Not all jobs in the air ambulance industry require that you fly all the time. There are some which are performed from an office setting. Perhaps the most vital of these is the job of a medical air transport coordinator. If you are a person who loves to communicate and coordinate, then this might be the right job for you. A typical day of a medical air transport coordinator is very busy as he or she is expected to be in touch with crew, medical staff, and patients effectively when time is of essence.
What Exactly does a Medical Air Transport Coordinator Do?
As a medical air transport coordinator, you will have to coordinate care between discharging hospital, air ambulance, and the receiving facility. You might also have to make arrangements to bridge the distance between the landing area and the hospital which sometimes can be quite a bit. Apart from that you might have to act as an educator to the patient and the family on how to go about medical air transport.
Apart from these, you’ll be expected to handle coordination with insurance companies, getting prior authorizations from third parties involved, confirmation of medical necessity, solving any billing issues if they arise and so on. The list of responsibility is usually huge but the remuneration can be quite handsome once you gain enough experience in the field.
The Qualifications to Become a Medical Air Transport Coordinator
Academically a high school diploma or GED would suffice. Most medical air transport employers prefer knowledge of the service area, although being involved in air ambulance industry might not be mandatory. Experience in scheduling and customer relationship is vital. You might need EMT certification, although some companies are okay with you obtaining the certification within a stipulated time after joining. Most importantly your written and verbal skills must be excellent.
The career as a US air ambulance paramedic is both rewarding and exciting. The paramedics are expected to ride along with the patient in the aircraft providing emergency response as well as advanced life support to the patients en route the medical facility where the charge is then transferred. The job of a US air ambulance paramedic can be quite mentally stressful and physically demanding as are most jobs in this industry. Most air ambulance companies, apart from the required qualifications, also look for good physical fitness before hiring the services.
Qualification Requirements of US Air Ambulance Paramedics
To be considered by US air ambulance companies, a paramedic is usually expected to have at least 5 years of experience. The median salary offered is about $31,700 according to the statistics revealed by Bureau of Labor Statistics in the year 2014. All the states in the United States mandate that the paramedics are licensed for the job. An associate degree of certificate is enough for the job. The emergency medical technician paramedic certification issued by NREMT is a must.
Obtaining the Qualifications to become a US Air Ambulance Paramedic
You are first expected to get the CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and BLS (basic life support) certifications. If you’ve attended these classes in high school it is a huge plus. It usually takes just one session to get this certification.
Next is getting emergency medical training. The training involves both theoretical and practical classes in a vocational or technical education setting. Here, you would be trained to handle situations such as allergic reactions, substance abuse, etc.
You’re now ready to get the license through NREMT. You’ll have to take an examination which comprises of written as well as practical tests here.
It’s now time to gain experience to become a certified paramedic so that you can land a job with any of the US air ambulance companies. In order to get the certification, you will have to bag at least 1,200 hours of training. Once you gain that, you’ll have to undergo an extensive certification examination through NREMT. The certification qualifies you to take up the national certification to become a paramedic. Once you’re through this, you can gain the requisite experience and then apply for a job as a paramedic in any of the US air ambulance companies.
Nursing is a profession that demands passion and the compassion to care. While salaries are not always the best, the job satisfaction is always high as nurses are closely involved in making the lives of those they touch better. If you choose to be an air ambulance transport nurse, your professional life is, no doubt, going to be exciting. Administering medical care on airlifted patients warrants certain specific skill sets. Let’s first discuss the salaries of air ambulance transport nurses.
Salaries of Air Ambulance Transport Nurses
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses, on an average, earned $67,930 per annum. The top 10% of this group earned in excess of 94,720 while the bottom 10% earned less than $45,040. Looking specifically at the salaries earned by Air ambulance transport nurses, the salaries varied between $66,560 and $70,500 in 2011; this is in accordance with the data collected by University of Washington.
Outlook for Air Ambulance Transport Nursing as a Career
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects excellent demand for nurses in general. The employment growth is slated to hover around 26% until 2020. This growth is excellent and almost twice the projected pace of growth (14%) of all occupations in the United States.
Education of Air Ambulance Transport Nurses
As per Discover Nursing, air ambulance transport nurses need to be RN (registered nurses) first before venturing into air rescues. To become an RN one needs to opt among the following three choices:
- Bachelor’s degree in nursing
- Associate degree in nursing
- Nursing diploma
The next step is to clear National Council Licensure Examination for RN. The employers may demand additional certifications based on the demand of the job. They might expect the air ambulance transport nurse to be:
- Certified flight registered nurse
- Emergency medical technician-paramedic
- Emergency medical technician-basic
To be “certified” flight nurse, one needs to work as a flight nurse for at least two years according to Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing. Working in critical care and emergency units is considered an added advantage for better employment opportunities.