Flight nurses travel with patients in both emergency and non-emergency situations. They have specialized skills in providing medical care at high altitudes and managing a patient’s medications. In the case of non-emergency flight nurses, they help patients plan their trips, navigate through the airport and deliver any medical care needed during the flight.
While most people associate flight nurses with emergency situations they have seen on movies and television shows, in real life most people come in contact with non-emergency medical transport (NEMT) flight nurses. People hire NEMT flight nurses through companies who have experienced nurses on staff to accompany clients on their journey.
People who use non-emergency transport include those with chronic illness, injuries, and debilitating conditions. Older flyers also use NEMT for support in trip planning and getting through the airport.
What Do Flight Nurses Do?
A day in the life of a flight nurse includes many different duties and responsibilities. Their work differs from that of emergency flight nurses who provide pre-hospital care to people who have suffered injuries due to an accident, natural disaster or other emergency.
A flight nurse’s work starts before the journey begins. NEMT flight nurses collaborate with flight coordinators, who are also nurses, to go over all the details of the patient’s flight. They go over airport procedures and also contact any airline or airport officials they need to speak with before the journey begins.
They also review the condition of the client, ensuring they are bringing all the medical equipment and medication required for the journey. They pack their own medical kit to prepare for any needs the client might experience during the trip.
Flight nurses are trained in flight physiology, as well as psychological distress patients may experience during a flight. They also track the times for giving clients their medication and make routine health checks.
After landing, NEMT flight nurses make sure the client disembarks from the plane safely and ensures they get to their ground transportation. In some cases, flight nurses may even travel with patients to their final destination.
What Is a Flight Nurse Agency?
NEMT companies employ flight nurses employ registered nurses with years of experience in emergency room nursing and with formal training in providing medical services during a flight. They work with commercial airlines, helping clear any obstacles patients might encounter during their trip. People in many different situations may want to travel with a flight nurse. They include those who:
- Recently suffered an injury and want assistance while flying
- Recently went through a medical procedure and require medical support during travel
- Those with a chronic condition or illness that makes it difficult to travel alone
- Families who want a nurse to travel with older family members when they relocate to a new home or travel for a family get-together
A flight nurse can provide important care for those who do not wish to travel alone and want the security of having a trained nurse as a flight companion. For those in such situations, a NEMT flight nurse provides the comfort of knowing they will get to their destination safely, with professional medical care throughout the journey.