5 Reasons to Become an Air Ambulance Transport Paramedic

If you’re reading this article, chances are that you’re interested in joining the air ambulance industry. And perhaps you wish to provide life-saving care by becoming an air ambulance transport paramedic. Maybe you’re still considering the option and are unsure whether the job would be a good fit for you. Here are some of the best reasons why you should become an air ambulance paramedic:

Reason 1: You won’t be working behind a desk

For those of you who have been dreading the idea of working in a corporate white-collar job with your own cubicle, becoming an air ambulance paramedic has great appeal. It’s not monotonous like your typical office job and you’re always on the move.

Reason 2: There’s a high demand for air ambulance transport paramedics

If you’ve ever worried about being unable to land a job in the field of your choice, you wouldn’t have to face those worries if you become an air ambulance paramedic. The air ambulance industry is growing exponentially, and therefore has an increasing demand for experienced paramedics.

Reason 3: Experience better salary growth than ground EMTs

There’s been a growth in the salary graph of paramedics in the air ambulance industry. While the average salary stood at $34,360, some states have an average salary of $54,180 for air ambulance paramedics.

Reason 4: You can build your self-confidence

The role of an air ambulance transport paramedic requires you to be self assured and to trust in yourself. As a result of these demands, you get to build your self-confidence that will help you in your personal and professional life.

Reason 5: You get to make a difference

As an air ambulance paramedic, there may be times when you encounter patients who are so seriously ill or injured that they don’t end up surviving even if you did your best. But in many cases, you are the difference between life and death for your patients. And you can make a difference for them, which is the most important reason you should build a career in air ambulance paramedicine.

Keeping Your Medical Flight Paramedics Safe

As an air ambulance provider, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of your staff. This is particularly important for your medical flight paramedics, because there is a high possibility of them getting injured. We’ve even highlighted some of the causes of injury in two of our previous posts. So in this post, we’re going to discuss some of the ways in which you can improve workplace safety and prevent injury among your staff.

Enhancing Equipment Safety

The first thing you need to look at is your equipment. If you went through the previous posts, you would have seen that medical flight paramedics are commonly injured while lifting patients. So the best thing to do to prevent such injuries is to replace your traditional manual cots with powered patient transport equipment.

These will significantly reduce the physical strain on your paramedics. In turn, this will reduce the likelihood of experiencing injury. You could install assisted loading systems that will support the cot and make it easier for paramedics to load and unload patients onto the aircraft.

You should also equip your aircrafts with safety equipment that your paramedics can easily access when needed. This would include safety masks, gloves, and gowns to protect them from exposure to harmful substances.

Enhancing Medical Flight Safety

In addition to enhancing the safety of your equipment, you should also consider the safety of your aircraft. Whether you’re operating fixed-wing aircrafts or helicopters, you should do a thorough maintenance that will ensure optimum safety for your crew.

Have proper storage systems installed for your equipment, so that paramedics can easily access them when needed while at the same time preventing the equipment from exposure. And make sure you have a routine check of your engines and inbuilt flight equipment.

More Causes of Injury Among Air Ambulance Transport Paramedics

In the previous post, we talked about some of the top reasons why air ambulance transport paramedics get injured. This post will discuss some more common reasons for injury among air ambulance paramedics. It will also discuss some tips to prevent these injuries.

Other Common Causes of Injury for Air Ambulance Transport Paramedics

Earlier, we talked about how air ambulance paramedics are susceptible to injury from body motion and exposure to harmful substances. We also talked about how they are prone to slipping, tripping, or falling. Here are some other common reasons why an air ambulance paramedic could get injured:

  • Helicopter accidents – When you’re working as a paramedic for an air ambulance helicopter, there’s a chance you could get involved in a helicopter accident. Mechanical failures, low visibility, and heavy wind and rain could put your helicopter at risk of crashing. Some air ambulance paramedics have suffered from injuries resulting from a helicopter crash. Some of these injuries even turn out to be fatal.
  • Violence/assaults – In some cases, air ambulance transport paramedics might even encounter injury resulting from violence or assault from a patient. You might come across a violent patient, who may be under the influence or alcohol or some other substance. These incidents may result in physical harm in many cases, and in some cases may even result in physical injury that requires medical attention

Prevention of Injury for Air Ambulance Paramedics

Both employers and employees are responsible for preventing injury among air ambulance paramedics. Employers can offer education and training, provide safety equipment, develop policies and procedures, enforce said policies and procedures, and address potential safety hazards.

Employees can identify problem areas, voice their safety concerns, and report any incidents of near misses and injuries. Protecting themselves with available protective gear per their standard regulations is also crucial.

What Causes Injury for Air Ambulance Transport Paramedics?

Have you ever suffered from workplace injuries before? Maybe you’ve experienced knee pain or incessant back pain as a result of your work in the air ambulance industry. When you’re an air ambulance transport paramedic, you are exposed to work conditions that could result in certain injuries. This post is going to discuss the causes of those injuries.

Certain Body Motions can Cause Injury

Body motion injuries are easily one of the most common injuries among EMS personnel. Paramedics often have to sit in awkward postures for extended periods of time. Sometimes they have to put in excessive physical effort in moving or lifting patients. They even have to go through repetitive movement, which could all result in an injury. In many cases, the body motion injuries may occur while air ambulance paramedics are in the middle of lifting or moving  a patient that is overweight or obese.

Accidental Exposure to Harmful Substances

When you’re working as an air ambulance transport paramedic, you often have to work around harmful substances. For instance, the respiratory secretions or the blood of certain patients may be harmful. And EMS personnel can get exposed to these substances through needlesticks, spitting, or coughing. So in addition to wearing gloves, it’s crucial that you wear protective masks or face shields to prevent exposure.

Air Ambulance Transport Paramedics can Slip, Trip, or Fall

Due to the physically challenging nature of their work, air ambulance paramedics can easily get injured when they slip, trip, or fall. They could experience these accidents while boarding or getting off their air ambulance helicopter. They could also slip on wet surfaces at the scene of accidents. And it’s even riskier to experience these accidents when you’re in the middle of lifting or carrying a patient or even your equipment.

More Hypothermia Info for Medical Air Transport Paramedics

In the previous post, we talked about the causes and symptoms of hypothermia. But that’s not enough information to help medical air transport paramedics in dealing with patients who suffer from hypothermia. In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at some other important facts about the condition.

How Hypothermia Impacts People

The worst thing about hypothermia is that it can affect every single organ in the body. In the case of mild hypothermia, a patient may experience confusion, amnesia, slurred speech, and impaired judgment. As the condition worsens, a patient that was once lethargic may become comatose and their reflexes may disappear. The central nervous system also becomes unable to regulate the cardiovascular system.

Need for Medical Air Transport Paramedics to be Aware of Special Populations

What’s important for medical air transport paramedics to remember is that there are certain age groups and types of people that are more vulnerable to hypothermia. Interestingly, patients who are either extremely old or extremely young tend to be the most vulnerable age groups. Both of these age groups have less physiologic reserve in addition to a decreased ability to produce heat when needed.

Some elderly patients may be unable to sense ambient temperature, leaving them unable to protect themselves from the cold. So during winters, you may notice that some older patients can become hypothermic even just from staying inside a house that’s slightly too cold for them. Since they have decreased compensatory ability, hypothermia may develop even when the temperature doesn’t seem too cold to you.

In case of neonatal patients, they have almost zero ability to defend themselves against the cold. That is the reason why warming plays such a crucial role in resuscitating patients who fall under this category. Infants that are five days old or more may be able to metabolically compensate, but they are still extremely prone to heat loss.

What You Need to Know about Hypothermia When Providing Medical Air Transport

When you’re working as a care provider for medical air transport, you come across different kinds of patients. Although you will most often encounter trauma patients, you might even have to conduct search and rescue missions if you’re based at a remote location. That’s when you might come across patients with accidental hypothermia.

Even in other cases when the patient has an underlying condition, there may be chances of hypothermia occurring. It’s important to carefully understand the condition so you can provide necessary pre-hospital care.

Understanding the Causes of Hypothermia

First of all, you should understand that accidental hypothermia can be of two types – primary and secondary. When the body is exposed to a cold environment for extended periods of time, it can result in primary hypothermia. In other words, this type of hypothermia isn’t caused by an underlying condition.

Secondary hypothermia, on the other hand, can occur when the body’s ability to regulate its heat balance is disrupted or there’s a decreased ability to generate or conserve heat. Burn victims, stroke patients, sepsis patients, etc. may be susceptible to hypothermia. Medical air transport providers should also watch out for hypothermia in patients with hypopituitarism, hypothyroidism, hypoadrenalism, or hypoglycaemia.

Substances like sedatives, alcohol, beta-blockers, antipsychotics, and oral antihyperglycemics can also result in conditions that cause secondary hypothermia. Major trauma, tumours, CNS injuries, and infusion or cold fluids could also be other possible causes.

Identifying Hypothermia Symptoms for Medical Air Transport Care Providers

Although it’s a bit of a challenge to recognize hypothermia, you can look for signs like depressed vital signs, speech difficulty, memory problems, mydriasis, behavioral disturbances, etc. You might also notice that patients with hypothermia may fail to shiver even if they’re obviously cold. Their pulse and respiration may also be a bit more difficult to detect although present.

How Novice Air Medical Transport Paramedics Can Make Great Pre-Hospital Splints

If you work as an air medical transport paramedic, there’s a good chance you will respond to emergencies in which the patient requires a splint. This will usually be in situations where the patient has undergone some form of physical trauma and fracture. You may think you’re already an expert in splinting but there’s always room for improvement.

Tips for Better Splinting in Air Medical Transport Paramedicine

As a novice paramedic, you may still be nervous when you come across actual patients that require a splint. Here are a few tips that will make it easier for you to make great pre-hospital splints:

  • Take your time if the patient is stable – There may be times when you need to splint an extreme fracture when you respond to a call. If the patient’s condition is stable, it’s important that you avoid rushing through the splinting process. Although you may get nervous, there’s no harm in taking a few extra minutes to carefully splint the fracture before taking them for air medical transport.
  • Make the most of pillows – Pillows provide good padding when you need to splint a fracture. They also act as effective splints even on their own. So if your patient has a distal fracture, you just need to roll up the injured part in a pillow and tape it firmly. But make sure the toes or fingers are sticking out.

Opt to control the pain beforehand – Although splinting is intended to reduce pain, the splinting process itself can be very painful. If your patient is screaming in pain it may be difficult for you to concentrate on the splinting and you may end up making a mistake. So try to administer some analgesics beforehand if possible.

Tips for Aspiring Air Ambulance Service Paramedics to Pass Their NREMT

You have seen all the inspirational work done by air ambulance crews. Maybe they helped save the life of someone close to you. Or maybe you’ve read about them and their work warms your heart. Whatever the case may be, you feel compelled to work for an air ambulance service. So you decide that you will become an air ambulance paramedic. But first you will need to complete your training pass your NREMT exam.

Best Practices to Prepare for the NREMT Exam

To qualify for an air ambulance service paramedic, you will need to have proper certifications and pass the NREMT (National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians) exam. Here are a few best practices to get started:

  • First of all, attend your classes regularly and make sure you sit in the front row so you can fully pay attention to lectures.
  • If you have any doubts or anything that you need to clarify, don’t hesitate to speak up and ask questions to your teachers.
  • Go through the textbook whenever you have the chance.
  • Always be prepared with a notebook and a pen or pencil and take notes.
  • At the end of the day, review your lesson for the day to make sure you thoroughly processed the information.
  • Practice your hands-on skills frequently whenever you can so you’re prepared for real life applications.

Other Tips for Aspiring Air Ambulance Service Paramedics

In addition to these tips, aspiring air ambulance paramedics should also follow these extra tips to improve their chances of success at the NREMT exam:

  • Look for seminars organized by the academic support center of your school and see if there are any you can attend to improve your knowledge.
  • Look for apps to help you with your studying and organization.
  • Take a lot of practice tests so you’re fully prepared to take the actual test.

Are You a Medical Flight Paramedic with Knee Pain?

If you’re working as an air ambulance paramedic, you have to carry out physically straining tasks occasionally. Combined this with a more pedantic lifestyle when you’re off-duty or not on call, you could end up with different types of muscle pains and physical strain. One of the most common types of pains that medical flight paramedics can encounter is knee pain.

Find Out What Causes the Knee Pain

The first thing you need to do when you’re suffering from knee pain is to identify what is the root cause. If it wasn’t caused by physical trauma to the knee area, there’s a good chance you can prevent the issue from reoccurring. It’s easy to get pain in the knee due to a slight mistake in movement while stepping or climbing or even squatting.

In some cases, even if the pain is occurring in your knee the main cause of the problem may be at a completely different part of the body. So it’s important to get to the root of the issue if medical flight paramedics want to gain long-term relief from knee pain.

Knee Pain Solutions for Medical Flight Paramedics

Try stretching your legs by putting them on the table with your knee facing downwards. Your knee should be in line with your hip joint. If you can do this, it means everything is okay with the functionality of your glutes. The stretch might even help in relieving the pain on your knees to some extent.

You should invest in a good foam roller that you can use for 10 minutes every day. Use it on every part of your joints and muscles that are prone to pain such as your inner thigh, calves, hamstrings, and glutes. This not only decreases the pain but also loosens up the muscles to prevent further strain.

More Patient Statements Medical Flight Paramedics Should Be Concerned about

Last week, we discussed three common patient statements that should have you concerned. But those are not the only statements that you should be concerned about while you’re serving as a medical flight paramedic. There may be several other statements that sound simple enough but should be taken very seriously so that they don’t result in bigger problems.

When Medical Flight Paramedics Should be Concerned

Here are some more patient statements that you should be wary of and take seriously instead of just dismissing them:

  • When a patient doesn’t want to go to a specific hospital – Every now and then you might come across a patient who does not want to be taken to a certain hospital and tells you so. There may be a good reason for this based on their past experiences. In some cases, it may be because they are dissatisfied with the level of care provided.

    But in other cases, it may also be because the hospital has records or knowledge of the patient’s medical history, which the patient has been hiding from you. So make sure you ask the reason why they don’t want to go to a specific hospital.

  • When a patient is dismissing their problem for a minor one – It’s important to pay close attention when a patient tries to dismiss the pain or problem they’re experiencing as a result of a minor issue. For example, the patient may explain that the discomfort in their chest is probably because of indigestion.

    There’s a chance that the patient is in denial and is ignoring the signs of a major health issue. In this instance, it could be a sign of an oncoming heart attack. The patient may be looking to reassure themselves that it’s nothing serious. So it’s important for medical flight paramedics to assess patients more carefully when they’re dismissing their problem for a minor one.

Air Ambulance and Medical Flight Transport Services: Everything you need to know!