Nest choppers a learning tool for nation's nurses


Northland's rescue helicopters were on show as part of a national conference for nurses who regularly take to the air to help save lives.

Members of the New Zealand Flight Nurse Association (NZFNA) from around the country came together recently for Traumed Conference 2012 to learn, share and develop skills and techniques in the field of emergency care to ensure all nurses are practising to NZ Flight Nurse standards. This was the first year since 2008 that the national conference has been held in Northland.

As part of the conference education programme, Nest provided its Sikorsky S-76 helicopters which were equipped to replicate the transfer of an intensive care unit patient.

The mock-up illustrated the most secure way to transfer a critically ill patient when undertaking an inter-hospital transfer.

Staff flight nurse for the Northland area and member of the intensive care flight team working closely with Nest's Janet Barker said the Sikorsky helicopters used by Nest provided a unique learning opportunity for the nurses.

"As one of the only rescue helicopters to offer a double cabin, Nest's Sikorsky helicopters are the perfect aircraft for nurses to learn in.

"With the added room and the potential to carry additional patients, they provide the ideal platform in which to illustrate the best practice procedures for carrying critically ill patients," Ms Barker said.

Ms Barker is one of the longest-serving flight nurses in the Northland region, having worked with Nest for more than 25 years and is a long-standing advocate for the service.

"One in 19 Northlanders has been flown by the service, which is the highest ratio in the country," Ms Barker said.

- Northern Advocate

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