Last Updated on February 16, 2021 by Randy Cherry
A medical escort is a rewarding career that comes with a great deal of responsibility during high-pressure situations. It requires the right type of personality to undergo the specific training and gain the experience to handle any possible emergency that can occur on the job.
What Medical Escorts Do
A medical escort is a nurse or paramedic that has undergone special training to travel with injured or sick patients, mostly on commercial flights. In medical transport circumstances, these flight nurses often have many years of experience in acute and emergency care.
In many cases, commercial medical escorts have spent time working an emergency service or hospital emergency room. The majority of medical escorts work in non-emergency settings.
Regardless of whether it is an emergency or not, being a medical escort is a daunting job as anything could happen at any time, even at 35,000 feet in the air.
The job of a medical escort has a great deal of complexity. In the non-emergency field, the escort will accompany the patient from home all the way to the airport. At this point, they help the patient through security and get them to the departure gate. Working alongside airport staff, the escort will ensure a smooth process through waiting in a quiet, comfortable lounge and getting the patient onboard the aircraft ahead of the other passengers. After arriving at the destination, the escort will help the patient with the disembarking process.
The most important part of the job is during the flight. At this time, the medical escort will be responsible for monitoring the patient and maintaining their health status through administering medications as well as assisting with feeding and toileting.
Performing these duties requires the skills and experience to handle various medical situations, including life-threatening emergencies, at high altitude. The escort must also carry all of the patient’s medications and any extra equipment that might be needed during the flight.
Being a medical escort requires the person to be a Registered Nurse or paramedic. The individual may take courses in social and physical sciences along with communication and critical thinking. The person must have qualities of leadership in order to manage a patient during transport and to take control of situations when needed. An escort must have a registered nursing license or a paramedic certification to legally perform medical duties. An LPN could be a commercial medical escort for patients that do not necessarily have a medical condition They may just need companionship and assistance throughout the flying process.
Some Medical Escorts have a college degree, they could also earn certificates that prove they have the skill and knowledge to do the work. This includes a Certified Flight Registered Nurse designation, which is awarded by the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing. Guidelines regarding certification are provided by the Air and Surface Transport Nurses Association.
Experience Equals Success
Being successful in the medical escort field requires experience along with education and certification. Most escorts start in emergency rooms and work there for at least three to five years before moving into flight care. This experience is important because it teaches the person how to handle multiple patients while improving triage skills, how to think critically in stressful environments and how to make the correct assessments when everything is moving fast.
A medical escort is a very challenging but rewarding career. It is an excellent opportunity for highly trained people to put their skills and talents to use and help others at the same time.
Medical Transport Services provides the staff and experience to ensure the safety and care of patients when they travel. Call 1-800-687-0607 for more information or visit the website to learn more about the service.