Typical Monday—Not for this Flight Nurse

Today I hung up the lab coat of the Nurse Practitioner and replaced it with the tactical vest of the Flight Nurse. I don’t wear multiple hats, I wear multiple helmets!

It was a busy weekend in the emergency room where I work as a nurse practitioner. Although this series of shifts was awesome (yes I even loved taking care of the sniffles) it was great to be back the in the helicopter instead of watching it take off and land from the door way of the ER as I was doing when I took these photos:

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Survival Flight coming for patient

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Aero Med coming for another
patient the next day

Monday is never typical for us. The morning began with a transport in which we met the ambulance at the landing zone. While we were waiting, a car parked in the parking lot across the street. It gave us the opportunity for a PR moment. In reality, it was the chance to show our helicopter off to an adorable four year old boy named Zachary.

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Brad showing Zachary and his Dad
the “bus drivers seat”

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Not sure who was doing the teaching!


After our first transport and some lunch, we were launched on the first of two trauma calls. This was a scene flight in which we made the news. Here are the photos I took on the way to evaluate our patient who was in the back of the ambulance. I was actually in the ambulance taking care of the patient when the video posted was taken.

Multiple injuries in car/school bus crash
Posted: March 24, 2008 03:45 PM
Updated: March 24, 2008 10:01 PM
By Patrick Center and Emily Zangaro

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Our LZ was right in the
middle of the street

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The bus made it easy to
recognize where we were needed

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Amazing the amount of impact
a bus can take


This could have been so much worse than it really was. The kids on the bus were reportedly all okay.

Nate and I took this photo from the roof between flights. Although our job is serious, we do our best to laugh as much as we can. It was another good day to be me.

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Emily and Nate
nurse and doctor


Our third transport was an inter-facility trauma call. Another motor vehicle collision and another patient who needed the skill and care of a trauma center. I love trauma season. Although we are still waiting for trauma’s “Opening Day” it is beginning.

Tomorrow? Another day shift and our very anticipated Corporate Meeting.

Coffee Please?

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  1. I can’t believe that those utility poles and overhead cables are tolerated so close to your regularly used hospital LZ. Around here (Western Washington) the publicly owned utilities fall all over themselves to mark up everything around even occasionally used LZ’s. I would get the hospital’s and the flight program’s safety staff involved ASAP to see what they can work out with the utility.

  2. Congrats on your awesome new gig! You should tell me how it all plays out for you. What can/can’t you do in your role as an ED NP in comparison to what the docs and PAs do??

  3. I do always have fun at work.

    Thanks for the congrats Lauren. I have a post I am working on in response to your NP/Doc/PA question. Stay tuned!

  4. Ross—-about that landing area. The lines are actually marked, but I agree, probably not as well as they could be.

    To clarify, this is a small hospital up in northern Michigan which does maybe 1-2 transfers by air a week. I also will try to get some photos better representing the landing pad (this is one of the better ones we land at!) I don’t believe it is truly as bad as it looks.

    Your comments, however, are a great lead in to a post about landing zones! Thanks!!!

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