Flight trauma nurse speaks to Leeds health science students

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By Hannah Caver, Editor-in-Chief

LEEDS – Leeds High School invited flight trauma nurses to speak with nursing career students on Monday, November 15 from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Flight Nurse Jen Jefcoat wants the public to know what a Flight Nurse is and what her job entails. (Photo by Bobby Mathews)

Shannon Logan, a health sciences instructor at Leeds High School, invited Jennifer Jefcoat, a flight nurse, to speak to her classes about her experiences as a flight nurse. Unfortunately, the Lifesaver helicopter was unable to reach Jefcoat due to an emergency.

The health sciences class is integrated alongside the Career Technical Student Organization (CTSO). IIn this course, students discover health careers and the different facilities used. They also learn the history of health care and then move on to anatomy and physiology. Leeds High School also offers a Patient Care Technician course, where students learn about patient care, such as details, communications, and general skills, and then proceed to internship facilities.

Jefcoat said it is important to attend public relations events because not many people know there are flight medics.

“I always try to tell the kids what’s out there, what’s available and the things you can do,” Jefcoat said. “If you’re going into nursing and you don’t like it, take this avenue. If you don’t like this avenue, take this one. You don’t like the operating room, pediatricians at work, you don’t like pediatricians working in a clinic, you don’t like the clinic, do infusions. There is always somewhere to go in the health field. It’s not geared towards the general public like other careers.

Lily McClendon, senior at Leeds High School, explained that it is helpful for people to come and talk to them about the different career paths they could take in the healthcare industry, as it gives them a better understanding of what they might want to do after graduation.

“We really have the opportunity to learn things that other students don’t learn,” said Grace Roberts, senior at Leeds High School. “So that already sets us up for more success once we graduate, and I really like that. “

Jefcoat was a nurse for over three years when she got a direct commission in the military as a nurse in July 2001, but her love of helping others was instilled in her from an early age. Jefcoat explained that when she was rewarded as a child with the MASH show, she realized that she wanted to be a flight nurse while watching that show.

Jen Jefcoat with one of Shannon Logan’s health sciences classes. (Photo by Hannah Caver)

Before attending nursing school, Jefcoat attended flight school in Wallace State to make sure she was comfortable in a helicopter. The helicopter used for emergencies is a Bell 407, which is a single-engine, four-bladed civil service helicopter.

I didn’t like learning to fly the helicopter, ”said Jefcoat. “I went to learn how to be comfortable in the helicopter, so I went to ground school and flight school in Wallace because I knew that was all I wanted to do. “

Jefcoat explained that she and most of the people she works with thrive in high acuity chaos, because a flight nurse never stops something that’s always going on, and you have to think on your toes to carry best judgment. In addition, there is a set of skills, such as intubation, incisions, babies, dealing with special drugs and blood products, that medical nurses must be able to do during an emergency situation. emergency.

“We respond to shootings, we respond to medical emergencies, we respond to car accidents, we respond to boat accidents, anything that requires rapid transport with a higher level of care, they will send a helicopter,” said Jefcoat.

Flight medics can work anywhere between 24, 36 and 48 hours at a stretch.

“I I love that others come and tell the students the different versions of the stories, ”said Logan. “I could bring in another kind of nurse or a pharmacist. There are different types of careers in healthcare because sometimes students just think there might be a dentist, doctor or nurse and they don’t see the details of what kind of nurse you want. be or the type of doctor you want to be. “


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