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Meet the aerial nurse whose healthcare has really taken off — literally | NEWS-Line for Nurses

Meet the aerial nurse whose healthcare has really taken off — literally


Sydney Patton is a Flight Nurse in Las Vegas and a Dayton, OH native.

Flight Nurses provide medical care to patients who are being transported to a hospital or other facility. Patton explains, “We transport patients of all ages—Neonatal Intensive Care all the way to Geriatrics. We do scene calls which often involve trauma patients, as well as patients that are in need of higher level of care from smaller facilities.”

Flight nurses work 24-hour shifts. In their work, they must be aware of flight conditions and patient procedures. She explains, “We begin at 8:30 a.m. with a flight debrief with our pilot. He will go over the weather, emergency procedures and operations for the day. We then go to the helicopter together and check all equipment to ensure we are stocked and prepared for the day.” There’s no restocking mid-air, so it’s vital they have everything a patient may require. Even when not actively transporting patients, there is plenty to do. Patton shares, “During our down time, we focus on education, practicing skills and reviewing charts. We also plan for naps, as we operate on 24-hour shifts and need to be prepared for night flights.”

Patton thrives in the high-pressure environment of acute, airborne care. She shares, “I enjoy the fast pace and intricacy of caring for people that are very ill. It challenges your ability to critically think and formulate decisions and pathways to achieve goals.” Her work brings together technical medical knowledge and people skills to care for patients in high-intensity situations. “Not only must you be able to perform under high amounts of pressure but also be able to calm your patients and their families during this time,” says Patton.

Originally a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Patton had a strong desire to learn and grow. She began work at a small hospital that specialized in cardiac intervention. “I chose this facility based on the opportunity for learning and growth. I quickly learned to work on other units. With a good rapport with the physicians, I was often able to be involved with Operating Room cases for observation and watching cardiac caths and Peripheral vascular disease interventions.” Patton says.

She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at Hondros College of Nursing where she was able to obtain quality training while accommodating her work schedule and family life. “Hondros gave me the ability to obtain my RN license after being an LPN for many years,” Patton reflects. As a Registered Nurse, Patton worked in many different settings but was drawn to acute care. “I was able to start working in a busy emergency room in Las Vegas where I gained additional experience in Intermediate Care and in Intensive Care Units.” This acute care experience gave her the foundation to become a flight nurse.

Her work is collaborative, strengthening healthcare in the region as she bridges different providers. Her agency offers physicians and clinicians ride-alongs so they can see and understand the care patients receive in the air. It is a high-pressure job, but Patton is grateful to serve patients at a critical moment. It also comes with some benefits. Patton shares, “I have the most beautiful views of Las Vegas on any given day.”

About Hondros College of Nursing

Hondros College of Nursing educates students at five Ohio campuses in Cincinnati/West Chester, Cleveland/Independence, Columbus/Westerville, Dayton/Fairborn and Toledo/Maumee, where students can earn a Practical Nursing Diploma and an Associate Degree in Nursing. Hondros College of Nursing is dedicated to its mission as well as the students, partners, and communities in which they serve. For additional information, please visit hondros.edu. For complete information about accreditation, please visit hondros.edu/accreditation. Hondros College of Nursing cannot guarantee employment or salary. Hondros College of Nursing is a subsidiary of American Public Education, Inc. (NASDAQ: APEI).

Source: Hondros College of Nursing

Photo: Hondros College of Nursing

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