Published Sep 20, 2004
Hey gotta tell you this sight is Great! Okay now to the question. I'm a Nursing student and about to graduate. I'm really liking the Flight Nurse Thing. I'm no stranger to scene responces for I'm an emt-b also and worked on a rig for several years. However I do carry a few extra pounds. what are the weight requirements for your wonderful job.
I know that I need to get a few years in on an icu floor, but i'm so excited that I'm on a diet and running nightly. -soon to be in shape Justin
P.S. Any fitness advice would help.
Believe it or not, weight requirements are not the same across the board. It really depends on the type of aircraft configuration the company flies, and especially the single vs twin enging helicopters in serivce. I flew a couple of days (as a visitor) in some Atlanta based AStars (single engine) and the weight limit was 200 lbs. I was right at 200, but ended up having to sit some hospital to hospital flights out since the patient weighed upwards of 230 lbs each time. If I am not mistaken, generally weight limitations really apply more for single engine than dual engine helicopters and of course the company's regs that you will be flying with. I hope someone else can be of more help, but this was my experience.
I applaude your determination. Being in good physical shape will help redcue the risk of injury in the ICU/ER as well as the flight world. Having spent 20 years in the Army Special Forces, I was not prepared for the things I saw when I started in the civilian hospitals. People running(haha) to codes and complaining of back pain 2 hours into a 12 hour shift. I am no superhero, for a guy 5'6" and 185lbs, the world is built for taller people. So I adapt, as you must also. Usable strength will beat size any day, hospitals and aircraft are not designd around a health club. May I suggest Kettlebells? And any fitness plan you can do in the hospital lockerroom, flight line, breakroom, etc., with your own bodyweight at 0300hrs.
find someone on your shift schedule to get fit with, misery loves company.
so, is it safe to say that at 6'6" 300 lbs I may be locked out of rotor wing flight nursing?
Pretty much. Even twin engine aircraft programs usually have a weight limit around 200-210. Your height will also be an issue not for the flying part but for your comfort. You'd be okay in a big AC (think Sikorsky S-76) but probably not so much in an EC 135 and definitely not an A-Star. I just don't see it happening at 300lbs. Sorry.
My service has an across the board limit (rotor and FW) of 225 pounds in full gear. I know of some services that have limits of 200 pounds or less in some cases.
Work on your weight and get a few years of solid ICU experience. In addition, get a C behind your name (CCEMTP, CEN, CCRN, CFRN, etc), and network with flight bubbas at the various critical care or AHA courses offered in your area.
Medic/Nurse, BSN, RN
Assuming that you are "bringing it" with your educational and clinical experience - sure, I think that an objective view of your physical reality is a great idea! Actually, it is essential.
Some services have very strict limits. My service does not have a "Published" limit. I know of some of the "cornbread fed" (kidding guys!) ones that go - 6'3" and 275#. Now, that does not mean that each of the crew will go that - that would not be possible and fly a PATIENT anywhere! I noted an extreme - I would guess that most of the guys are between 5'6" and 6'0 - usually 5'9" and about 190 pounds + gear. The girls vary between 5'0" and 5'8" and are under 160 + gear. Average of 5'5" and 140#. Gear weighs between 7 to 15 pounds (helmet, boots, coat, flightsuit and contents)
I think that it comes down to several things. Weight matters. The aircraft has a limit on the payload - gear, crew, patient, fuel - it all matters. Also, you need to be "comfortable" in your ability to do the job.
This is the one area of nursing that DEMANDS that you be physically able to do some exceptional activities.
Can you "fit" in the aircraft comfortably? Height, weight. This is a confined space with a limited area for movement and patient care. In and out of the aircraft - routine and in an emergency situation? If you have limitations - it is not worth your life or a patients.
However, just because you are small does not make you a good fit. This job takes some degree of physical strength - size matters, but ability does too. I think that vital capacity has to be considered too. This job can work you really hard at times.
Ideally, weight in proportion to height. Also, committed to regular aerobic and strength training. Add a great diet and commitment to staying well hydrated and rested. Do not smoke and avoid alcohol.
Some folks have to work harder than others - The older I get I find that extremes are less easily "forgiven". It was punishing in the beginning. I guard my physical preparation now. Show up for a shift less than prepared and you will suffer!
Sounds like a party - doesn't it? :clpty:
Oh, and while we are on ideals - are you a great partner? Do you listen, contribute and try to be agreeable? Meticulous in grooming habits is nice too! Do you cherish time alone but enjoy company for a meal or movie? Hmmm...I am lucky, I have a great job. And I'm blessed with a great partner.
My service has an across the board limit (rotor and FW) of 225 pounds in full gear. I know of some services that have limits of 200 pounds or less in some cases.Work on your weight and get a few years of solid ICU experience. In addition, get a C behind your name (CCEMTP, CEN, CCRN, CFRN, etc), and network with flight bubbas at the various critical care or AHA courses offered in your area.
Hey there GilaRN - great advice, but do you work with me?
We have flight bubbas too!
Maybe they are everywhere! Gotta Love 'em!!!
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