Air ambulance transport can be an expensive affair, especially when the patient needs to be flown from one country to another. However, it must be noted that air ambulance transport is not always a necessity. When patients are unable to tolerate a normal flight that demands hours of maintaining a sitting position, stretchers become a cost-effective alternative to booking a full air ambulance flight. Most commercial airliners make way for such a facility. The effort involved is not much, but it does take quite a bit of coordination, demanding knowledge and planning pertaining to medical stretchers. Let’s take a brief look.
Stretchers are Almost as Effective as Air Ambulance Transport
Essentially, when you contact an air ambulance transport company, their team would get in touch with a commercial airliner and make provisions to remove a few seats. In the place of those seats, a medical stretcher is then fitted. This allows the patient to travel lying down. It also makes way for treatments such as intravenous fluid transfusion and constant monitoring of the patient. It is normal for medical staff to travel along with the patient. The medical transport company also arranges the seamless transfer from the hospital to the airport and from the airport to the destination upon landing.
There are Limitations
A critically or severely ill patient cannot be transported via stretchers on commercial flights. Air ambulance transport becomes the only solution in such cases. A medical flight can create all those facilities that are typical of an ICU but the same cannot be arranged in a commercial flight. Also, those patients who are at high risk for contracting infections like COVID and those who are suffering from a highly infectious disease cannot be transported via commercial flights. Again, such patients must rely on air ambulance transport.
The air medical transport industry has improved a lot over time. From being a mere carrier from point A to point B, the services today act as mini ICUs offering life-saving services during transit. Ventilators and defibrillators have long been a part of some air ambulances. Now, going a step forward, a South Dakota based air medical transport company will provide blood and plasma transfusion as the patient is transported. The medical flight service provider will keep blood and plasma handy in case of emergencies. It is an important milestone, in that the development will directly impact the ultimate medical outcomes.
Air Medical Transport Services will be Able to Respond More Effectively
Air medical transport service providers are often a part of evacuations during accidents. In many of these cases, blood loss is the root cause of emergencies. Now, instead of waiting for hospitals, air ambulance services will be able to provide the urgently needed blood transfusions. Of course, qualified medical personnel will need to be a part of such services so that the right call is taken and on time. Air ambulances are expected to carry universal and most common blood groups to be able to cater to the patients.
Air Ambulance Industry has always been at the Forefront of Offering Better Care
We often see the air medical transport industry being a part of the headlines for reasons like high bills. However, what is almost never highlighted is the fact that they increase the survival rates of the patients. It must be understood that offering enhanced care comes at a cost, which should ideally be borne by the insurance providers, failing which obviously the burden will be passed to the ultimate beneficiary– the patient. This is an area of concern that must be solved, lest the air ambulance industry will not find the right incentive to offer better care.
The Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 has found mention far too many times recently. Every attempt by insurance commissioners and insurance industry has been successfully countered by the air ambulance transport industry, thanks to this act. At the outset, the act itself seems arbitrary considering it takes away the power to control prices by the democratically elected state governments. Then why was this bill introduced in the first place? This is the question that comes to mind often. It was originally passed so that competition can be encouraged. However, it is questionable whether this intent is still being served in the current industry context as prices are simply shooting up. In an ideal competitive world, the prices must be well controlled.
FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018
It must be noted that only the Federal Government can make changes to the existing ADA of 1978. Considering the growing voices against the act, the government enacted FAA Reauthorization 2018. While some were hopeful that it will make drastic changes to the exiting act, it was not to be. The new act limited itself to making provisions to appoint an advisory committee to take a closer look at the air ambulance transport industry and the financial burden on the patients. It has no powers to implement any changes and is limited to offering advice only.
Balance Billing and Air Ambulance Transport Industry
Balance billing continues to be a problem. The healthcare insurance industry, it looks like, refuses to change its reimbursement model for the air ambulance transport industry. It has remained unchanged for over two decades now. On the other hand, medical flight companies are refusing to conform to the prevailing reimbursement rates and adamant against going under insurance networks. The result: balance bills that are not covered by insurance are being thrust upon the patients and they are being compelled to foot bills that amount to thousands of dollars. A solution does not seem at sight, at least at this juncture.
In the previous post, we talked about a couple of tips that air ambulance transport managers can use for improving the quality of data within their organization. Training new hires and having regular audits are crucial in the data improvement process. But there’s a lot more involved than this. Read on to find more useful tips that can help improve your data quality.
Go Above and Beyond the Standard Benchmarks
There are some air ambulance personnel who have the mentality that entering only the basic requirements in their report is sufficient. This has to be avoided at all costs, especially at the management level. It’s important that you set an example and spread the habit of going beyond the standard report requirements.
Entering only the basic information requirement will help get the job done. However, it cannot ensure that the job is done well. That’s why your air ambulance transport service should focus on writing reports that contain all the necessary information plus any additional information that could help others in providing better care to the patient.
Give Praise to Air Ambulance Transport Personnel who Set Good Examples
Another important tactic is to show your recognition for a job well done. If there are any employees who show significant effort in bettering their incident and patient care reporting, make sure you acknowledge them. You could go one step further and show your recognition in front of other employees as well. This could encourage more and more of them to improve their reporting.
However, try to keep criticisms private. If any team member has failed to make proper documentation, make sure to let them know in private. This is vital to prevent low employee morale, which could be bad for your overall performance.
Your dream job is to save lives as an air ambulance transport paramedic. Although you’re all ready with the necessary training and certifications to start your job, there’s a lot more involved to survive the career. It can be physically demanding and mentally exhausting. The work environment can be stressful as well depending on where you work. So here are some tips that will help you survive your first job as an air ambulance paramedic:
Take Good Care of Yourself
Although your job is to care for other people, it’s important that you take good care of yourself first. As mentioned earlier, being an air ambulance paramedic can be physically demanding. You’ll have to do a lot of patient lifting and running around with your gear. All of this can take a toll on your body, so you need to be prepared.
Otherwise, you could risk injuring yourself. You need to build your core strength and work towards improving your cardiovascular fitness. In addition to this, air ambulance transport paramedics need to get quality sleep so you can cope with shift work. And of course, you’ll also need to eat healthy to ensure that your body’s fit to carry out the various physical activities required while on call.
Pursue Interests Other than Air Ambulance Transport Paramedicine
It’s highly important for air ambulance paramedics to pursue other interests outside of their job. You could engage in some sport activities, play in a band, raise funds for charity, try your hand at crafts, etc. If the only thing you’re involved in is your job, you could easily burn out and experience issues that prevent you from continuing your work. Distract yourself with stress-relieving activities and take regular vacations to ensure mental health.
In the previous post, we talked about some useful tips that can help you on your way to landing your dream job as an air ambulance transport paramedic. But there’s more to it than building your skills and improving your physical fitness. This post will help you discover some additional steps you can take to improve your chances of getting hired at your favourite air ambulance company.
Your Personal Life Plays a Role
With information being easily accessible nowadays, it’s easier for hiring managers to gain access to your personal life and assess you for your coveted role. Your driving record, your social media activity, etc. could all play a huge role in whether or not you get hired. Even something as minor as a few speeding tickets could have an impact on your qualification for an air ambulance transport paramedic.
This means it’s important that you prepare for this assessment well ahead of time and ensure that you’re extra careful not to have anything negative showing up. Even in case you do have a few negative records, make sure you’re prepared to have an answer when you’re questioned about them.
Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help from Experts in Air Ambulance Transport Recruitment
When you’re writing a cover letter or putting together your resume, it’s highly recommended that you get help from your educators. They have a fair idea of how recruitment in the air ambulance industry works. And they have extensive knowledge in crafting a compelling application. Their recommendations could help you in polishing your resume and sway the hiring manager.
Additionally, some hiring managers may consult your instructors during the hiring process. So it’s also important to maintain a good relationship with your instructors so they can vouch for you that you’re worthy of the position.
In an earlier post, we talked about the basics of getting hired to become an air ambulance transport paramedic. You might even have a job already but what if it’s not your dream job? You may be vying to work for a specific air ambulance company, which means you need to look for ways to ensure that you get hired. This post will provide you with useful tips to ensure that you land your dream air ambulance paramedic job.
It’s Okay to Start Somewhere Else
Even if the first job you land isn’t with a company that you like, you need to maintain the humility to accept the job as it could be a vital stepping stone. In the meantime, you should keep your eye on the long-term goal. Use the opportunity to learn more about the industry and find ways to further enhance your skills and knowledge.
Find Ways to Improve Your Resume
It’s important to remember that there may be many other air ambulance transport paramedics eyeing the same company as you. So it’s crucial that you stand out from the crowd to improve your chances of getting hired. This means enhancing your resume with special skills and certifications that will show prospective employers that you’re a desirable employee.
Try looking for ways to add specialized skills such as Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), and Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) to your resume along with the basic certifications.
Physical fitness is vital for air ambulance transport paramedics
In addition to keep yourself mentally sharp and enhancing your resume, it’s also vital that you continue to maintain your physical fitness. You will have to go through agility tests during the hiring process. As these tests can be taxing, make sure you constantly keep fit in order to get through them.
When you’re running an air ambulance transport company, there are many factors that come into play to ensure the success of your service. And leaders like you have a multitude of challenges to overcome to achieve success and avoid failure. This post will be discussing some of the common challenges many healthcare leaders, including air ambulance leaders, have to face.
The Economic Challenges
Every healthcare leader has to consider ways to deliver better quality of care while reducing cost. You have to keep asking yourself how much of your spending go for a waste without providing any kind of benefit to your patients. These benefits could either be direct or indirect. So whenever you plan on investing in technology, education, etc. you need to consider how the investment will benefit your patients.
As an air ambulance transport leader, you will have several staff members under your employment. This could bring about conflicts among employees, which could affect the work environment if not tackled correctly. You need to constantly be on the lookout for ways to acknowledge and address the individual grievances of your staff members to avoid conflicts that could impact the quality of service they deliver.
Other Challenges for Air Ambulance Transport Leaders
In addition to these two main issues, air ambulance leaders also have to try and tackle several other challenges. For instance, changes in the political environment of the country could have a huge impact on your operations. As a leader, it will be your responsibility to anticipate those possible challenges and set up a tactic to overcome them the best way possible so that it doesn’t impact your service.
Another huge challenge is in meeting the changing expectations of patients. It would be wise to invest in technologies and protocols that would increase the convenience and quality of care for patients.
If you’re reading this article, chances are that you’re interested in joining the air ambulance industry. And perhaps you wish to provide life-saving care by becoming an air ambulance transport paramedic. Maybe you’re still considering the option and are unsure whether the job would be a good fit for you. Here are some of the best reasons why you should become an air ambulance paramedic:
Reason 1: You won’t be working behind a desk
For those of you who have been dreading the idea of working in a corporate white-collar job with your own cubicle, becoming an air ambulance paramedic has great appeal. It’s not monotonous like your typical office job and you’re always on the move.
Reason 2: There’s a high demand for air ambulance transport paramedics
If you’ve ever worried about being unable to land a job in the field of your choice, you wouldn’t have to face those worries if you become an air ambulance paramedic. The air ambulance industry is growing exponentially, and therefore has an increasing demand for experienced paramedics.
Reason 3: Experience better salary growth than ground EMTs
There’s been a growth in the salary graph of paramedics in the air ambulance industry. While the average salary stood at $34,360, some states have an average salary of $54,180 for air ambulance paramedics.
Reason 4: You can build your self-confidence
The role of an air ambulance transport paramedic requires you to be self assured and to trust in yourself. As a result of these demands, you get to build your self-confidence that will help you in your personal and professional life.
Reason 5: You get to make a difference
As an air ambulance paramedic, there may be times when you encounter patients who are so seriously ill or injured that they don’t end up surviving even if you did your best. But in many cases, you are the difference between life and death for your patients. And you can make a difference for them, which is the most important reason you should build a career in air ambulance paramedicine.
In the previous post, we talked about some of the top reasons why air ambulance transport paramedics get injured. This post will discuss some more common reasons for injury among air ambulance paramedics. It will also discuss some tips to prevent these injuries.
Other Common Causes of Injury for Air Ambulance Transport Paramedics
Earlier, we talked about how air ambulance paramedics are susceptible to injury from body motion and exposure to harmful substances. We also talked about how they are prone to slipping, tripping, or falling. Here are some other common reasons why an air ambulance paramedic could get injured:
- Helicopter accidents – When you’re working as a paramedic for an air ambulance helicopter, there’s a chance you could get involved in a helicopter accident. Mechanical failures, low visibility, and heavy wind and rain could put your helicopter at risk of crashing. Some air ambulance paramedics have suffered from injuries resulting from a helicopter crash. Some of these injuries even turn out to be fatal.
- Violence/assaults – In some cases, air ambulance transport paramedics might even encounter injury resulting from violence or assault from a patient. You might come across a violent patient, who may be under the influence or alcohol or some other substance. These incidents may result in physical harm in many cases, and in some cases may even result in physical injury that requires medical attention
Prevention of Injury for Air Ambulance Paramedics
Both employers and employees are responsible for preventing injury among air ambulance paramedics. Employers can offer education and training, provide safety equipment, develop policies and procedures, enforce said policies and procedures, and address potential safety hazards.
Employees can identify problem areas, voice their safety concerns, and report any incidents of near misses and injuries. Protecting themselves with available protective gear per their standard regulations is also crucial.