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Commercial Medical Escorts Blog

Our CME blog will keep you aware of what is going on within the aero medical transport industry and the latest news for Commercial Medical Escorts. Every week we have nurses and doctors in different areas of the world. Each of our medical team members are providing excellent patient care and assisting patients with different medical needs. While one nurse may be in Indonesia caring for a patient with a hip fracture, another nurse can be in Thailand tending to a patient that recently experiences a mild stroke. Our medical blog is a way for you to get an insight to the air medical transportation that we provide.

Meet Michelle

by Lux Joseph 14. November 2014

Commercial Medical Escorts did not become a leader in aeromedical transportation without the help of our nurses, physicians, and paramedics that work tirelessly to provide only the highest level of patient care. Each of our team members meets and exceeds CAMTS requirements and participates in continuing education on a quarterly basis. Today we are introducing you to one of nurses, Michelle. Michelle speaks fluently in German and English and therefore plays a key role in assisting with medical record translation as well as getting medical reports prior to our escort’s departing their home base.
Today we had the opportunity to interview Michelle and find out more about her role at CME and why she does what she does.
 
What is your most enjoyable part of your job?
This is a multifaceted question. It has always been my philosophy that compassion is the key ingredient to being a great nurse, therefore, I would say that helping my patients get safely back to their homes after an unpleasant experience takes precedence. The look of relief on their faces when I first walk into a room is so gratifying, but the gratitude that they express when the transport has been completed is priceless. The wonderful places I get to travel to and explore are also very rewarding. I make sure I get to see as much as I can of everywhere I travel.With the present state of our medical system, nurses are completely overwhelmed with tons of paperwork and too many patients. But what bothers me the most is how unthankful the job can be with little or no recognition or appreciation. Working for Blake, Joey, Tricia, Elaine and Ingrid, I feel so appreciated. They are the most wonderful group of people to work for and with.
 
Where did you gain your experience and knowledge in this field of nursing?
I have a cardiac/critical care background. I also do Pre-op/PACU and private duty nursing. I lived abroad in Germany for 12 years, thus am fluent in German. These experiences coupled with the courses I have taken through CME gave me the basis necessary for the job. Each flight I make lends me further experience and knowledge for best practice in flight nursing.
 
What has been your most interesting transport? Why is that?
My most interesting transport was to Marrakesh. I’d never been to Northern Africa and I found it to be so different than anyplace I’d ever been before. It was also challenging because everyone spoke either French or Arabic and very few spoke any English.
 

What areas of expertise do you have experience in?
I have been in medicine for about 35 years. I’ve been an RN for 23 of those years. I started out as an EMT in Phoenix, AZ. I then worked in a few ERs and ICUs as a tech. When I finished nursing school, I went straight into ICU nursing. I also have trauma, cath lab, special procedures, PACU, chemo provider and private duty experience.
 
When you are not flying, what do you do?
I am very family oriented therefore I spend a lot of time with and around my family. Joe and I have been together for 6 ½ years and we love to travel. Joe has 2 daughters, Kim 31 who lives in Tuscon, Mary 26 who lives in PBG, and one son John 29 who lives in Port St. Lucie. I have two 2 sons. Zachary is 22 and lives close to me in Jupiter and Niklas who is 19 lives in Bavaria, Germany near my Ex-Husband. My grandmother just turned 101 on Oct. 19 and I try to spend a lot of time with her. I grow orchids of all types and colors and love gardening. I also love to cook and I quilt when I have the time. I also like to read books
 
What would you tell future clients of CME?
We are a wonderful team of flight coordinators, paramedics, nurses, and physicians with each patient’s best health and interest at heart. I would tell them that they are in "The best hands".
 
Please describe a difficult trip and the outcome of it.
My most difficult trip was transporting a woman with an extensive psych history who had been on a trip with a tour group in Tuscany, Italy. She hadn’t been taking her medications as prescribed and subsequently had a psychotic episode landing her in a psych ward of a hospital near Pisa. When I walked into the ward, it was like a scene from "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest". Every person in there appeared to be very over sedated.My patient could not walk, she could not articulate, or form even a simple sentence. In the 5 days she was in the hospital, they hadn’t given her any soap, a toothbrush or toothpaste, no shampoo, no change of clothes or even a comb. I had to get her cleaned up before we flew. The trip was very complicated and it had been a horrible experience for her. Since she had seen almost nothing on her trip, I asked the driver to take us by the Leaning Tower of Pisa where we got her out of the car and took a nice picture with her standing in front. When we got to her brother’s house, she and her family were so relieved that she was home safely. They were all in tears and I got lots of hugs! This is what makes my job so rewarding.
 

No matter what industry you are in it is important to have a mentality like Michelle’s. Anyone can go to work each day and accomplish what needs to get done, but it says a true team member like Michelle to make your program excel to new heights. When nurses, physicians, and paramedics are referred to CME they join a family that will bring your loved one’s home safe and sound.

 

 

The Hottest Winter Destinations

by Lux Joseph 5. November 2014

As we enter into the winter season, Commercial Medical Escorts will see a shift in the destinations in which we are picking up patients. This happens several different times throughout the year and it is based primarily on travel trends and where tourists travel at different times throughout the year. To understand this upcoming winter travel destinations we took the opportunity to speak with CEO McNamara of Sky Cap Corp, a travel management company based in South Florida that specializes in travel for travel assistance, medical escort, and air ambulance companies.

Sky Cap Corp stated that based on bookings by members of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), Orlando is clearly the most popular domestic destination for the 2014-2015 winter season. Orlando was chosen by 41 percent of the respondents in ASTA’s 2014 Hot Spots for Winter survey, followed by Las Vegas (13%), New York City (6%), Miami (5%), Honolulu (3%), San Francisco (3%), Fort Myers (3%), Los Angeles 3%), Maui (3%) and San Diego (2%). 

 “Orlando and Las Vegas remain on top for winter vacation spots as warm and fun places to escape winter," said Mr. McNamara, Sky Cap Corp President and CEO. “Agents say both locations have a great variety of activities that can meet the needs of young people, extended families and couples.” The top 10 domestic destination cities for Winter are the same as the Summer top 10 with the exception of Fort Myers and Maui replacing New Orleans and Washington, D.C. When asked about the top state destinations, Florida, led by Orlando, topped with a 58 percent share. Rounding out the top five state destinations for winter travel are Hawaii (20%), California (10%), Nevada (3%) and New York (2%). Florida and Hawaii have a much stronger share in the winter compared to summer.

For those who look forward to international travel this winter, travel agents choose Cancun as the most popular international destination for the 2014-2015 winter season. Cancun was chosen by 24 percent of respondents to ASTA’s 2014 Hot Spots for Winter Survey, up from only 5 percent in the summer version of the survey. Rounding out the top 10 destinations for winter are Rome (16%), London (11%), Paris (9%), Sydney (3%), Barcelona (3%), Montego Bay (3%), Riviera Maya (3%), Punta Cana (2%) and Cape Town (1%).

 “Cancun came out as the clear winter vacation destination desired by our member’s clients for obvious reason,” said Mr. McNamara.  “Cancun is easily accessible from the U.S., has a plethora of all-inclusive resorts, a warm climate and beautiful beaches.” The top 10 international destination cities in the winter survey are the same as the summer top 10 with the exception of Sydney and Cape Town replacing Amsterdam and Madrid. Sydney and Cape Town, as Southern Hemisphere cities, are deemed best visited during the Northern Hemisphere winter.

When asked about the top country/region destinations, Mexico, led by Cancun, topped with a 24 percent share. Rounding out the top five country/region destinations for winter travel are Italy (18%), the Caribbean (12%), France (7%) and United Kingdom (6%).

Survey data was collected through the 2014 ASTA Research Family from July through August 2014. This survey has a 95 percent rate confidence with an error rate +/-5 percent.

The Unexpected Factor

by Lux Joseph 28. October 2014
Commercial Medical Escorts is privledged to have David E. Hogan, RN, EMT-P as a member of our medical escort team. David exemplifies one of the best medical escorts and has been with Commercial Medical Escorts since CME started. There isn't a month that goes by in which the office does receive a compliment or positive feedback from a patient that was transported by David. David has taken the time to share with us an experience he had on a medical escort mission to Tanzania and how he meets the challenges of this job with an open mind.
 
By: David E. Hogan, RN, EMT-P
 
Even with the best plans for every medical transport there are issues that come up from time to time.  I refer to these issues as the “unexpected factor” or, simply, the uF.  One has to remain calm, be flexible and communicate when they do appear.  This is the story of one such occurrence.
 
During a scheduled transport from Tanzania in Eastern Africa to Texas an unexpected factor occurred as a result of Mother Nature doing her thing.  Two days prior to my arrival in Arusha, Tanzania there was a heavy downpour of rain high in the mountains near the area of the Serengeti Plains.  Little did I know that this little event would directly affect my transport for the patient. 
 
The morning following my arrival in Arusha I was to be transported by ground to the patient’s location during an expected 3-hr roundtrip.  The trip began early on a beautiful morning in Africa.  After a brief encounter with an Arusha traffic jam, complete with cars, numerous motorbikes and herded animals including cows, sheep and goats we made our way out to the highway heading towards Karatu.
 
 
We passed miles of lush green farm and pastureland dotted with numerous Masai village homesteads. 
 
 

At approximately 2/3 of the way to Karatu my driver received a cell phone call notifying him that the one and only bridge to Karatu was washed away.  We immediately turned back to Arusha and I made contact with the company regarding this unexpected factor.  The driver had mentioned to me at this point that there was a small commuter airport near Arusha.  He then contacted his company to inquire about the availability of their services for our transport needs to reach Karatu.  During our return all the necessary arrangements were made and confirmation was received for my flight over and the return with the clients via the small commuter line.  We proceeded to the little Arusha airstrip and I quickly obtained a boarding pass for the flight to the Lake Manyari Airport, approximately 35-40 minutes from the medical clinic where the patient was being treated. 
 

After a short flight via a twin-engine prop plane I arrived to an awaiting driver.  He quickly made his way to the clinic as I noticed several areas where the flood waters had just receded.  Many of the streets were mud-covered and there was little traffic out. 

 
Shortly after our arrival at the clinic and my assessment of the patient we headed back to the Lake Manyari Airport for our flight, arriving some 10 – 15 minutes before the scheduled departure back to Arusha.
 

 

We quickly stored and secured their baggage and the medical equipment for the return flight and departed without delay.  During the short flight back we flew over the affected areas and could clearly see homes and roads washed away.
 
Safely arriving back at the Arusha Airport, we then made our way to the hotel for our overnight stay prior to an early morning departure the next day.  The original itinerary was resumed and we eventually arrived back in Texas many hours later.  Once we reached their home, which was the final destination, I assisted with the setup of the Oxygen Concentrator and gave instructions to both the patient and her spouse. She had a previously scheduled appointment with her doctor on the following day and she needed to have oxygen during the night.  That was the conclusion of a successful transport.   This with completed safely and without any further incidents after the initial uF regarding the washed-out bridge and roadway. 
 
The issue of this unexpected factor was handled calmly and without any delay in the remainder of the patient’s itinerary. In summary, even the best plans could have some unexpected factors appear.  One has to remember to exercise calm and proceed with due diligence, communicating the proper information so that a successful alternative can be reached.  This action is vital when our goal is to successfully complete our patient transports.
 
At Commercial Medical Escorts we do our best to prepare our escorts for any challenges or obstacles they may encounter during a journey, but as David has described to us, there are still things that happen our of our control. All of our escorts are trained to handle situations in a calm manner as David described. We believe in deliverying only the highest quality of service and this is accomplaished through excellenc training, high quality nurses, physicians, and paramedics, and an extremely effective operations team.
 

 

 

 

 


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