Monday, May 29

What You Can Expect from Non-Emergency Medical Transport Services


If you have ever needed to get yourself or a loved one from one state to another using non-emergency medical transport, you have probably wondered about the level of care that a flight nurse is able to provide. You have no doubt asked what would happen if your condition suddenly turned critical. Would the flight nurse be able to cope with an emergency that arises out of the blue? Traveling with a medical condition can represent a challenging situation that is subject to fluctuations. Even if no emergency occurs, what assistance does a flight nurse offer to their patients? Below we look at the role and training of a flight nurse to give you the reassurance that you are in good hands.

Responsibilities and Duties of a Flight Nurse

The job requirements of a flight nurse are not only limited to the actual flight but start long before. For example, the flight nurse will collect the patient from their current location and see that they get safely to the airport and onto the flight. Medical clearances and medical certificates required by the airline will be obtained, along with documents indicating that the patient is fit for flying. The full medical documentation pertaining to the patient will be safely stored. If the patient needs a wheelchair, this will be arranged too.

Once the nurse has settled their patient onboard the plane and ensured that they are comfortable and safe, their responsibilities and duties are only beginning and include whichever of the following are applicable:

  • Carrying out first aid
  • Seeing that the patient receives all their medications on schedule
  • Handling medical equipment
  • Handling emergencies
  • Giving a patient oxygen
  • Giving medical infusions
  • Carrying out resuscitations or advanced life support
  • Transferring patients safely to back-up medical staff that they have arranged

The flight nurse must be prepared to handle the transport and medical needs of patients on medical flights international too, such as returning to the States. This will involve additional paperwork and longer flights, as a rule.

Training and Skills

A nurse can only become a flight nurse after a high degree of training, backed by solid experience. This involves working in ICU, critical care, and emergency rooms to gain sufficient knowledge and ability to cope alone onboard the flight. A flight nurse must have a post-graduate qualification too. This will cover advanced life support for adults and children, including babies, skills to handle emergency situations in the air, and dealing with trauma outside of the hospital setting. It does not end there, as flight nurses must continue their training even after taking on this role.

Non-Medical Skills and Knowledge a Flight Nurse Must Have

Flight nurses must have sterling communication skills. They will be interacting with nervous patients and their loved ones, the airline, and other medical personnel who are on stand-by for emergencies upon landing. Flight nurses have to meet with their patients before the flight to establish their medical conditions, needs for medication, and assess possible flight risks. They must have excellent bedside manners to ensure that their patients remain calm and to see to their comfort.

You and your loved ones are in good hands with a flight nurse on a commercial flight providing care and non-emergency medical support.