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Meet Tracie

by Lux Joseph 28. February 2014

One of the facinating things about Commercial Medical Escorts is that our medical escorts are very unique and special. We take pride in demonstrating our high level service through the hard work of our medical escorts. Tracie is an example of one of these unique individual's. She strives to go above and beyond not only in her day to day functions as an ER nurse, but in each and every transport mission she accomplishes. Today you will have the opportunity to learn more about Tracie and what makes her a special part of our team.

What is the most enjoyable part of your job? 

Tracie believes the most enjoyable part of my job is the smile on my patient's face when I get them home. Being in a country with a medical condition that is unfamiliar is very difficult for patients. The moment they see the medical escort arrive, you see a sigh of relief on their face. The moment you are ready to leave the patient after you have transferred care, that sigh of relief expression is transformed to a smile.   

Where did you gain your experience and knowledge in the field of nursing? 

Tracie gained my experience and knowledge from being a Certified ER/Trauma nurse. All medical escorts are required to have a minimum of three to five years of critical care experience in an ER, ICU/CCU. On a daily basis when Tracie is not flying she is assisting patients in an ER.  

What has been your most interesting transport? Why is that? 

Tracie's most interesting transport was when she transported a patient from Germany to DC on a commercial airline stretcher. The patient had multiple broken bones and a pneumothorax.  It was interesting because she was the first patient I transported via an airline stretcher so I gained a lot of valuable experience from that trip. Commercial Medical Escorts provides a cost-effective alternative to air ambulance. If a patient requires to be laying down at all times throughout a flight, commercial stretcher may be an option to bring the patient safely back home.

What areas of expertise do you have experience in? 

Tracie has experience in all areas of Trauma nursing.

When you are not flying what do you do? 

When Tracie is not flying she also works in the ER of a level one Trauma center in South Florida. She also enjoys going to the the beach with my family and friends.

  

What would you tell future clients of CME? 

Tracie states that "CME is a company with the upmost professionalism and respect for their clients.  They go above and beyond to make sure their clients get home safely."

Please describe a difficult trip and the outcome of it. 

Tracie describes in detail one of her transports that face numerous challenges many that were out of her control.  Tracie thinks outside of the box when it comes to patient care and delivering the highest value to her patients. "One of my most difficult trips was when I was transporting a patient from Cusco to San Francisco.  Due to a cancelled flight we missed our connection in Lima and that was the only flight of the day going to San Francisco.  The airline told us that it might be days before we got a flight out.  My patient was extremely nervous and upset.  While trying to reassure and calm her down, I had to deal with a difficult airline staff who seemingly was not doing everything they could to help us.  I had to basically pull out my laptop in the airport and present the airline reps with alternate routes that we could take to get home.  After an hour at the ticket counter, I was finally able to find her a way home. 

At CME, we are proud to have Tracie as part of our team. She represents an individual who shines among her peers and is a spark plug of energy and enthusiasm.

 

 

Tipping Etiquette Around the World

by Lux Joseph 21. February 2014

In the USA, tipping those individuals who work in the service industry is automatic. When you have dinner at a restaurant, you tip the waiter for their service. When our medical escorts utilize the wheelchair porters in the airport to assist their patient, the medical escorts tip them appropriately. Restaurant servers, taxi drivers, hair stylists, hotel porters, and wheelchair porters all expect to receive a tip for a job well done. Typically in the USA service based tips are between 15-20% depending on the level of service. The following are some guidelines to follow in the USA:

·         Waiter/Waitress: 15-20%

·         Bartender: 15-20%

·         Coatroom Attendant: $1 per coat

·         Parking Valet: $2

·         Taxi Driver: 15%, an extra $1 or $2 for luggage

·         Food Deliver: 10% of the bill

·         Spa Service: 15-20%

·         SkyCap at Airport: $1 per bag

·         Hotel Doorman: $1 per bag

·         Hotel Bellhop: $1 per bag

·         Hotel Housekeeper: $2-$5 per night

 

 But what do you tip when you travel abroad? Are the individuals expecting the same or nothing at all?

Whenever you are traveling abroad to another country it is important to understand the culture and how things are done. Everywhere you travel is different and learning about your destination is important so that you do not feel out of place or lost in a country unfamiliar to you. This blog today is going to help you become more familiar with tipping etiquette around the world. When you travel, you will be able to tip appropriately so that you are respectful of the culture.

Canada is identical to the USA. Just like the United States, it is custom to tip between 15-20% depending on the level of service which you believe you received. If you are having dinner at a luxurious restaurant or private country club, look closely at the bill because a standard gratuity may already be added. In most cases it will not be unless you are with a party greater than six people. As we begin to travel east, tipping etiquette changes slightly. The United Kingdom and Germany standard tip is between 10-15%. In most parts throughout the United Kingdom a service fee is already included, but you need to carefully read the invoice. There may be an “optional charge” that is considered a tip. If you accept it, there is no need to pay anything additional. Adding a tip to your restaurant or pub charge in Germany is standard, but in the UK tipping at the pub is not required nor is it expected.

As you travel to other parts of Europe tipping changes slightly. In Turkey, Italy, and France a standard tip of 10% is custom. In Turkey they will only accept cash (including the Euro, Dollar, and Lira). On the canals in Italy a tip to the gondolier is not expected and no more than 10% tip should be left. While France may have a standard 10% tip, it is important to know that it is in addition to the service charge added. Visitors are not expected to tip.

Travel throughout Asia gives you an opportunity to save your pennies. Tipping in China, Japan, and South Korea is standard for no tip. They are non-tipping societies and it is wise that travelers follow this principle. Hotel porters in South Korea will accept the standard $1.00 per bag, but we recommend that you adhere to the no tipping policy. It will not cause any offense to the Asian cultures if you leave a tip, but it may create confusion especially if you do not speak the language.

Tipping at restaurants and hotels while visiting South America is not expected in most cases like Brazil, but if you travel further south to Argentina a 10% tip is greatly appreciated.  The Spanish word for tip is 'propina' - a synonym of 'reward'- and derivative from the Latin word "propinare" meaning to give something (http://www.journeylatinamerica.co.uk/briefing-dossier/Tipping.aspx).

Of course, these are just some guidelines for tipping while traveling abroad. We recommend always doing research on your destination prior to leaving the USA. This will help you know what to pack, how to dress, the type of money you will need, and how to blend in with the locals. When traveling it is important that you do everything possible to ensure a safe journey to your destination and back home.

Below is an infographic regarding tipping etiquette around the world (all data is from Wikipedia, Wikitravel and Trip Advisor). This is provided by Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/19/tipping-around-the-world_n_3779911.html).

 

 

 

Service at Love Airport to Increase

by Lux Joseph 14. February 2014

Travel for the past two weeks has been chaotic in the northeast as the winter storms continue to hit and impact the travel industry significantly. Weather is certainly an obstacle for all airlines, but some airlines are facing other challenges in regards to operations. Love Airport, serving the Dallas Fort Worth area is currently the home and headquarters to Southwest Airlines. The following airlines also provide service: Delta, United, and Seaport Airlines. Love Airport terminal opened in 1958 and in 1971 Southwest began service (Southwest.com). Unfortunately though, for the past 34 years the Wright Amendment has limited the amount of long haul flights able to depart out of Love. Despite the restrictions, Southwest Airlines pushed forward keeping Love Airport their headquarters.

Southwest has a countdown until October 10, 2014 in which the Wright Amendment expires. This will be the day that Southwest limitations will be lifted and they will be free to launch service to all fifty states. This is definitely a forward move for Southwest Airlines and for the travel industry as a whole. Restrictions will still remain at the Love Airport including the inability to expand beyond 20 gates and no international service. Currently Southwest has control over 16 gates and therefore the maximum number of flights will be no more than 140-150 per day. Although Southwest Airlines just introduced its international service, it will still remain at halt at Love. Slow improvement is better than no improvement.

The Wright Amendment was put into place to limit competition between Dallas/Fort Worth Airport (DFW). For travelers today, if you are connecting through Dallas it is almost always going through DFW unless you are on Southwest, but these changes in October 2014 will bring more competition and lower fares to the Dallas market. Delta Airlines, one of the other carriers operating at Love have already placed flights into the reservation system to their major hubs including Minneapolis, Detroit, Los Angeles, and LaGuardia.

Southwest has announced the following nonstop flights to begin in Fall 2014:

Starting October 13, 2014

Baltimore/Washington

Las Vegas           

Orlando

Chicago (Midway)

Denver

Starting November 2, 2014

New York (LaGuardia)

Washington DC (Reagan National)

Nashville

Atlanta

Tampa Bay         

San Diego

Los Angeles (LAX)

Orange County

Ft. Lauderdale

Southwest Airlines is not at airline of choice at Commercial Medical Escorts because most of our patients require upgraded seating, but looking for low cost flights for the escorts to the patient’s current location and returning them to their base is important. Just last week we were moving a patient out of Dallas, TX and utilized the ultra-low cost carrier, Spriit airlines. We look forward to more news regarding service at Love.

Happy Valentines Day from everyone at Commercial Medical Escorts!


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