Transport nurses provide care to patients during flights. In some cases, they work as emergency nurses, administering treatment to patients en route to the hospital. They also play a key role in non-emergency medical transport, providing care for patients during commercial flight travel.
Transport nurses are sometimes referred to as a flight nurse, and they play a key role in long distance medical transport. Transport nurses work internationally as well as nationally, providing care for patients who want to travel but cannot do so alone due to injury or chronic illness.
Whether they work as a domestic or international transport nurse, a flight nurse is an experienced professional who can make travel safe for those who need assistance.
The Duties of a Transport Nurse
In an emergency situation, a transport nurse works as part of a team that may include medics, physicians and other clinical personnel. Flight nurses work on helicopters and rescue flights, working as part of a team providing medical treatment to injured or ill patients.
In an emergency scenario, the goal is to keep a patient stable until they arrive at the hospital.
When working for a non-emergency medical transport (NEMT) company, a transport nurse has experience working in emergency situations. That experience helps them better prepare to help patients as they travel long distances by air.
A NEMT flight nurse manages any medications needed by the patient. They also have experience in emergency work and extensive knowledge in providing care for patients at high elevations.
The services of a transport nurse are a factor in determining long distance medical transport cost.
How To Become a Transport Nurse
Different NEMT companies have different standards for transport nurses. Flying Angels sets the standard for flight nurses high. They include at least five years of experience in trauma/emergency room work, which sharpens a nurse’s critical thinking skills and gives them experience in dealing with a high volume of patients, trauma cases, making good clinical assessments and improving triage and physical skills.
Before becoming a transport nurse, a nurse will first become an RN. Most NEMT companies require nurses to hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and a nursing license issued through their state.
Certifications can also help transport nurses work for the best companies in the industry. Two of the most prominent certifications are Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN) from the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN) and Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) through the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. A transport nurse is critical to the operation of both emergency transportation and NEMT. Working both nationally and internationally, they take the lead on offering patients the care they need to safely arrive at their destination.