MetroHealth Flight Nurse Specialist Megan Gulas, BSN, RN, CCRN, EMT-B, describes her work in this specialized role and explains how she keeps current in her practice.
My responsibilities as a clinical Flight Nurse Specialist begin even before making contact with the patient. After receiving a brief report on the patient, I develop a plan of care with my partner prior to arriving at the patient’s bedside. However, it is important to remain flexible to changes in both the patient’s condition and the circumstances in which we find them, i.e., are we responding to a highway scene or an interfacility transport? Together, we optimize pre-departure interventions, including medication administration or procedures to diminish the potential for deterioration en route. We respond aggressively to any changes in patient condition that happen during the transport. I provide both physical and emotional support to the patient. At the receiving hospital, I act as a collaborating member in the patient’s continuum of care by providing a detailed report.
Since it is imperative that I stay up to date in my clinical practice in this specialty area, I always try to expand my thinking and value life-long learning. As critical transport nurses, we continue to strive to be more efficient through our department’s case reviews and protocols. During our competency days, we hear lectures from specialists in different medical areas. Our own simulation lab at Metro supports ongoing learning by providing hands on training. In addition, I continue to stay up to date by maintaining the numerous required certifications.
As is true for most critical care transport nurses, we want to provide our patients with the best care in the brief time we are with them. In order to do that, we must never stop learning and practicing critical care medicine to the highest scope of our practice.