Trauma Course -TPATC is the one which is CAMTS approved presently). I have been a flight RN for a very long time and have seen volume at all programs generally decline. A lot of this has to do with the numbers of helicopter bases that are popping up all the time , diluting the actual call volume in any given area. Many of the rural areas transport pretty low acuity patients as they cannot afford to have their ground ambulance out of the area/ county for an extended period of time so turf it to the local air ambulance (which is a complete misuse of an expensive resource) . If you speak to RNs at most flight programs you will find that the larger percentage of their call volume are IFTs and 911/ scene work can be limited. Personally , I find the really acute IFTS a lot more challenging and critical than the majority of seen calls that I go on. Please let us know how you progress and when you get a transport/ flight RN position. Best of Luck!
  5. RickyRescueRN

    Flight RNs and Medics - I have some questions

    Best of luck for your future!
  6. RickyRescueRN

    Interviewing for a flight nurse position,.or so I thought?

    If it's a flight RN job you are wanting, then apply for that job. There is always an opportunity to ask questions of the employer at interviews and it would be totally appropriate to ask whether the job requires ground transport or not and if so for what period of time. You certainly sound very qualified for such a position and I know that a huge shortage of Flight RN is looming ( you can see so many vacancies listed on the big corporate programs websites). I think though, if prospective employers know that you are in a post Grad program they may be less inclined to hire you as they typically believe that you cannot give 100% to them during orientation etc when you are in what is essentially a demanding graduate education program. I must add that very few flight programs use ACNP's as part of their usual crew configuration. Typically many programs have ACNPs flying who are paid and practice as a RN , with the usual scope of practice for a flight RN. Best of luck.
  7. RickyRescueRN

    What am I missing?

    Been a while since I checked in on this site, but here goes. I think you are well prepared already for a flight RN position. Contrary to popular belief, there are literally hundreds of vacancies for flight RNs around the country. You have 5 years ICU experience as well as ED experience and from what I read have all the certs that are needed to apply for a job. I think you just need to apply. Find out about any local flight programs and perhaps schedule a Fly Along opportunity with them Many flight programs often use these opportunities as an "informal interview" to see if your personality would fit their team . Most programs will expect you to get your Neonatal resuscitation provider (NRP) and Transport Provider Advanced Trauma Course (TPATC through ASTNA) within the 1st 6months of employment so these are not hiring requirements in most places. While your weight might be a bit of hitch with flight programs that fly small single engine helicopters , it would not be a problem for a career with a Fixed wing flight program or those who fly big helicopters. As someone who has been a flight nurse for the most part of my 22 year career as a RN, I would highly encourage you to also become an active member of of the Air and Surface Transport Nurses Association (ASTNA) and to attend the various national conferences where you will have the opportunity to meet with other RN's and also program managers of transport programs and network with them. Many of the big corporate Flight companies such as AirMethods, MedTrans, PHI etc have many vacancies posted around the country , while the hospital based operations have fewer vacancies as they typically pay higher salaries etc. Wishing you well on your journey.
  8. RickyRescueRN

    HIPAA violation and future employment opportunities

    As a Legal Nurse Consultant, I would strongly recommend that you get an attorney and do so promptly. This is a very serious offense and your employer will need to report it to the State BON. This is also a federal issue, and typically the fines are substantial. The only way you can get through this relatively unscathed is to have a knowledgeable attorney represent you. Best of luck. I trust that many others will learn from this unfortunate situation.
  9. RickyRescueRN

    Is this too much or common?

    You are working WAYYY too much and I am pretty sure they are not paying you sufficiently either. The longer shifts you work and the greater the number, the greater the chance of safety incidents occurring or medical mistakes being made. The big thing though is that is not a good or healthy work life balance, especially if you are also in ACNP school full time. You will burn out eventually . I'd definitely recommend cutting back, for your own and your patient's sake.
  10. RickyRescueRN

    Best pathway for becoming flight nurse?

    Absolutely need ICU experience and the more you have of it, the better applicant you make . You cannot teach experience or take a course in experience or read it in a book. You need Solid ICU experience in a busy , preferably high acuity unit . I always recommend CV ICU, SICU as you get to care for patients on numerous pressors, inotropic agents as well as on ECMO, IABP, Impellas, multiple invasive monitoring lines and seriously ill patients. This experience is what the Flight programs count on the RN having, so that you are not stunned when you take a transport and realize that the patient is receiving therapies that you have never seen or heard of. The better the experience, the better Flight nurse specialist you will be and that is really what counts in this specialty.
  11. RickyRescueRN

    Airlift Northwest?

    I know at Airlift NW that they typically hire from within UW . Many of the flight nurses have worked at Harbourview MC (ER/ ICUS) or UW medicine. I have several friends that work there and thats the path they took. Also, they fly RN-RN and the one RN is a pediatric RN, so they will typically hire from Children's hospitals/ RNs with extensive PICU/ NICU experience. Its a highly regarded flight program and therefore, extremely hard to get into; much like many of the other large, established University Hospital based flight programs (Duke, U.Michigan Survival Flight, DHART, Stanford Life Flight etc)
  12. RickyRescueRN


    Hi there, the biggest problem and obstacle to using High Flow Nasal Cannulae O2 therapies is that in transport your oxygen source and supply is limited and also running flows as high as 50-60lpm often will cause the O2 supply pipes to freeze resulting in the system shutting down. Using LOX (liquid O2) even with NIVPPV (BiPAP) with very high flow rates has become impossible as the supply source has not being designed to run that high continuously.
  13. RickyRescueRN

    Pre Interview Written Exam?

    Definitely review all critical care knowledge (treating abnormal ABG's, treating electrolyte imbalances, PA Catheter waveforms and trouble shooting, EVD use/monitoring, 12 Lead ECG interpretation, knowing normal and abnormal lab results and how to treat the abnormal ). Flight and CCT programs hire RN's for the Critical Care knowledge and experience. Very few , if any will hire someone without ICU experience these days. The liability and litigation risks are just too high. Know the key principles of managing the septic patient, patients with Aortic emergencies, Acute Ischemic stroke, SAH's, head injuries , Diabetic emergencies, ARDS management , the basics of IABP management and a basic working knowledge of LVADs, Impella and ECMO therapies. Know your RSI meds and the usual doses for adults and kids. Good luck.
  14. RickyRescueRN

    Circulating vs. Scrubbing

    In the California Bay area here (SF) and at the teaching hospital where I work, OR RN's are required to scrub and circulate. I think you will find that in most teaching/ university hospitals.
  15. RickyRescueRN

    Height & Weight requirements

    Some states require one to have an EMT-P, but there are many that don't. (California being one). At the hospital based Flight program where I work, none of my colleagues were paramedics/ EMT's before starting to fly. We have RN's here with a minimum of 10 yrs experience in ICU typically before they got hired on into the Flight department. Some have ED experience , but the nature of our call profile requires ICU experience and qualifications , doing many high acuity ICU transfers (ECMO, Impella, LVAD, IABP, ICP/ ventriculostomy management and monitoring as well as patients on Nitric, Flolan etc etc. So ER experience in our setting has little to no benefit. All the nurses here have picked up the Scene call routine easily . I think the biggest bit to learn is Radio use, but with a good mentor/ preceptor you can learn this too , with time. I worked in the ICU (CCU, CV ICU, Trauma ICU, SICU) for 7-8 years before going full time as a Flight RN. As I stated before, you have many years to go before you need to worry about all this though . Get a good job and get good experience as that is what counts in terms of making you a safe and experienced, and clinically sound transport nurse. The cool factor wears off after a week...