TOLEDO, Ohio — ProMedica Air and Mobile helps people all across the midwest, whether it's a stroke, heart attack or other medical emergency. The medics who work out of these flying hospitals are some of the best trained in the world.
"It's a lot of time, a lot of studying, but looking back at how much education we've gained from it, it's definitely benefitted in our role," flight medic Mariah Saylor said.
Saylor and fellow flight medic Lindsay Hickman were ER nurses for a few years before deciding to take their careers airborne.
"This is something that I wanted to do and was willing to put in the time to study and be committed to our community. Then, I decided it was for me and moved forward," Hickman said.
The two aren't your average registered nurses. They have more than their fair share of titles, including CEN, TCRN, CFRN, CTRN, CPEN and NRP, some of which signify advanced certification.
Saylor and Hickman were two of about 25 nurses in the entire world studying for all five advanced certifications and are currently among less than 200 nurses across the globe trained to do what they do.
The pair said it can be a high-stress job that requires careful planning.
"It can be a stressful environment," Hickman said. "You're not just taking care of a critically sick patient, you're in a very small area. We work at night. It's dark. It's scary loud. You have limited space. You have limited resources. You have to think about all those things before you leave."
The two credit their team for making it all work. They travel anywhere from southeast Michigan to Youngstown to Cincinnati, all within the hour.
They said the job can be such a rush sometimes, they forget to look around and appreciate the view.
"Sometimes you forget," Saylor said. "You're so focused on the patient, you look out and you're like 'oh my gosh, the Toledo skyline is awesome.' Or Columbus or Cleveland, or flying over the zoo lights at Christmas time. To someone else is pretty awesome, but we can sometimes take it for granted."
Hickman said their education is not over. They will be re-evaluated on a regular basis to keep their various certifications.