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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 Penelope

by Lux Joseph 7. June 2014

Commercial Medical Escorts is fortunate to have one of best nurses based here locally in South Florida. This clinician comes to CME with a wide range of experience and knowledge about nursing and medical escorts. Our Director of Operations says, “Penni is one of kind. She is committed to providing compassionate, quality care with each and every patient she transports back home. The feedback we receive from patients and clients is always positive and uplifting.” Today you can learn more about Penelope.

 What is your most enjoyable part of this job?

The most enjoyable part of this job is being able to travel, meet a variety of clients and still be a nurse and take care of a client who needs my skills and experience.

 Where did you gain your experience and knowledge in the field of nursing? What area's of expertise do you have experience in?

I have been a nurse for 30 years. During those thirty years most of my time was in an Emergency room and Trauma Center. I am originally from Maryland and obtained my nursing license there. I have also done Recovery Room, Pediatrics, Orthopedics and Forensic Investigating for the State of Maryland. My husband and I moved to Florida in 1998.

 When you are not flying what do you do?

When I am not flying, I work full time at St. Mary's Hospital in the Trauma Resus Unit. And when I'm not there, I do love to go out and play golf with friends.

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

My most interesting transport was bringing a client back from Rome. I was lucky in the fact that I had a few hours and got to see a few of the historic areas of Rome. My client and his companion were a great help in giving me directions to get around on the train system. On the flight back, I was able to assist another passenger on Air Italia. The flight crew had paged for any medical personnel for assistance. They knew I was there but they didn't want to bother me. I let them know that I was willing to help. As I watched "3 Doctors" take care of this passenger, I went and offered my assistance, as it was obvious to me that they were having some problems. They were most grateful that I came and gave them some help. The passenger did fine in the end. However, it turns out that the 3 Doctors were dentists en route to a convention in Ft. Lauderdale!! The moral being, find out what kind of Dr. is answering the call!

 What would you tell future clients of CME?

If you, as a future client, need additional help either with medical needs or companion needs, CME uses only well-qualified and experienced medical personnel. We love what we do!!


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