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The Essential Role of Nurses in Air Medical Travel

The Essential Role of Nurses in Air Medical Travel 1

The Essential Role of Nurses in Air Medical Travel 2

For patients who require medical assistance and attention outside of their local areas, air medical travel is a vital resource that ensures they receive the necessary medical care as soon as possible. These patients could be suffering from a life-threatening illness, in critical condition after an accident, or might need transportation for a scheduled surgery in another city. The responsibility of coordinating and providing the medical services during air medical travel is the duty of a team of healthcare professionals that includes flight physicians, respiratory therapists, and most importantly, flight nurses. This article will highlight the significant role that flight nurses play in air medical travel and how their expertise and skill set make a difference in patient outcomes. Utilize this external content to explore the subject further. non-emergency air ambulance, broaden your understanding of the covered topic.

Qualifications and Training of Flight Nurses

Flight nurses must possess a variety of skills and knowledge to be proficient in their roles. Before they start air medical travel, they require a minimum of five years of acute care experience, at least two years of critical care experience, and a certification in critical care nursing. They must additionally undergo training that meets the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) requirements. This training emphasizes specialty areas such as altitude physiology, flight physiology, and patient handling techniques in an aircraft environment.

Medical Procedures and Interventions Performed by Flight Nurses

The most critical aspect of air medical travel is providing care and support to patients who require medical assistance while in transit. Some of the procedures and interventions that flight nurses routinely perform include the administration of medications, oxygen therapy, airway management, defibrillation, and mechanical ventilation. They are also responsible for monitoring vital signs, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation throughout transport, and appropriately communicating this information to other medical providers caring for the patient. Additionally, flight nurses must be skilled communicators and have exceptional interpersonal qualities to comfort and ensure the patient’s safety before, during, and after transport.

Challenges Faced by Flight Nurses

During air medical travel, flight nurses face various challenges and risks that require their knowledge and flexibility to overcome. These include the limited space and equipment available, the possibility of turbulence, variation in patient medical requirements, and managing medication dosages in an unfamiliar environment. Flight nurses also have to adapt to different situations like coping with unanticipated medical emergencies during the flight and changes in the patient’s physiological conditions during transport. However, despite these challenges, flight nurses must be adaptable, think critically and problem-solve quickly and competently.

Impacts on Patient Outcomes

The presence of a flight nurse during medical air travel positively affects patient outcomes. The nurse’s expertise and ability to provide high-quality medical care during transit significantly decrease mortality and morbidity rates, as well as shorten the patient’s hospital stays. Studies have shown that patients with severe illnesses or injuries who have a higher acuity level and are transported by a flight nurse have lower mortality rates and better health outcomes. Additionally, the presence of a nurse has been shown to increase patient satisfaction and enable medical providers to optimize patient care by providing critical information and medical intervention necessary for successful patient transport. Explore the subject matter further by visiting this specially curated external website. Examine this valuable guide, reveal extra details and new viewpoints on the subject addressed in the piece.


In conclusion, the work of flight nurses is pivotal in ensuring that patients who require medical air transport receive the appropriate care during transport. The role of flight nurses is multifaceted, and they must possess a broad knowledge base, critical thinking, and excellent communication and interpersonal skills necessary for addressing exigent and complex medical challenges. The effective coordination and teamwork of the air medical transport team involving nurses, physicians, and other professionals facilitate successful air medical transport and contribute towards positive health outcomes.

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