Career Spotlight - Robyn DavisEMS Flight Crew

 

Current occupation or job title?

Registered Nurse with Airlink/Vitalink, New Hanover Regional Medical Center

 What credentials/certifications have you earned?

Credentials:
Registered Nurse
EMT-B (Emergency Medical Technician Basic, North Carolina)
CCRN (Critical Care Registered Nurse)
CMTE (Certified Medical Transport Executive)
Certifications maintained: ALS, BLS, PALS, TNCC, NRP

Why did you choose your profession?

I have always dreamed of being a flight nurse.  I enjoy the fast pace and the way the industry grows each day.  Every day I learn something new, such as a disease process or new technology.  I enjoy the time I get to spend with each patient and their families.   There is much responsibility that comes with the job but the reward of making a connection with your patient and making them better is wonderful.   There is also an excellent bond among nurses, both for educational and emotional support.  

Describe a typical work day:

Our schedule rotates on a weekly basis with one 12-hour ground ambulance shift and one 24-hour flight shift.  We start each shift preparing for the day by signing off medications, verifying expiration dates, ensuring equipment is functioning properly, and completing safety checks on the vehicle and aircraft. We have crew briefings and discuss any special events (PR, L Z classes, etc.) or weather hazards. On our ground ambulance, our calls are typically inter-facility.  Based on call volume, if the local EMS system has stressed resources we may also assist in local EMS rotation.

On our aircraft, our calls are varied between inter-facility and scene flights.  We may use our down time between calls for continuing education, charting, station duties, and crew rest but maintain the expectation that we are always mission-ready and may be dispatched at any time. 

 What is the most difficult part of your job?

Oftentimes we witness severe or even grave injuries.  We encounter many of our patients on what is one of their worst days.  Our duty is to do our best for our patients but at the same time it may be a scary experience.  We often transport patients to facilities and in the process they are separated from their loved ones.  We recognize how difficult this is for the patient and family and always make an effort to obtain contact information.  We follow up with the patient's families when we arrive at the receiving facility and update them on the patient's course and safe arrival.  

Share the reason(s) you love your job:

I love the variety of it.  No day is like the other.  I enjoy being out of the hospital, working on mobile units.  I have traveled as far as Virginia and South Carolina in a day’s work.  My co-workers are some of the very best, we are a very close group and always there to support one another.  I love taking care of patients, I feel like I truly make a difference, even if it's just to answer a patient's questions or hold their hand.  Each patient and transport is unique.  

What advice would you give students considering a career in your field?

Get experience as early as possible.  I started my career as a Nursing Assistant while attending nursing school.  It's a great way to see multiple areas and help you decide which aspect of nursing you like the best.  Volunteer with local Fire and EMS agencies.  We do outreach PR events and LZ classes with Fire and EMS. Our crews will always be happy to answer your questions and provide guidance as needed.  We may also be able to offer information on how to participate in a ride along.  Never give up!  Many critical care ground and air transport services require a few years of Emergency and/or Critical Care experience.  You may also need a flight or critical care certification prior to applying.  Each day in these areas will provide you with the knowledge, confidence, and experience needed to achieve your goals.

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