The Flight Crew – The Role Of The Flight Paramedic

Flight nurses usually work in critical situations . Their patients are usually very sick. They are in critical condition and need assistance immediately. These are extreme challenges to deal with alone. Therefore, these hurdles are usually tackled by a team.

Everyone on this flight team plays a critical role in helping the patient. One of the most important on this team in the flight paramedic. Flight paramedic they play a critical role is stabilizing the patient’s conditions. Let’s take a greater look into their role.

What We Are Used To?

When we think of paramedics, we usually think of twp or three people running out of the back of an ambulance and performing CPR on someone lying lifeless on the ground. Or pulling onto a stretcher and driving to the hospital. However, there roles go much deeper than that.

​They are usually the first of the medical to respond to emergency situations. They treat and stabilize the patient and prepare him or her for transport. The nurse does the bulk of the work during the transport. The paramedics get the patient on board the ambulance, ready for transport, and to be treated by the nurse.

Paramedic, as well as EMTs, are usually unrecognized by most for what they  do. Their jobs are as stressful and nerve wracking as those of nurses and doctors. They have to react on the spot, make critical decisions and stand by them, and know how to operate in a team setting.

They have all these responsibilities while someone’s life could be on the line. That is quite a bit of pressure to work under.

Flight Paramedics

​These paramedics work outside the setting of a hospital. They provide  emergency response to patients that have suffered severe injury, illness, or some type of trauma.

They diagnose the patient on site. They work along the side the nurse, to  stabilize and provide medical care to the patient. They do this while transporting the patient, via aircraft, to the proper medical facility to be adequately treated.

The help the nurse administer medications and assess the patient. They can also operate advanced medical machinery if needed.

They are highly trained to assess and treat these types of injuries of the spot:

1). 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree burns
2). Cardiac Arrest
3). Bone Fractures
4). Obstetrics
5). Airway, Blood circulation, and Wound management
6). Spinal Injuries and Damage

They might also need machines to help stabilize and treat the patient. They can be quite important in making the patient’s state does not worsen. They are trained to operate these types of machines:

1). IV Drips
2). Air Management Devices
3). Stretchers and Boards
4). Wheelchairs and other Medical Delivery devices
5). Defibrillators
6). Cardiac and Heart Monitors
7). Balloon Pumps
8). Medical Kits


These paramedics usually start their careers as regular emergency paramedics. Like the ones described above.  ​Then they get certified in as many areas as possible.

Most hospitals and private companies only hire paramedics that have 3 to 5 years of working on the ground in an ambulance and right amount of certifications before considering for a flight paramedic position.

Critical care certifications are a must. This is because a lot of the calls they get will be emergencies and require skills in critical care.

There are a suprising low number of these positions available. This ensures that only the most qualified are chosen for the job.

​Flight Paramedics need many certifications as well. It is important they are skilled in many areas so they can assist doctors and nurses in treating patient. This education is also important to making decisions and diagnoses as well.

They can disagree with nurses and doctors about diagnoses if necessary.  Their education is very important to job and what they do. These certifications include but are not limited to:

1). Critical Care Paramedic Certification
2). CPR Training and Certification
3). Pre Hospital Trauma Life Support
4). Critical Care Certification
5). Flight Paramedic Certification
6). Paddle Training and Certification


​This explains the role of a flight paramedic on a very basic level. They play a big role in the critical care of a patient on flight calls and ordinary emergencies. They are usually the first to arrive to other scene.

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Their jobs are stressful because they are dealing with real life  emergencies. These situations require critical and proper decision making. They need to whether to:

1). Treat patient on site
2). How to safely move the patient to the hospital
3). Give him or her medication during the transport
4). How to properly stabilize the patient

As mentioned earlier, they sometimes go unrecognized in their work. Remember to tip your hat to paramedic the next time you see them going work. Let them know you appreciate what they do. They deserve it.