Since the inception of air medical transport in the early 1970’s, the “ideal” crew composition has been the subject of much discussion. There has been a variety of team types: RN/MD, RN/RN, RN/Medic, RN/RRT, etc. While each type of crew configuration offers many theoretical benefits, there is little scientific research to support any specific mix of medical crew members. Most air medical programs in the United States operate with a RN/Medic crew.
MedFlight believes that critical care nurses and paramedics can be trained in skill performance to the level of a physician. In addition to conducting ongoing quality reviews of the procedures performed by our crews, an annual competency program, and continuing education to enhance clinical skills, each MedFlight transport is supervised by an identified Medical Control Physician who is immediately available to the crew and who provides input regarding the care of the patient. Each MCP has specialty training in adult emergency medicine, pediatrics, neonatology or high-risk obstetrical care, depending on the patient’s condition.
MedFlight crews are trained to perform and well-versed in, among other skillsets:
- Rapid Sequence Intubation using paralytic agents
- Oral and Nasotracheal Intubation
- Surgical and Needle Cricothyroidotomy
- Conversion of peripheral IV line to 8.5 Fr introducer for rapid fluid administration
- IO insertion
- Needle chest decompression
- Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump management and transport
- Ventilator management
- Monitoring of arterial catheters and Swan-Ganz catheters
- Monitoring of pulse oximetry and end-tidal CO2
- Transcutaneous pacing
- Maintenance of transvenous pacemaker
- Burn escharotomy
Mobile ICU and Flight Teams also maintain several clinical certifications above and beyond their RN and Paramedic licensures.
The RN/Medic crew configuration offers the most cost-effective method of medical care delivery in the critical care transport environment. MedFlight is committed to providing the highest level of care for the lowest cost to patients, receiving hospitals, and third-party payors.
We’re proud of the quality work and dedication our clinical crews produce daily. There are decades of experience at each MedFlight base. If you have additional questions regarding MedFlight and our capabilities, please visit our website or on social: @MedFlightOhio. Partners for Life.
Dr. Howie Werman, Medical Director of MedFlight & Emergency Physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center