Case Western Reserve's Flight Nursing Academy holds camp for nurses in air medical services


Flight Camp to feature technologic disaster drill

CLEVELAND The National Flight Nursing Academy at Case Western Reserve University is holding its second annual Summer Camp 2004 for intensive training of advanced practice nurses, flight nurses and emergency service personnel in emergency response. The camp will be held the week of August 9-13 at Case's Squire Valleevue Farm in Hunting Valley, Ohio.

With today's terrorism concerns surrounding the Summer Olympics in Greece and threat of terrorism on American soil, as well as worrisome health-related events of recent years such as SARS, West Nile virus and the anthrax scare, the need to diagnose and initiate advanced treatment for disaster victims as quickly as possible often at the scene of the disaster has never been greater.

In 2002, Case's Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland jointly established the nation's first academic program offering a degree to flight nurses. Graduates of this master's degree program at Case are eligible to take the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner certificate exam. The academy is a partnership between the Bolton School and MetroHealth Medical Center's Metro Life Flight, one of the leading air medical services in the United States.

"The focus of this intense training is to bring the emergency room to the roadside," said Carolyn T. Nieman, director of the annual summer camp and a lecturer at the Bolton School. "It is absolutely imperative that nurses provide care in unstructured environments in response to any and all natural or technological disasters."

The five-day, 40-hour hands-on training course will include:

  • Technologic disaster scene response
  • Critical incident stress management
  • Flight safety
  • Preparing landing zones
  • Toxicology and poisoning
  • Cardiac emergencies
  • Portable ultrasound lab
  • Physics of flight
  • Patient and crew perspectives on air transport
  • Caring for vulnerable patients, especially children and the elderly

The camp will feature a technologic disaster response drill, during which participants will be able to utilize their advanced clinical decision-making skills.

They will participate as members of an interdisciplinary response team, maintaining situational awareness, and providing leadership in the assessment and provision of care in unstructured environments, Nieman said.

"In a sense, what we're doing is preparing the public for the realities of life in the 21st century," she added. "Other nations that have experienced terrorism and other disasters have been training for these kinds of contingencies for years."

The master's degree program in flight nursing and the summer camp prepare students to provide advanced assessment and care to patients in uncontrolled environments, care that is often available only in the emergency department or intensive care unit. May L. Wykle, dean of the Bolton School, explained that the summer camp is one element in the academy's three-pronged approach to training and education, which consists of advancing nursing practice through research, community outreach and the flight nurse program.

"The National Flight Nursing Academy's annual summer camp is an exciting venture and exemplifies Case's core values of innovative education and partnering with other institutions," said Wykle. "The program is a large part of our groundbreaking flight nursing program. It will further strengthen the Bolton School's reputation as one of the world's leading innovators in nursing education and research."

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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