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Meet Patrick

by Lux Joseph 10. February 2015

When you are ready to be transferred back home, Patrick is ready to take you. Based in South Florida, Patrick joined CME with a wealth of knowledge and experience in emergency care for patients. We are fortunate to have him on our clinical team and wanted to give you the chance to know a little more about him today.

What is the most enjoyable part of this job: There is no place like home. When someone is sick or injured far from home the process of healing is compounded. The overwhelming joy these folks experience when they finally get home is the best reward. I've never experienced such sincere, heart felt gratitude as I have from these troubled travelers and their families, it can get pretty emotional.  

Where did you gain your experience and knowledge in the field of nursing: I've been a nurse for over 1/3 of a century. My background is ER and ICU. I've worked in major teaching hospitals like the trauma ER at The University of Pennsylvania and The National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. I've also worked in small rural hospitals and did international relief work.  I've worked in large for profit facilities as well as local nonprofit and government hospitals. I've also had the good fortune to live and work in Thailand for 5 years, where I met my amazing wife. These varied experiences help me to adapt to most situations. 

What has been your most interesting transport? Why is that: All of my transports are interesting, each one with unique challenges. The most interesting was probably transporting a woman home who took ill while on a family cruise. She was facing a terminal illness and knew her time was short. She became very talkative during our trip and told me about her life, a very interesting story involving multiple continents, the golden age of Hollywood and how proud she was of her very talented children. She didn’t say but it was my belief she may have told me things she had never told anyone else, even her family. Her family contacted me just a few days after I got her home to tell me she passed away at home with her children at her side. It was what she had wanted and I was happy to have helped. 

What areas of expertise do you have experience in? Most of my experience is in the ER large and small. I have also worked in ICU, surgical ICU and CVICU.  

When you are not flying what do you do? I live in south Florida with my wife Pim. We like to ride bikes, explore the many waterways on our stand-up paddle boards and walk on the beach. We also travel yearly to visit with our extended family in Thailand. We always get travel insurance. 

What would you tell future clients of CME? First and foremost, get travel insurance. I've seen it work so well over and over again. Pay attention to local conditions and remain situational aware. Make copies of all of your travel documents and e-mail them to yourself. Most importantly have fun, put down your phones and tablets and enjoy yourself. If trouble comes, we'll come and get you. 

 Please describe a difficult trip and the outcome:  I performed an around the world transport. Miami, JFK, Istanbul, Toulouse, Frankfort, Seoul, Brisbane, LAX, Miami. 52 hours in the air over 6 days. Lay overs in airport infirmaries in Germany and Korea. 6 different lift trucks plane/deplane processes. The client had suffered multiple traumas, was on a stretcher, and required constant care. All transitions went without a hitch, the ground personnel where very helpful, the cabin crews on the different carriers were great. His family was very appreciative. “We were so afraid he would never get home again.” The client had a long recovery ahead of him but he was home with family and friends. It was a great experience.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Meet Angela

by Lux Joseph 21. March 2014
 
 
 

Commercial Medical Escorts does a large number of medical transport in/out of New York. We are fortunate to have two nurses based in New York who provide excellent patient care during medical transports. We introduced Amanda to you in a previous blog and today we are letting you get to know her colleague Angela. Angela has been with CME for several years now and is a great contributor to the CME team.

 

What is the most enjoyable part of this job?

The best part of this job for me is always the patient. I enjoy each individual personality as well as the diversity of diagnoses. I also find interacting with medical systems around the world to be intriguing.

 

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

I gained my experience in nursing working in the coronary care and intensive care unit in Greenville, SC and Baltimore, MD. I also worked in a cardiac catheterization/electrophysiology lab in Rochester, NY.

 

What has been your most interesting transport?

My most interesting transport was when I returned a patient from Nairobi, Kenya via stretcher through Dubai to Dulles with ambulance transport to Wilmington, NC. The opportunity to transport a stretcher patient aboard a commercial aircraft followed by a 7-hour ambulance ride provided interaction with multiple medical communities during the transport.  Seeing so many people of different ethnicities working together for the good of my patient was a remarkable experience.

 

 

What areas of expertise do you have experience in?

My experience is in cardiac and intensive care nursing.

 

 

When you are not flying what do you do?

When I am not flying, I am an educator, an advocate for seniors, a busy mom and avid squash player.

What would you tell future clients of CME?

I would tell future clients that CME’s attention to detail and commitment to a smooth transport is outstanding.

Please describe a difficult trip and the outcome of it?

My most difficult trip was during the Air France strike in 2013.  A one-day delay in our flight out of Lisbon lengthened my patient’s hospital stay. A three-hour delay on the tarmac caused another setback when we missed our connection in Amsterdam. Advocating for my patient at the ticket counter finally yielded us a flight across the ocean, but added an extra stop in Canada. After 20 hours of travel, we finally boarded what we thought was our final flight. We pushed back and felt like cheering. Suddenly, we noticed we were returning to the gate. Next we disembarked due to mechanical issues. At this point, my exhausted patient could barely function, and we were delayed for yet another night in Montreal. The many obstacles of this trip required monitoring not only the physical state of my patient, but also created the opportunity to provide mental and emotional support to my patient and traveling companions.

 

On your medical transport with a CME nurse, we ensure that safety and patient care is our number one priority. We will never compromise a patient’s safety or care to complete a transport at lower cost. We always look for the most direct route to bring a patient back home. Angela is a great member of our team and we thank her for taking the time to allow the community to know more about her.

 

 

 


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