A flight nurse provides medical care and health monitoring for commercial air travelers who do not want to fly on their own. A flight nurse agency is the medical transport service that employs the nurses and works with patients to coordinate their trip.
A flight nurse agency employs experienced nurses with an extensive education in providing care for patients flying on commercial airlines. Sometimes referred to as a concierge nurse, these healthcare professionals work with passengers who have chronic conditions, disabilities or injuries that prevent them from being able to fly on their own.
How Flight Nurse Agencies Work
Hiring an RN for air travel is a straightforward process. By contacting a flight nurse agency, sometimes referred to as a Non-Emergency Medical Transport (NEMT) company, clients can find out if flight nurses are available for their trip.
They do not need to arrange special mode of transport. Flight nurse agencies work with airports, commercial airlines and ground transportation, developing a schedule to get their patients safely from Point A to Point B. A day in the life of a flight nurse also includes assessing and monitoring the health of patients during travel, providing any care they require, and communicating with physicians and other healthcare professionals as needed.
Other duties can include:
- Packing and managing a medical kit that may include specialty reclining wheelchairs, oxygen equipment, suction and nebulizers
- Making sure patients meet all pre-planned points along the trip.
- Helping patients’ travel go easier by using their expertise in getting through the check-in process, security, and customs and immigration for international flights
- Ensuring patients disembark and reach their final destinations safely
Why People Hire Flight Nurses
Flight nurses have years of experience working with patients in emergency rooms and other situations where they provide patient stabilization and life support. In addition to working in trauma and critical care, nurses also are fully trained in flight physiology.
All these skills provide travelers who need support a great deal of comfort and security. Those who contact flight nurse agencies typically have disabilities, injuries or chronic conditions that make navigating an airport difficult on their own. Flight nurse agencies can be a lifesaver when loved ones need to travel long distances and an expensive air ambulance is out of reach.
In some cases, vacationers who have fallen ill or experienced an injury on their trip will hire flight nurses to fly with them back home. Full service NEMT companies offer service for both domestic and international flights.
Some of the requirements for a flight nurse include an active RN license, five to ten years at least of critical or acute care experience, a certificate in Basic Cardiovascular Life Support, Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support and often specialty certifications in Critical Care (CCRN) and Flight Nursing (CFRN). A flight nurse agency can connect travelers who need support during their trip with trusted, experienced medical personnel. Flight nurses provide professional medical services that make travelling much easier and safer.