ROCHESTER, Minn. - Have you ever looked at the sky and wondered what it takes to be part of the Mayo One helicopter crew?
On Monday, KIMT News 3 got an inside look at the training necessary to assist patients from the air which took place at the Stabile Building in Rochester.
In a compact room paramedics and nurses are learning how to save lives by participating in a Mayo One helicopter simulation.
Critical care nurse Kari Poirier explained, "It kind of helps us take the pressure off a little bit. You know what it's going to be like. You know how to package the patient when you leave a facility and you know what you can tell the patient to expect."
Mayo Clinic says the simulation introduces trainees to a variety of scenarios involving patients of all ages, with various levels of medical understand, while operating in different types of weather. It's aimed at trying to get as close to real-world scenarios as possible.
Flight paramedic Nick Bast said, "It's hard to grasp the reality of things in simulation but this place just brings it so close together that it makes it easy for me to act pretty naturally and make those decisions that I would in the real world."
In order to even be considered for a role on the flight team, Mayo Clinic says paramedics must have at least three years of experience and nurses need at least five years of critical care background.
Instructor and Mayo One flight nurse, Rob Brundige said, "This is just one of the many things they experience during their orientation and this is a difficult airway lab to improve their airway intubation skills."
In the end, trainees say the experience is invaluable in helping them save lives from the sky.
Poirier added, "This all just really helps us function as a valuable team member but it also helps us provide better patient care."
There are currently three members going through flight training which lasts for about three to four months.
Mayo Clinic says the training takes place as positions open in the department.
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