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May 29, 2019

Understanding the Importance of Clinical Certifications

BY Angel MedFlight

When a loved one is ill or injured, we often feel our most vulnerable and powerless. In the unfortunate instance of a medical crisis, we want our loved ones in the hands of the most capable doctors, nurses, and medics possible. In the medical flight industry, it’s important to identify providers that employ clinicians with advanced certifications. Highly trained clinicians help ensure your loved one is in the best hands possible.

At Angel MedFlight, we invest in our clinicians to ensure they carry the highest clinical accreditations. As it relates to emergency nursing industry, we insist that our nurses become Certified Flight Registered Nurses (CFRN). The CFRN exam is for flight nurses who want to demonstrate their expertise and knowledge in flight nursing. This certification ensures that only the highest trained and qualified nurses work for Angel MedFlight.

As a Flight Nurse, patients and family members often ask me if I also fly the plane. My reply is “no, you don’t want this nurse trying to fly the plane, and you probably don’t want most of these pilots trying to be your nurse.” Just as it’s important for an aviator to obtain their license and have many flight hours and experience under their belt, it’s equally important for a clinician to have the experience and education to assess and treat patients.

The bottom line is this: If you’re looking for a medical flight for you or your loved one, you do have choices and you want to choose the right organization for the job. Credentials and experience matter.

How do the consumer and the provider both ensure that safe and appropriate care can be provided?

Board certification is one of the ways clinicians demonstrate qualifications. It may be surprising that board certification is often not required across the air medical industry.

There are only 4,238 CFRNs. That may seem like a large number until you consider that there are approximately three million Registered Nurses in the United States. This makes the CFRN credential that much more important when searching for an air ambulance company to transport your loved one.

Topics covered by the board certification include physiology, safety, survival, communication, navigation, disaster, legal issues, ethics, quality management, airway management, shock, trauma, brain and spinal injuries, internal organ injuries, burns, broken bones, stroke, heart failure, asthma, pulmonary emboli, abdominal compartment syndrome, sepsis and toxicology. Numerous advanced procedures are covered. This isn’t a complete list, but obviously, it covers a lot of stuff far and above what we were taught in nursing school. Most people take lots of classes, work for years, and study for months to prepare for the board.

Every Critical Care Flight Nurse at Angel MedFlight is a board certified CFRN! Many of us have additional board certifications. All of us have years of experience in emergency and/or critical care nursing, as well as other advanced life support credentials and training.

I invite you to visit the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing website at the links below to learn more about our dedication to clinical excellence.

Certified Success in Emergency Nursing

I invite you to visit the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing website at the links below to learn more about our dedication to clinical excellence.

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Patrick Powers, BSN, RN, CCRN, CFRN has worked in healthcare since 2003. Patrick began his career as a Healthcare Specialist (Combat Medic) in the U.S. Army. His nursing experience includes roles in critical care, emergency, and flight specialties. Since 2004 he has been a Critical Care Flight Nurse with Angel MedFlight.

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