Crew EducationStandards of Practice  
LIFE STAR Flight Crews provide for the rapid assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of critically injured or ill patients of all ages from the scene of an accident or from referring facilities. LIFE STAR Flight Crews are actively involved in research that directly relates to improved patient care in the air medical transport industry, and/or improves the professional standards of practice.
 
Critical Skills
A rigorous ongoing continuing education program is necessary to support the extensive knowledge and skills that are expected of both the flight nurse and the flight respiratory therapist. The following is a list of the skills and knowledge that the medical crew are trained and prepared to utilize: 
  • Endotracheal intubation 
  • Use of chemical paralytic agents 
  • Placement of central venous access via the femoral or subclavian route 
  • Surgical airways 
  • Pericardiocentesis 
  • Needle thoracostomy 
  • Intraosseous access 
  • High risk OB 
  • Burns 
  • Cardiac 
  • Medical 
  • Adult & Pedi Trauma 
  • Ventilator Management 
  • Management and transport of a patient on an Intra-aortic Balloon Pump 
  • Management and transport of the neonate in an isolette
Initial Medical Crew Orientation
As a new employee each medical crewmember completes a comprehensive individually based orientation program consisting of on going educational experiences, supervised clinical experiences and lectures.  The orientation is designed to include safety, critical care clinicals, on board and specialty equipment, policies and procedures, aviation operations and use of the simulation center to ensure competencies in diverse patient population.   Orientation culminates with the successful completion of oral boards with a board certified physician or equivalent in cardiology, OB/GYN, pediatrics, and neonates, followed by the Simulation Lab Practical with the LIFE STAR medical director.
 
Annual Training
Ongoing education is an integral part of the LIFE STAR flight team. Below is a list of on going educational requirements.
 
CESI: The Laerdal Sim Man at Hartford Hospital's Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation (CESI) is a patient simulator that provides education to challenge and test clinical and decision-making skills during realistic patient care scenarios in a simulated clinical environment. The simulation allows the LIFE STAR medical crew to complete annual competencies in high risk OB, neonatal patients, toxicology and ongoing difficult airway management.
 
EMERGENCY EGRESS TRAINING: Survival Systems Training Inc. educates aircraft crew that travel over water, the knowledge and skills necessary to react to an aircraft-ditching emergency using the Modular Egress Training Simulator (METS™).
 
Emergency Egress Training (click for a larger view)

AIR MEDICAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (AMRM):
Air Medical Resource Management was conceived to enhance the safety culture within the Air Medical Industry by promoting team building and open effective communication. This is a yearly requirement all LIFE STAR disciplines.   
 
ANNUAL SAFETY DAY: This yearly requirement for all LIFE STAR disciplines validates competency in the following areas: emergency egress, cockpit emergency procedures, fire suppression systems on board aircraft and helipad, hazardous material awareness, flight physiology, survival kit and skills review, emergency engine shut down, and ELT (Emergency Location Transmitter) procedures.
 
ANNUAL SKILLS DAY: This yearly requirement is for the medical crew members, this validates use of all on board medical equipment and competencies in specialty equipment and procedures such as: IABP, Ventriculostomy, ventilator management, central venous access, adult and pediatric intraosseous placement and neonatal umbilical line cannulation.
 
SURGICAL SKILLS LAB: Along with the annual skills day, the medical crew are required to complete an annual surgical skills lab to maintain proficiency in needle cricothyrotomy, transtracheal jet ventilation, surgical cricothyrotomy, needle thoracostomy, chest tube placement followed by open thoracostomy, pericardiocentesis and escharostomies.
 
Surgical Labs Skills (click for a larger view)