Flight Paramedic – Program, Requirements, Jobs and Salary
The career of a flight paramedic is full of exciting challenges and higher level of responsibilities. Nurses who work in aero-medical emergency or evacuation missions are termed as flight paramedic. They are important part of air rescue team who provide onsite emergency medical care to patients in times of crisis from a mobile response unit, in collaboration with a medical support team including flight nurses and flight physicians, outside the hospital setting. Those who aspire to become a flight paramedic need to attain a certification and get trained as a ground paramedic first. Their jobs include risk of acquiring certain diseases, but they are provided with lucrative salary packages so that they could maintain good lifestyle.
Requirements to Become Certified Flight Paramedic
All the aspirants must meet the following criteria in order to be flight paramedic.
- Candidate must be at least 18 years of age.
- One must pursue an accredited program program approved by National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT).
- Aspirants must have at least three years of experience as a paramedic.
- Have immunity to air sickness.
- Clear criminal background is imperative for every candidate.
- Regular screening for drug and alcohol is mandatory.
- S/he should be physically fit and weigh 250 pounds with full uniform.
- CPR program.
- Paddle Program.
- Proficiency in treatment of spinal injuries, bone fractures, 1st, 2nd, 3rd degree burns, cardiac arrest, obstetrics, airway management, blood circulation management, wound management etc.
- Candidate must be able to work in tight places.
In order to take flight paramedic certification exam, an aspirant ought to possess following certifications:
- NREMT Certification
- CCEMTP, TNACT, ATLS-Audit Certification
- Basic Life Support
- Advanced Cardiac Life Support
- Pediatric Advanced Life Support
- Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support
- Flight Paramedic- Certified
Procedure to Become Certified Flight Paramedic
- Obtain certification and program as ground paramedic.
- Continue with your education and take as many certifications and program as possible.
- Gain certification and expertise (at least 2-5 years) as critical care professional.
- Keep all the certifications ready for testing.
- Undergo flight paramedic certification exam. Students will get 2.5 hours to complete the certification exam which will consist of 125 multiple choice questions.
After getting certified as flight paramedic, nurses have the opportunity to practice as a dermatology physician, pediatrics physician, family practice physician, part time urgent care physician, internal medicine physician, ob-gyn physician, etc.
The syllabus of flight paramedic program program incorporates a wide range of topics. Nurses cover entire curriculum through class room lectures and hands on practices.
- Trauma management
- Aircraft fundamentals, safety and survival (aircraft integrity and safety)
- Flight physiology (diagnosis of hypoxia)
- Neurological emergencies (diagnosis of coma patients)
- Advanced airway management techniques
- Burn patients (performing an assessment of burn patients)
- Environmental injuries
- Critical cardiac patient
- Respiratory patient
- Toxic exposure
- Obstetrical emergencies
- General medical patient
- Acid/base balance (a study of fundamentals of acid / base balance in body)
Job Outlook and Salary
The bureau for labor statistics does not differentiate between the salary of flight and ground paramedics, but a certain growth in salary graph has been seen in recent years. The average salary was seen to be $34,360 which was raised to $54,180 in various states of United States, as per the information given on work.chron.com as of 2012. The BLS data projects a growth of 23% in between 2012 and 2022.
Median salary of typical flight medic in United States is as follows:
|Median Salary of flight medics in United States (in $)|
Information Source – Salary.com (as of June 2017)