Flight nurses are responsible for providing in flight emergency medical care to patients who are either injured or sick.
Due to the high level of responsibility and required knowledge a flight nurse must posses all flight nurses must have previous experience working in intensive care as a registered nurse and in many cases flight nursing organizations want registered nurse to have at least 5 years of experience and have a bachelor’s degree before they think about hiring a registered nurse for a flight nursing position.
They must also as have extensive training in the areas of hemo-dynamic support, vaso-active medications, mechanical ventilation and a number of other specialized care practices that correspond with emergency care.
Flight nurse job description
Below you will find a brief but informative flight nurse job description on some of the medical tasks flight nurses perform on a daily basis.
When on a mission flight nurses have a number of responsibilities that they most hold themselves and their team accountable for in order to make sure the mission is a success.
Some of the various duties flight nurses are in charge of include:
- Evaluating the patients ailments and/or needs and providing them with proper medical care and treatment until the patient safely reaches the hospital
- Administering medication and/or injections to ease the patients pain & suffering
- Replacing lost blood through the use of blood transfusion devices
- Stitching up injuries, providing splints, doing incisions and performing minor operations if necessary
- Managing proper treatment while working in small and often compressed atmospheres
- Maintaining the patients overall safety while in flight
- Operating emergency and non emergency medical machinery, equipment and/or technology such as mechanical ventilation machines, oxygen tanks, blood transfusion devices and various other life support equipment.
- Acting as an intermediary and communicator between the flight crew and flight medical team
- Planning and Preparing for flight missions
In addition to all of the responsibilities flight nurses have they may also operate in a large variety of settings that are outside of the hospitals norm such as:
- Responding to car accidents
- Operating in tornadoes
- Helping people who are trapped on a buildings or mountains
- Rescuing individuals caught in earthquakes
- Saving individuals who are caught in a flood
Depending on what state you work in and the overall demand for flight nurses in your area the average salary a flight nurse might make can vary from under $55,000 to over $80,000 per year with the median salary falling between $65, 000 – 70,000 in the United States.