I Want to Be A Flight Nurse When I Grow Up
I was asked why I wanted to be a flight nurse. The question perplexed me. The better question probably should have been: Why wouldn’t I want to be a flight nurse?
After my first bad patient flight as a flight medic, I knew this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It was like a tailored suit, custom made shoes, and a non-narcotic high all at once. Never do I felt so alive as when I am in the air with a critical patient. For that brief amount of time on a mission I was, and still am, completely immersed in what I am doing. There is very little time to think about anything other than my patient. Did I assess the situation appropriately? Is there anything else on physical exam I need to check? Are there any injuries I have missed? Will my patient be better for them calling me? Never, EVER do I feel more alive.
Out of the education I have had, finally completing my paramedic was the closing of the circle. It was also one of the accomplishments I am most proud of. I love being a nurse, but getting my medic license was one of the most difficult things I have done.
When working in the ICU as a nurse, I would tell people that I would have been a paramedic had it paid better. Of any profession in this world, it is the medics and EMTs who I respect the most. EpiJunky and Medic61 have put forth the topic of RN vs Medic—why don’t we get along? My simple answer is that it is based on lack of understanding. But, I digress. I will save that for my post for next week’s NSR.
Where I was I going with that? Oh yes. My interacting with others professionals in my job.
I deal with physicians, medics, firefighters, police officers, nurses, medical assistants, medical secretaries, not to mention the patients and their families. The helicopter and flight suit bring an instantaneous aura of respect, but being able to interface, not offend, and play politics is such a huge part of what I do. The flight suit only goes so far. I still have to be on my game each and every day.
I feel strongly about changing perceptions of nursing. I am so fortunate that I have the opportunity to do that by holding one of the sexiest jobs in the profession. Well, sexy until I have to hose the puke and blood out of the aircraft at 2 a.m.!!
It is no secret that I love my job. I consider myself so fortunate that the stars aligned and was able to earn a place in a flight program. It combines my love for working the street, the skill it takes to be a nurse, and the advanced education of being a Nurse Practitioner. Oh, and being able to shock someone at 2,000 feet adds that little extra something.