AEROMEDICAL EVACUATION: CLINICALLY PREPARING AIR FORCE FLIGHT NURSES
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL MAXWELL AFB United States
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The Air Forces aeromedical evacuation capability is a lifesaving asset. It is unique from civilian air ambulance services because the Air Force transports battle injured patients directly out of military theaters. War can result in the evacuation of many patients on a single aircraft. These patients can have a variety of diseases and injuries. Many combat related injuries are severe and complex. Nurses are often the mostly highly educated medical personnel aboard these missions. This makes them solely responsible for life-saving decisions and interventions. The burden of this responsibility should only be borne by flight nurses capable of, and willing to, achieve the highest qualifications. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The Air Force currently fails to hold military flight nurses to the same standards as commercial employers. Professional flight nursing standards are set by The Air and Surface Transport Nurses Association. Divergent sets of standards raise questions related to safety and ethics. Upon assignment to an aeromedical evacuation squadron, military flight nurses have limited opportunities to maintain their clinical skills. This results in attempting to maintain proficiency primarily through simulation, a technique with unproven efficacy. This research utilized the ProblemSolution framework, and sought to analyze the capabilitys history, operational structure, and training platform to identify possible alternatives that would better guarantee proficiency. This study produced three feasible alternatives. Each was evaluated by pertinent measures to provide a recommendation for the ideal method to improve the clinical skills of military flight nurses.
- Escape, Rescue and Survival
- Medicine and Medical Research