An air ambulance is only as good as the medical professionals on board—especially the Flight Nurses. When it comes to tending to your health and well-being, a Registered Flight Nurse must be able to work under challenging situations in a dynamic environment—24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If you’ve ever wondered what goes into being an a Registered Nurse who commands an Air Ambulance mission, here is some handy information to help you learn about the vital role they play on an air ambulance in BC.
What are the responsibilities of a flight nurse?
There’s a lot more to working as a flight nurse than most people realize. They are an integral part of an air ambulance team in BC, providing comprehensive nursing care and in-flight management, from before you take off to well after you’ve landed. Air Ambulance Flight Nurses have a long list of duties and responsibilities that include:
- Collecting and securely storing all necessary medical documentation before, during and after the medevac mission.
- Ensuring patient care, safety, and comfort.
- Operating complex, life sustaining ICU medical equipment
- Providing emergency medical care and interventions
- Managing chronic medical conditions such as wound care in flight
- Performing airborne blood transfusions
- Administering medications such as narcotics for pain control
- Safely loading, securing the patient and unloading the patient
- Communicating with our air ambulance dispatch centre
- Working with our Flight Doctor’s and following treatment orders
What qualifications do flight nurses need?
Flight nurses need a high level of clinical training and experience to work on an air ambulance in BC or Alberta. In addition to the normal requirements of a Registered Nurse, they also need post-grad training in emergency nursing, including pediatric advanced life support, advanced life support, and pre-hospital trauma life support before they take to the skies. A Flight Nurse needs to work at least 3-5 years in a busy hospital ER or ICU before they can apply.
Flight nurses must also have experience in critical care, ICU, or other emergency room-based settings. If that wasn’t enough, flight nurses receive ongoing training to ensure the best medical care possible for all their patients. Each mission is audited by the Clinical Nurse Educator and Medical Director to ensure ongoing quality patient care.
What are some of the non-medical duties of a flight nurse?
Being a competent Flight Nurse means having a solid set of communication skills. They must be able to properly liaison with the other medical team members as well as the flight crew. Flight Nurses will also plan pre-flight meetings to go over their patients’ medical records, medical requirements, and other specific needs. And most importantly, they need to be able to comfort and reassure their patients and family members. Flight Nurses are the world’s rescue nurse and angels of flight!
Do Flight Nurses work on Commercial Airlines?
Yes, all of our air ambulance Flight Nurses also work on board commercial aircraft, around the world. When not working as part of a medevac mission, our Flight Nurses can be found on commercial airline medical escort missions or working as part of a medical escort team on a commercial airline stretcher.
Do Flight Nurses work on Ground Ambulances?
Yes, our Flight Nurses also work on our long distance ground ambulances, moving patients between BC and Alberta when an air ambulance isn’t an affordable option. Our Flight Nurses also travel in our ground ambulances as part of a medical crew to and from Washington State, Idaho and Montana.
Where are your Flight Nurses based?
Our air ambulance Flight Nurses are based in Vancouver, British Columbia and Calgary, Alberta.
Do all of your Flight Nurses fly on an Air Ambulance?
Not all of our Flight Nurses fly exclusively on an air ambulance. Our commercial airline medical escort Flight Nurses in Toronto and in Frankfurt work exclusively as international medical escorts, whereas our Flight Nurses in Vancouver and Calgary work on both our air ambulances and as medical escorts on commercial flights.
Do you need an air ambulance in BC or Alberta? As you can see, Flight Nurses are the heart and soul of every journey, ensuring the best possible medical care for all their patients. Whether you are flying across the province or the world, you can rest assured knowing you are in the most caring, competent hands possible with an air ambulance Flight Nurse.
For an air ambulance in BC or Alberta, contact LIFESUPPORT today!
About LIFESUPPORT Air Medical Services
LIFESUPPORT Air Medical Services, Inc is an internationally accredited, globally recognized medical air transport and emergency services company, with diversified services, serving multiple sectors, including governments, hospitals and health authorities, the travel & health insurance and financial sectors.
Commercial Airline Medical Escorts
Commercial Airline Stretcher Service