A flight medic is a paramedic that functions in an aeromedical environment. Typically the flight medic will work with a registered nurse, physician, Respiratory Therapist, or another paramedic. The flight paramedic is usually highly trained and has years of clinical experience in a high acuity environment. Flight paramedics usually are either certified as a FP-C or a CCEMT-P. Most hold certificates as instructors in various fields and educational topics.
Currently, of the air medical programs 85-87% utilize flight paramedics. Typically, flight paramedics have five or more years of experience working in a critical care and 911 system environment. All require critical thinking skills and need to act as part of the team on the aircraft.
How to become a flight Medic
You must first become certified and trained as a ground paramedic. It is important to continue your education and take as many additional training certification courses as possible. In most hospitals 80% of calls received by flight medics are critical care transports, so the more the experience you have the better your application will look. Depending on where you apply, most hospitals and/or health care facilitates look for flight medics who have at least 2-5 years of experience on the ground truck (Ambulance).
Training and Certifications
Flight Paramedic Certification, Critical care certification, critical care paramedic certification, pre-hospital trauma life support, CPR training (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation), Advanced cardiac life support certification, and paddle training. Also hospitals look only for the best and most educated paramedics, and that only comes from years of education and experience. In addition to the training and experience you have acquired as a ground paramedic, hospitals and health care facilities also look for paramedics who can think quickly on their feet, challenge their physicians and nurses diagnosis when they believe it is wrong, consistently show a desire for continued education and put their patients safety and health as their top priority.
Responsibilities of a Flight Medic
Flight medics work with a mobile response unit outside of the hospital setting. They provide on-site emergency medical care to patients suffering from severe injury, trauma, or sickness. They are responsible for diagnosing their patients conditions and are responsible for proving proper medical support to aid to the recovery and/or stabilization of their patients injury while transporting them to a qualified health care facility.
Critical Medical Assessments
As a flight medic, you may come into situations where you have to assess your patient. Some Critical medical assessments include: Spinal Injuries, Bone fractures, 1st 2nd and 3rd degree burns, cardiac arrest, obstetrics, airway management, blood circulation management, and wound management. These are only a few, there are many more. Also as a flight medic you will be trained to work the following devices and tools: Defibrillators, heart monitors, cardiac monitors, balloon pumps, IV drips, medical kits, inflatable splints, airway management devices and tools, stretchers and boards, wheelchairs and medication delivery devices.
- Air medical services
- Combat medic
- Museum of Aerospace Medicine
- Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia
- Enlisted Medics (U.S. Air Force)
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