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President's Message

December 2015


Welcome to our ASTNA Website. There are many new areas of this website that are for you, the member, specifically. You are able to set up a profile, picture included, and add “friends” who are also ASTNA members.

This is the perfect space for you to network with fellow CCT and Flight RN’s on a variety of matters. You will find our member specialty forums particularly useful where you can share ideas with colleagues who have similar clinical interest areas. Our Career Center will be fully up to speed where you can post your resume and browse Flight and CCT nurse jobs both locally and internationally.

These areas of the website will be “members only” with lots of information, educational offerings and other areas of interest offered specifically to you, our valued colleagues.

As I sit here on night shift at the Flight program where I work; I am again shocked and saddened by the loss of two helicopters in the last 5 days. Firstly, the Skylife 4 helicopter which crashed in Central California , killing all 3 crew members on board and a patient. We lost one of our ASTNA members, Marco Lopez RN , in this tragic accident. Then tonight, the Native Air helicopter, which crashed in the Superstition Mountain area in Arizona, with 2 known fatalities at this time and one crewmember in critical condition.

We do not know the cause of either of these tragedies, and won’t until the NTSB completes their investigations by the end of 2016. My fellow flight nurse colleague and I were discussing safety and I reflected on how so few Flight nurse applicants ever ask the interview panel about their program’s safety initiatives, safety management programs, safety culture, safety training . Does it even occur to these excited potential flight nurses that there are grave dangers associated with this nursing specialty? When I ask whether they have discussed the dangers of the job with their partners, families and spouse’s, very few have. At that stage, applicants are so enthralled with the possibility of ‘wearing the flight “super hero” suit, flying on a helicopter, and practicing out of the regular scope of practice of a RN, that the last thing they seriously consider is their safety. This should, in fact be our focus from the very start of our careers, whether it be working on a CCT ambulance, flying on an airplane or helicopter. Safety should be on our mind as we arrive at work each shift. It should be a lifestyle which we live, not merely something we pay ‘lip service’ to. As older, experienced transport nurses, we have an obligation to mentor these new nurses and reinforce the importance of Safety being first and foremost in our minds. To foster assertiveness to “Speak Up” when they don’t feel comfortable or are not ok with what is going on around them. To be able to recognize the principles of AMRM and how to be an effective , active participant , not merely “self-loading baggage”.

Above all, we all need to realize how serious this nursing specialty is and the huge implications our actions and inaction have, both from an aviation safety point of view as well as a clinical one.


Make your mark as a Professional in this nursing specialty; Aspire To Greatness. Excellence, not mediocrity ; vigilance not complacency.


Be Safe!



Flight Nurse and ASTNA President 2015/16






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