So your goal is to save lives by becoming a US air ambulance pilot. You might have read our previous guide on becoming an air ambulance pilot, which covered the basics of what you need to do. And you might have noticed that one of the first steps is to get the necessary education for a valid degree in order to become one. In this post, we’ll be covering a bit more detail about getting a degree to become an air ambulance pilot.
Process of Getting a Degree for US air Ambulance Pilots
If you want to become an air ambulance pilot, you don’t necessarily need a college degree. However, you’re going to need specialized training to become one. And you’ll need a valid license and a certain amount of flight hours, which may differ according to the company you’re applying to.
- Attend a flight school – In order to get your helicopter pilot’s license, you need to pass a written and an oral exam under the Federal Aviation Administration. And attending a flight school can prepare you for these tests. Ideally, you should be receiving hands-on training to prepare for the exam. But if your schedule doesn’t permit it, you can also sign up for an online course to prepare for the oral exam.
- Get the necessary licensing – If you’re planning to become a US air ambulance pilot, chances are you’ll be working for a private air ambulance company. So you will need to have a private pilot license in addition to passing the FAA exams. Plus, an air ambulance pilot needs to have a class III medical clearance.
- Receive flight training – Flight hours are also crucial for working as an air ambulance pilot. The time you spend with an instructor will also be counted as part of your flight hours. So it’s crucial that you sign up for a flight training to make sure you log the necessary hours.
As a US air ambulance paramedic, it’s your duty to prevent the spread of infectious disease to others. You’re dealing with different kinds of patients on a daily basis, some of who may be suffering from a highly infectious disease. Even if you’re doing what you can to avoid catching the illness, you may still be contributing to the transmission of the disease to other people. In fact, influenza, mumps, measles, etc. have been known to be transmitted through unvaccinated health workers. Plus, such infectious diseases may pose a problem to the healthcare professionals themselves.
Tips for US Air Ambulance Paramedics to Handle Infectious Diseases
The steps you’ve learnt years ago to prevent infectious disease transmission may be out of date. With new diseases being discovered, it’s important that you stay updated with the following latest tips that will help you in preventing the transmission of infectious diseases:
- Make sure you regularly use personal protective equipment so that you can minimize the exposure to OPIM and blood.
- Make sure you get your annual vaccinations on time and stay up to date as new transmittable diseases are discovered.
- Make sure you annually go for your 2-step tuberculosis skin test.
- Make sure you use disinfection supplies and processes as recommended by the CDC so as to ensure you kill off even the toughest of microorganisms.
- Come up with a protocol to carry out a routine disinfection of your medical devices and patient care area within the US air ambulance.
- Make sure you maintain the hand hygiene standards and sanitize your hands multiple times throughout the process of care and patient contact.
These are just a few of the steps you need to carry out in order to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases. Stay updated with latest regulations and standards from the CDC.
If you are part of an air ambulance crew, it’s likely that you get through some days working overtime and having to respond to multiple calls in a day. While this is all part of the job, it’s important to remember that long shifts and over-exhausted can leave you feeling drained – both physically and mentally. The result will be impaired consciousness, which can prevent you from doing your job properly. This is why US air ambulance paramedics need to ensure that they get proper sleep whenever possible.
Signs US Air Ambulance Paramedics Should Watch Out For
Whether you work for an air ambulance or a ground ambulance, being an EMS provider means there is a high risk of chronic sleep deprivation. Maybe you are secretly proud of yourself for being able to perform well despite lack of sleep. While you may be able to do so for a few days, over time you’re just going to experience impaired consciousness. This can be dangerous for your job, for the lives of your patients, and for yourself.
As a US air ambulance paramedic, here are some signs you should watch out for telling you that you need to get some sleep ASAP:
- Inability to remember the last call you responded to
- Inability to distinguish one patient from the other
- More than normal illegible writing
- Strong smell of coffee and/or Red Bull while urinating
- Impaired ability to read patients’ vital signs
- Impaired ability to distinguish reality from dreams
These are just a few of the more common signs of impaired consciousness among EMS providers. It may be easy to be in denial, making it difficult for you to honestly assess yourself using these signs. Get help from a partner or a fellow crew member that you trust.
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.
Every year over 400 thousand rescue operations take place employing air ambulance choppers and the numbers are only increasing. There also has been a surge of private players in the air ambulance industry, which has led to a whopping demand for air ambulance pilots. If you have a flare for flying and a heart to serve the needy, career as air ambulance pilot is right for you. Here, we discuss the path to become an air ambulance pilot.
Air ambulance companies demand that you have the requisite education
No company will employ you unless you have at least 2 years of college education, most prefer a 4-year degree. Veer towards subjects like aeronautical engineering and physics for your major.
US air ambulance companies will ask you for a second-class certificate
This is a medical certificate that clears you to train and fly as a commercial pilot. You can get this through an Aviation Medical Examiner. To find one, visit the FAA website.
Attend a flight school
Ensure that you attend one that has been certified by FAA. Alternatively, you can also train under an instructor who has been certified by FAA. People who have served in the military and have enough flight hours under their belt are exempted from this.
Instrument training to fly air ambulances
As a US air ambulance pilot, you might have to fly in tough weather conditions. This also involves flying using instruments when visibility is low. You will have to garner a total of 40 hours of instrument training.
Gain experience and flight hours
Most air ambulance companies will demand that you have a minimum of 1000 hours of flight experience. While training for these many hours can be expensive, an easier alternative is to join an aviation school as an instructor.
You are all set to apply to become an air ambulance pilot
You are now free to apply for an air ambulance job in the market. With so many US air ambulance companies already existing, you are sure to land a job pretty quickly.