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Welcome to this small glimpse into my journey to becoming an innovative educator. It is my desire to create unique strategies that will make learning meaningful for the participant, regardless of the subject or focus. I have organized my artifacts into three main categories: (1) how flight nurses utilize their prior experience and attempt to extrapolate into existing practice; (2) how I might use what I have learned and my own experiences in training the next generation of flight nurse and (3) some strategies that I feel are quite innovative (at least to the world of transport medicine).


I feel that this collection is an interesting look into the process of adult learning. During this journey, I have experienced several successes with many failures. As the mind of a flight nurse can be unpredictable, maintaining engagement is a challenge. This may explain why some of my methods seem a bit “different” to say the least. The culture that I am attempting to create oftentimes has my staff wondering “what’s next,” and seems to work in keeping them ready to learn and apply what is learned into their clinical practice.  


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Examinations in Learning


This short video is a rare glimpse into the Survival Flight medical crew training program and how this sytem of training, along with the individual nurse's experience is designed to create a skilled, well rounded clinician. While challenges exist along the way, this evolving process is guided by current evidence-based learning strategies and clinicians dedicated to making novice flight nurses prepared for the challenges ahead.  


The goal during this interview, recorded with the assistance of SoundCloud, was to elicit basic understanding of the use of Hypertonic (3%) saline in the setting of increased brain pressure. This is a worthwhile and interesting method to ellicit and analyze information received from someone. It was during that interview that I was able to gather information, process, identify knowledge gaps and create a plan for standardized education. While a vast majority of time is spent with my new nurses, it is important to understand and address the training needs of the veteran flight nurses as well. This makes for a stronger group of clinicians. 

Training the Next Generation of Flight Nurse


This summary paper retraces my first journey through the design process. My problem of practice (POP) was that I needed to write a curriculum for a brand new program that I created from the ground up. During this summary, I explain my process of designing a meaningful curriculum as well as how I am evolving as a member of the educational community.


This was my first of several attempts to apply my learning and new found skill set to practice. My "POP" assisted me in curriculum development. My prototype online course in Altitude and Transport Physiology serves as a template for subsequesnt didactic courses. With a few hours and the free, ever evolving and "user friendly" tools that Google provides, I was able to create a very practical answer to the need for a centralized content managment system. This site will allow me to track my intern's progress, update and revise schedules, facilitate real time as well as forum-based discussion, and provide all of the requisite information in one central location. 


In an effort to standardize and centralize Survival Flight's initial didactic training, I have created the first of several online courses with the intent of givint the trainee a unique perspective on the effects of environmental stressors as they pertain to the critically ill or injured patient during air transport. This is one of several foundational or fundamental courses. Understanding the effects of the environment and atmosphere on the human body will assist the flight nurse in appropriately managing the patient, and how to anticipate needs as well as expected / unexpected changes in condition. 

Innovative Strategies in Air Medical Education


 In this paper, I utilize current evidence related to the use of serious gaming and meaningful play in order to outline my own quasi-experimental study. My research question asks if the "employment of a computer-based simulation would show an improvement in the flight nurse’s ability to make clinical decisions within the context of specific, measurable objectives?" This project is collaborative and ongoing with the hopes of publication in 3-5 years. 


"Survive This" is a board game designed to improve teamwork. The game is played, won or lost as a team and communication is key to success. Through the use of serious gaming, I attempt to create an engaging method to teach wilderness survival and teamwork. What is unique about this game is that it is designed for players of any discipline within the field or air medical transport (aviation, maintenence, dispatch and medical crew). 

image utilized with permission from University of Michigan Survival Flight


The flight nurse position offers many benefits to the nurse who is hired, but also offers opportunity for responsibility and accountability beyond that of traditional nursing positions. Clinical decision making and problem solving is an imperative skill that is typically not in a standard nursing curriculum to the extent needed by practicing Survival Flight Nurses. Instruction within this unique lesson plan is designed to assist the novice flight nurse with decision making and help add value to evidence-based clinical care standards.


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