Test advice for Mercy Air

CTMD

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I'm getting ready to start testing/applying to Mercy Air in Southern California and was wondering if anyone has any advice on what to study for their application test? I've begun studying using FlightBridgeEd but am wondering if there is anything else I should be doing in order to prepare for the test/interview. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

CANMAN

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Don't know about them specifically, but most HEMS programs tests are fairly standard material for the industry. I would have a rock solid grasp on standard ACLS & PALS stuff, good understand of standard ventilator modes, settings, and strategies. ABG interpretation. RSI knowledge to include indications & considerations, drugs, doses, procedure to include failed airway. Basic knowledge and dosing for things like Levophed, Vasopressin, Epi, Cardene, Esmolol, Labetalol, Propofol. Management of traumatic heads, ICH, AAA, Dissections, trauma scenarios, and maybe some high risk OB stuff. Our CC test doesn't include anything like Swans, IABP, or ECMO stuff, really just testing a baseline CC knowledge. Good luck.
 

DesertMedic66

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Don't know about them specifically, but most HEMS programs tests are fairly standard material for the industry. I would have a rock solid grasp on standard ACLS & PALS stuff, good understand of standard ventilator modes, settings, and strategies. ABG interpretation. RSI knowledge to include indications & considerations, drugs, doses, procedure to include failed airway. Basic knowledge and dosing for things like Levophed, Vasopressin, Epi, Cardene, Esmolol, Labetalol, Propofol. Management of traumatic heads, ICH, AAA, Dissections, trauma scenarios, and maybe some high risk OB stuff. Our CC test doesn't include anything like Swans, IABP, or ECMO stuff, really just testing a baseline CC knowledge. Good luck.
This is pretty much it for the Mercy Air - Air Methods exam. Have a solid understanding on ACLS, BLS CPR, PALS, PHTLS, RSI medications, etc.

Once you turn in your online application, if it meets their minimum qualifications they will email you to set up an online test. If you receive a good score then they will arrange an interview/patient assessment test.

Medic positions at Mercy go fast and there are usually a dozen applicants for open medic spots.
 

CTMD

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Don't know about them specifically, but most HEMS programs tests are fairly standard material for the industry. I would have a rock solid grasp on standard ACLS & PALS stuff, good understand of standard ventilator modes, settings, and strategies. ABG interpretation. RSI knowledge to include indications & considerations, drugs, doses, procedure to include failed airway. Basic knowledge and dosing for things like Levophed, Vasopressin, Epi, Cardene, Esmolol, Labetalol, Propofol. Management of traumatic heads, ICH, AAA, Dissections, trauma scenarios, and maybe some high risk OB stuff. Our CC test doesn't include anything like Swans, IABP, or ECMO stuff, really just testing a baseline CC knowledge. Good luck.
Are there any books you would recommend to gain a better grasp on vent strategies? Besides ABGs, do they test on and/or require knowledge or memorization of lab values?
 

CTMD

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This is pretty much it for the Mercy Air - Air Methods exam. Have a solid understanding on ACLS, BLS CPR, PALS, PHTLS, RSI medications, etc.

Once you turn in your online application, if it meets their minimum qualifications they will email you to set up an online test. If you receive a good score then they will arrange an interview/patient assessment test.

Medic positions at Mercy go fast and there are usually a dozen applicants for open medic spots.
By minimum requirements do you mean like minimum time of three years or is there something else that is also required? Does the patient assessment portion consist of IFT and scene scenarios or just one or the other? What are some of the ways you prepared for the exam to be successful?
 

DesertMedic66

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Are there any books you would recommend to gain a better grasp on vent strategies? Besides ABGs, do they test on and/or require knowledge or memorization of lab values?
For the entrance test you should know your main lab values (sodium, K+, Hgb, etc)
 

DesertMedic66

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By minimum requirements do you mean like minimum time of three years or is there something else that is also required? Does the patient assessment portion consist of IFT and scene scenarios or just one or the other? What are some of the ways you prepared for the exam to be successful?
The minimum requirements are listed on Air Methods/Mercy Air’s job flyers on their website.

The assessments change. They can be all scene or IFT or a mix.
 

SandpitMedic

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There are two tests, one for experienced flight medics and one for medics with no flight experience. If you have no vent experience you won’t get beat up for not having vent experience. The test is hard though.

At least that’s how it was when I went through, but I went through in the paper test era 4 or so years ago. I’m not sure if the online test is the same.

If you’re utilizing Flightbridge and other FP-C study materials you should be alright.

Median score is fairly low. You take the test again following a weeklong orientation/ critical care bootcamp if you’re hired. That’s the number that determines if you’ll make it through your 3rd rider probation.
 

DesertMedic66

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There are two tests, one for experienced flight medics and one for medics with no flight experience. If you have no vent experience you won’t get beat up for not having vent experience. The test is hard though.

At least that’s how it was when I went through, but I went through in the paper test era 4 or so years ago. I’m not sure if the online test is the same.

If you’re utilizing Flightbridge and other FP-C study materials you should be alright.

Median score is fairly low. You take the test again following a weeklong orientation/ critical care bootcamp if you’re hired. That’s the number that determines if you’ll make it through your 3rd rider probation.
Things have changed a little bit. Orientation is now 10 days. After it you take a test that is a “needs assessment”. The needs assessment test is much different than the entrance test and by much different I mean much more difficult. The average score on the test is around 70%.

You don’t really fail the test.Your score on the subjects gets sent to your clinical education manager so they can help you. We had a nurse who scored an 86% who was unsuccessful in his 3rd rider training and testing. On the other side we had a nurse score a 54% who was successful on her 3rd rider training and testing.
 

SandpitMedic

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Things have changed a little bit. Orientation is now 10 days. After it you take a test that is a “needs assessment”. The needs assessment test is much different than the entrance test and by much different I mean much more difficult. The average score on the test is around 70%.

You don’t really fail the test.Your score on the subjects gets sent to your clinical education manager so they can help you. We had a nurse who scored an 86% who was unsuccessful in his 3rd rider training and testing. On the other side we had a nurse score a 54% who was successful on her 3rd rider training and testing.
Ah I see. 10 days in Denver would be a great time!
So then what has remained the same is that the test is not a steadfast indicator of whether one will make it or not.
Do you still have to do an initial HPS and all the other CEs to graduate 3rd rider?
 

DesertMedic66

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Ah I see. 10 days in Denver would be a great time!
So then what has remained the same is that the test is not a steadfast indicator of whether one will make it or not.
Do you still have to do an initial HPS and all the other CEs to graduate 3rd rider?
Yep
 

VFlutter

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Ah I see. 10 days in Denver would be a great time!
So then what has remained the same is that the test is not a steadfast indicator of whether one will make it or not.
Do you still have to do an initial HPS and all the other CEs to graduate 3rd rider?
Denver is great, get drunk off one beer! The increase to 10 days really isn't more clinical education unfortunately. More so HR, general aviation, and safety stuff.

Yes you must complete all CEs, get 5 flights that involve critical interventions (i.e. vent or drip management, RSI, etc), and then take HPS

After the inital interview test there is another at the end of Denver which, as a preceptor, I feel is a good indicator for success in orientation. A low score usually means a general lack of critical care knowledge that will be a huge learning curve ontop of the sensory and informational overload that occurs.
 

DesertMedic66

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Denver is great, get drunk off one beer! The increase to 10 days really isn't more clinical education unfortunately. More so HR, general aviation, and safety stuff.

Yes you must complete all CEs, get 5 flights that involve critical interventions (i.e. vent or drip management, RSI, etc), and then take HPS

After the inital interview test there is another at the end of Denver which, as a preceptor, I feel is a good indicator for success in orientation. A low score usually means a general lack of critical care knowledge that will be a huge learning curve ontop of the sensory and informational overload that occurs.
It might depend on your area but we only needed 5 flights. It doesn’t matter what you did on those flights but as long as they were patient transports they counted.
 

CTMD

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Thanks for all the information everyone! I'm doing a ride along with Mercy 22 in December and I'm hoping to be able to pick the brains of my crew and learn a ton. Anything special to know when doing a ride along with a HEMS crew or just the usual station visit etiquette? Arrive 15 mins early, bring donuts, etc.?
 

CTMD

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I was looking at the requirements on Air Methods website and they all mention having some type of advanced trauma course prior to completing third rider status. I have my PHTLS and I heard that ATLS was more for physicians and the other courses appear to be more advanced nursing trauma courses. With that being said, what would you guys recommend doing to fulfill that obligation as a medic?
 

DesertMedic66

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Thanks for all the information everyone! I'm doing a ride along with Mercy 22 in December and I'm hoping to be able to pick the brains of my crew and learn a ton. Anything special to know when doing a ride along with a HEMS crew or just the usual station visit etiquette? Arrive 15 mins early, bring donuts, etc.?
Ha! I know your name!

I would make sure you are fairly spot on at that 15 minute mark. We usually try to arrive 30 minutes early for our shift but 15 is cool also. Your crew would probably enjoy donuts but it’s not required.

There really isn’t anything too special. You will usually be introduced to your crew and the off going crew. A quick tour of the station, Hesperia’s base is pretty small so it will be a quick tour. You will get fitted for a helmet and a flight suit. You’ll hop on the golf cart and take a short ride over to the helicopter. They will discuss safety information to you (where to walk, where not to walk, usually how to turn off the helicopter should something happen, etc). You will go through all the equipment doing a daily checklist. Then you will head back to the base.

Hesperia has been averaging 40+ calls a month with sometimes over 4 calls in a 12 hour shift so you may be busy.

Ask any and all questions you have to the crew, pilot included.

Warning, you are going to be flying in an aft facing seat in a pretty small helicopter as a third medical crew member. If you thought the van ambulances were cramped, you will learn how much they actually have. You won’t get much hands on with patient care and will be limited to helping move and maybe some basic BLS items.
 

DesertMedic66

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I was looking at the requirements on Air Methods website and they all mention having some type of advanced trauma course prior to completing third rider status. I have my PHTLS and I heard that ATLS was more for physicians and the other courses appear to be more advanced nursing trauma courses. With that being said, what would you guys recommend doing to fulfill that obligation as a medic?
I wouldn’t go out and spend money on it. PHTLS is acceptable as a new hire. They will pay for you to do an online advance trauma transport class.
 

CTMD

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Ha! I know your name!

I would make sure you are fairly spot on at that 15 minute mark. We usually try to arrive 30 minutes early for our shift but 15 is cool also. Your crew would probably enjoy donuts but it’s not required.

There really isn’t anything too special. You will usually be introduced to your crew and the off going crew. A quick tour of the station, Hesperia’s base is pretty small so it will be a quick tour. You will get fitted for a helmet and a flight suit. You’ll hop on the golf cart and take a short ride over to the helicopter. They will discuss safety information to you (where to walk, where not to walk, usually how to turn off the helicopter should something happen, etc). You will go through all the equipment doing a daily checklist. Then you will head back to the base.

Hesperia has been averaging 40+ calls a month with sometimes over 4 calls in a 12 hour shift so you may be busy.

Ask any and all questions you have to the crew, pilot included.

Warning, you are going to be flying in an aft facing seat in a pretty small helicopter as a third medical crew member. If you thought the van ambulances were cramped, you will learn how much they actually have. You won’t get much hands on with patient care and will be limited to helping move and maybe some basic BLS items.
Sounds good! I'm looking forward to it! So would 30 minutes be a better arrival time to make sure there is time to go over the whole pre flight check and safety briefing?
I think I know your name as well lol It's a small world out there!
Hesperia is in the 407 right? It's definitely going to be a tight fit being 6:4, but at least it's not like having to fit in the vanbulance and post on a street corner.
 

DesertMedic66

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Sounds good! I'm looking forward to it! So would 30 minutes be a better arrival time to make sure there is time to go over the whole pre flight check and safety briefing?
I think I know your name as well lol It's a small world out there!
Hesperia is in the 407 right? It's definitely going to be a tight fit being 6:4, but at least it's not like having to fit in the vanbulance and post on a street corner.
15 or 30 is good. You will have a couple of briefings that day. One from the med crew and then the daily crew briefing from the pilot.

I worked around a dozen or so shifts at Hesperia right after I was done with my training time.

Yes sir, you will be in a 407. N160AM should be the tail number.
 
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