A Day in the Life of Sanford AIRMED
KVRR's Jackie Kelly Follows Around a Flight Nurse for a day to see What Their Job Entails
FARGO, ND — As a flight nurse at Sanford Medical Center, no day is the same.
You can’t ever expect when duty will call.
Once that call comes in, they have only minutes before they have to leave.
Flight suits zipped, helmets buckled, and seat belts fastened, AIRMED is ready for takeoff.
“We respond to all referring facilities, scene flights, and pick up patients that are critically ill,” said flight nurse Sara Fulton. “We do some transports for patients that need maybe transplants, whether it’s a heart, kidney, liver.”
All helicopters have a pilot, paramedic, and a nurse on board.
Depending on the situation, more people may come along to help.
“Say we have an OB patient, you know labor and delivery,” explained RN Jeff Iverson. “We’ll pull a labor and delivery nurse that flies with us with us along. If it’s a pediatric patient, usually we’ll bring a respiratory therapist with us.”
Much like the inside of an ambulance, medical supplies, extra blood, and a cot can be found in the helicopter.
This ensures the nurse and paramedic can help the patient while they are in the air.
“Our rotor usually goes about 150 mile radius, but we do go farther,” Iverson said. “We can go to the Cities, we can go to Bismarck and Minot, but for those longer trips, we try to utilize our airplane more and then try to keep our rotor in the area.”
The flight is tracked so people at the hospital know when they will return.
On average, Sanford’s helicopter goes out three times a day.