If you go into the history of air ambulances, you will see that medical flights were first carried out during the Vietnam War. Flying in the high-pressure situation was not a small accomplishment. What made it worth the risk was the thousands of lives that were saved. In the end, the role of medical flights in offering adequate care to drive better recovery and outcome was established without an iota of doubt. Over the next several decades, air ambulances started making way into civilian rescues, and today, the United States has the largest number of medical flights in the entire world. However, one thing has remained constant throughout this evolution – the pressure of being a crew member.
Unpredictability is a Part of Medical Flights
Even the most seasoned paramedics will tell you that it is hard to expect anything when you are answering an emergency call. Time is often critical, and the condition of the patients can deteriorate mid-air even without any tell-tale signs. It’s all about maintaining a cool head amidst immense pressure. It is precisely for this reason that most organizations offer mental health care for their crew members. Even eminent personalities like Prince William of the United Kingdom have been vocal about the mental pressure the job exerts on an individual.
The COVID-19 Situation is Compounding the Pressure
Most paramedics working for medical flights today are playing a second role as paramedics in the hospitals too as the world grapples with a shortage of frontline workers. Even though the crew members bravely face all this, there is a definite fear of contracting the highly infectious Coronavirus. It must be understood in this context, that it is not about the crew members alone, but also their families and loved ones. The whole situation brings along added pressure. The air ambulance companies must, in this scenario, offer outreach programs to keep the crew mentally secure and healthy.