"How to Be a Flight Nurse"

By: Nicole Morten Email
By: Nicole Morten Email

They are the people who get called to the scene when an accident occurs. Yet we seldom see what really happens when they're flying high. NewsChannel 7's Nicole Morten gives us more details in her weekly segment 'Nicole Wants to Know.'

This week I got a front row seat in a very adrenaline packed yet critical position in the medical field... Take a look.

Even before she graduated college, Karen Tayes decided life in an office cubicle wasn't her idea of a career, so she aimed high, literally...

"I'm a flight nurse; we work similar to paramedics or firefighters," Tayes tells NewsChannel 7.

Rather than providing care in the hospital and on the ground, Tayes provides care in the air.

"This particular helicopter is based out of Marianna Florida and we have a headquarters there at the airport and we pretty much sit and wait on call and once we get a flight we get to the scene call."

Flight nurses work 24 hours shifts, which means the crew must always be on their toes. Safety is always on the minds of the crew members, even right down to the clothes they wear.

"We put you in a flight suit, it is fire-retardant, we have to have the special suits on in case we have a flash fire, we won't get burned."

Next in line:

"Were going to do a walk around because we want to make sure our aircraft is ready to go, and make sure nothing is hanging off or loose and we get coordinates from our pilot, he'll plug that in to the GPS and we call our dispatch in Omaha, Nebraska and let them know we're launching."

With the pre-flight check-list complete, the crew is off to save lives. Although her job is adventurous, it's serious. The fate of the injured patients in the hands of Tayes and her fellow crew members.

"We're going to go find our scene, whether it be on the road or a hospital and then go."

Quick thinking is critical during the golden hour. That's the 60 minutes from the moment of the injury, the 911 call, the dispatch of an ambulance, then performing the necessary life- saving intervention and the delivery of the patient to a trauma center.

“If it's a scene flight pickup, go in the EMC crew and take em' to the nearest appropriate facility whether it be someone who needs trauma services, stroke services."

Tayes says responding to life-and-death situations never gets dull.

"I like to fly, so to me that's pretty exciting. I like the challenge of critical patients and knowing we can make a difference."

Karen has been a flight nurse with air methods for four years, and a paramedic for nearly 20. If you know of anyone with an unusual or interesting job shoot me an email at: nicole.morten@wjhg.com

You must be logged in to post comments.

Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Bubba on May 11, 2009 at 01:52 PM
    it was interesting to see Bay EMS in the clip, find out how often they call for the helicopter.
  • by Kevin Location: PCB on May 10, 2009 at 06:44 PM
    What do you mean Bo when you say "if you knew you would be laying on the side of a helicopter?"
  • by Jennifer Holmes Location: Boston, MA on May 9, 2009 at 03:26 PM
    GREAT SEGMENT SIS!! I can't wait to see more!! Miss you! XoXo!
  • by Bo on May 8, 2009 at 11:29 AM
    I think I'd be freaked out of I knew I'd be laying on the side of a helicopter after an accident.
  • by Da-Da Location: Pursian Gulf on May 7, 2009 at 08:32 PM
    Great article. Miss ya honey. Keep up the great work. XoXo's
8195 Front Beach Road Panama City Beach, FL 32407 Station: 850-234-7777 News: 850-230-5221 Fax: 850-233-6647
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 44563282 - wjhg.com/a?a=44563282
Gray Television, Inc.