Keep Calm and Don't Walk into the Tail Rotor

Funny things happen when you start work in new environments.  Surely most clinicians have experienced this first hand.  Think back to that first time you scrubbed in and walked into an operating room, the first time you set foot in an ICU, the first time you worked in an ED different than the one you trained in.  What was that like? overwhelming? empowering? disorientating?  Did you ever get caught up in just trying to figure out where the heck the 25 gauge needles and 10 ml syringes were in the supply closet?

Dr. Bill Knight, Flight Physician and Neurocritical Care Intensivist, once told a budding flight physician in-training that the biggest hurdle to starting to work on the helicopter was simply learning to safely navigate around the aircraft.

“You already know how to take care of the patients.  All you really need to know is how to move around safely.”

Though that flight doc was a bit suspicious of the first statement, an element of truth lies in that advice.  Requisite to becoming a fully functioning clinician (and eventually a master clinician) in your new working environment is being comfortable and familiar with your new working environment.  Below is a video that shows (first person) how to approach, enter, and exit the helicopter safely.  Also, there is this vimeo channel with a number of other videos that will (briefly) go through the contents of the back of the helicopter, the “black” bag, and show you how to use the monitor and radio equipment.