New to HEMS, looking for advice

CANMAN

Forum Asst. Chief
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A brief highlight of my background is that I want zero to hero and was lucky enough to get on a small but very progressive department, and for a while tried to get on big department. After quite a bit of effort I realized that wasn't going to work out so I went to nursing school. I worked for a while at a large peds level one program, got burned out of the politics and left.

I now work at a quaternary referral center and what I do really depends on the needs of the programs. I have been doing more inpatient critical care although I still work in our ED quite a bit; I work the vast majority of my time on the peds side of the house but I still do adults if they absolutely need it. I also do work with our EMS outreach and education although that is a smaller portion of what I do currsntly. I still do some EMS stuff, but mostly with our high risk peds programs and we mostly do everything we can to stay out in the field and not transport in.

I can appreciate your perspective, but I don't think that it was the case with this crew. They know my background and we were all in agreement about how the kid could have been a bls ground transfer, the kid didn't really need transfer and so on. We were all in agreement and everything was copacetic until I mentioned that flying is dangerous.

I guess I should have been more specific that when I say HEMS is dangerous I specifically mean that there are proportionally more fatalities in HEMS, not recoverable injuries.

Unfortunately as the recieving facility there is little we can do to affect how patients are delivered to us. We certainly try to give our advice but that is ultimately up to the spending facility. I think that there is so much competition to get HEMS flights that the medical director for our program, and likely most programs, isnt going to risk offending anyone else and just have them use a competing service.
Totally agree with the last paragraph, and it's frustrating. When I flew at a tertiary Children's Hospital they had a great triage and intake program setup where the Medical Control Officer who accepted the patient for transfer also kinda help guide some care with suggestions and also suggested mode of transport often times. This was often a suggestion to send kids via their dedicated aircraft for critical and time sensitive patients, and then either via ground for non-critical, and sub some stuff to the contract vendor that was lower level ALS or BLS transfer. I think that worked well in the Peds world because there are far more MD's who are less comfortable with Peds than Adults. If you're transferred to a larger/tertiary hospital I think the MD getting the patient should have a say in mode of transfer, but unfortunately that's in the hands of the referring MD, and often times these MD's at the sending facilities just want the patient gone and aren't concerned about mode, appropriateness, etc.
 

E tank

Caution: Paralyzing Agent
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I've known a lot more nurses killed on the way home/to work (2) than LOD flight nurses (0).
 

Remi

Forum Deputy Chief
Premium Member
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Civil air crew member (55.5 fatality rate) is the third most deadly job in America, with the subset of HEMS probably being more hazardous than than the larger industry. Only commercial fishers (86.0) and loggers (135.0) are more likely to be killed at work.

For comparison, police don't even make the top 10, and firefighters aren't even in the top 25.
 

CANMAN

Forum Asst. Chief
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Civil air crew member (55.5 fatality rate) is the third most deadly job in America, with the subset of HEMS probably being more hazardous than than the larger industry. Only commercial fishers (86.0) and loggers (135.0) are more likely to be killed at work.

For comparison, police don't even make the top 10, and firefighters aren't even in the top 25.
You have a link to reference? Interesting numbers.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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You have a link to reference? Interesting numbers.
Ask and you shall receive:


But it's not entirely accurate, because all of the injuries and fatalities are based on per 100,000 workers so when you take a look at HEMS (or civilian air crew), it's a relatively small worker pool, so every crash raises the number higher than one with a larger employment pool.
 

CANMAN

Forum Asst. Chief
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Ask and you shall receive:


But it's not entirely accurate, because all of the injuries and fatalities are based on per 100,000 workers so when you take a look at HEMS (or civilian air crew), it's a relatively small worker pool, so every crash raises the number higher than one with a larger employment pool.
Exactly my point, I don’t know if we really know how many people actually work HEMS. So to compare it to law enforcement where we have about 850k LEO’s in the nation and already 15 killed in line of duty I think is difficult. If we knew a ballpark of how many HEMS providers there are then we could look back but I don’t know if anyone has done something like that. I don’t know that grouping us in with every single pilot and type of air carrier is going to give us numbers that are anywhere near accurate. With that being said if I was a betting man I would say the fatality rate in oil and gas, as well as power line rotor wing is much higher than HEMS, and I think mission profile has a lot to do with the risk.
 

MackTheKnife

BSN, RN-BC, NREMT, EMT-P
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Hello all, been a long while since I posted on these forums. I'm looking for some advice. my goal ever since starting my career has been to become a flight nurse. I finally achieved that goal recently and will start orientation in a couple weeks for a local non-profit HEMS service. I've found that I have been so focused on meeting the requirements, nailing the interviews, studying for the tests ect. that I really neglected really thinking about the inherent dangers associated with this line of work and I don't know that I really have prepared myself for it. I've found myself getting more nervous about flying everyday the closer orientation starts. I have done flight ride outs before and enjoyed it, but the thought of doing it everyday has kept me up a few nights lately. I know this sounds stupid because this is what signed up for and worked towards for years now, but I don't know, now that it's here I have a nervous feeling I can't seem to shake. Prior to this all I would think about is what I needed to know to get the job, now that I have it, I have been thinking about things like how my daughters would grow up if I were in a crash and died in the next year. Is this normal for anyone one else? Any encouraging words?
This is something you wanted and achieved. Get excited about that and think of the adrenaline!
 
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