Flight nursing can be a broad path with many different directions. There are many different bridges that can be crossed in this field.
One of the ways this can be true is with the type of employer you choose to work for. You might need to ask yourself some questions before going down a career particular path?
Do I want to work for a private company? For a hospital? A private individual? Perhaps even for the United States Military or Government.
These will need to be considered before signing the contract. This post is meant to give more information on potential employment options. The goal is to shed some light on the advantages and disadvantages of these potential employers so you can make the right decision about your career.
Most hospitals have helicopters or some type of aircraft on stand by in case of emergency situations. It is goal of the aircraft to get to the patient as quickly as possible so they can be treated.
Then get the patient to the hospital as quickly and safely as possible. Sometimes an ambulance is not always ideal for the patient. Especially, with his/her life on the line. At times, it is much safer and quicker to fly the patient over to the hospital instead of drive.
However, helicopters are only deployed in the case of dyer situations that require immediate attention. These are usually in the case of serious accidents.
Hospitals usually employ flight nurses that typically respond to serious accidents that are in a reasonable flying distance or closest for the patient’s needs.
Sometimes a patient will need to be transported to a certain hospital because they need a specific type of care that only that hospital can offer. It could take awhile to travel there by car. Therefore, an aircraft might be dispatched.
The flight nurse’s job in both of these situations is to stabilize and monitor the condition of the patient until they can receive better care at the hospital. Plus, report the prognosis to the doctor.
This is exactly how it sounds. Private companies that hire flight nurses for themselves or different institutions. It is a private company’s job to hire, contract, and pay the nurse.
They carry these actions out very quickly in comparison to traditional hospitals. The whole hire and contract process can take a matter of days.
The nurse will have to work out contract and salary issues with that private company that hired them. These companies usually handle these types of issues a lot better and smoother than hospitals.
These companies can be private nursing homes, assisted living situations, and sometimes even private individuals.
They are usually hired to care for very ill patients who need to be transported to another hospital or facility for one reason or another.
United States Military
The United States Military has a strong need for flight nurses. Particularly, in the US Armed Forces. The Air Force and The Navy are showing a huge increase in this area and is most likely where you will find most flight nurse opportunities.
Flight nurses can be deployed to active combat zones. Their jobs mostly consist of evacuating and stabilizing wounded soldiers.
If they are not in a combat zone, then they are usually on stand by during a dangerous military maneuver or looking after wounded soldiers. Obviously, they will be deployed to the designated area if needed. They can also be deployed to non hostile environments if they are needed.
The reserves are an option as well instead of active duty. You still have to meet the academic and physical standards plus undergo certain military specific training for whatever branch of the military you choose to pursue.
Some of the advantages the military benefits during and after service. Benefits like the GI Bill, housing accommodations, and monthly stipends can be available.
On the flip side, this can be a very dangerous and physically demanding job. You could be deployed to live combat zones during times of war or where there are life threatening military activities taking place. That element of danger needs to be considered before moving forward.
Unites States Government
These flight nurse positions are actually very unique. Nurses are usually placed on an aircraft with very important or high ranking officials in or related to the U.S. government. In most cases, they are used specifically for enlonged trips.
These flight nurses not necessarily doing any physically intensive work. They are more on stand by in the case of an emergency. Flight nurses in this setting are used a precaution.
Due to the nature of the role, positions in this area are far more scarce than the ones mentioned above.
Flight nurses with military background and years worth of experience are favored for this role. Top security clearance is usually required as well for these nurses.
A private individual can hire a flight nurse as well. In most cases, they will do this for their sick family members. It is to ensure they are transported with the proper care.
Many of these patients have mental or physical disabilities or they could be chronically ill. Flight nurses ensure that their medications are taken and that their vital signs are being monitored closely during the transport.
Upon arrival the patient’s arrival to the desired destination, the nurse will brief the doctor on the patient’s condition.
The need for flight nurses in this area is growing as well. However, these positions can be hard to find. Usually local job portals are a good place to start. You might even be able to find an opportunity within your network. Give it a try!
See also Nursing brain sheet
Flight nurses provide a much needed demand. You are bound to a gain a wealth of experience no matter which path you choose.
I would advise you to analyze you life goals. Financial, professional, educational, and personal. Then see which career path best lines up with those ambitions.
It might take some time to figure out but if you are thorough with your research and patient then you should be just fine. Just take your time and make a proper decision.