Interview With a Flight Nurse

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In the current era of nursing, it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the job. It may be easy some days to forget about the basic driving forces that brought us to the bedside years ago. In order to get back to the grass roots of practice, I interviewed a flight nurse of Air Medical, John Rhodes, a bachelor’s prepared nurse from State University, Alumni 1990. Following the interview, I observed him giving direct care to a couple of patients during flight. By doing the stated tasks, I was able to unveil the theories for which one member of our nursing community lives out.

The daily configuration of the helicopter bedside includes two flight nurses or one flight nurse and a flight paramedic to provide patient care. Due to this, I have had worked alongside Flight Nurse (FN) Rhodes for two years at an intimate level. Even though he may think that he does not follow the ideals of nursing, he is an exemplary example. “I learned nursing theories over thirty years ago. I don’t think I use any of them” (M. Rhodes, personal communication, August 13, 2011). When I asked FN Rhodes what informs him to care for patients he told me that “the patient, conscious or unconscious, tells us what to do for them with their assessment.”

I found that FN Rhodes embodies the theory of Faye G. Abdellah who stresses “Patient-Centered Approaches to Nursing” (McEwen & Wills, 2011, p. 129). This is emphasized by the most important aspect of nursing care to John which is “doing the right or best thing for the patient, whatever that may be” (M. Rhodes, personal communication, August 13, 2011). Abdellah’s theory has identified twenty-one nursing problems and a list of ten items that nurses should include in th...

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...ic facts and assumptions (p. 223). Through this, intuition is birthed; a skill that can only be abstractly generated from experience with real situations. It is obvious that FN Rhodes has engaged Benner’s:

seven domains of nursing practice: helping role, teaching or coaching function, diagnostic client-monitoring function, effective management of rapidly changing situations, administering and monitoring therapeutic interventions and regimens, monitoring and ensuring quality of health care practices, and organizational and work-role competencies. (McEwen & Wills, 2011, p. 223)

These two theories are only a small portion of what was witnessed and construed from the interviews and observations of FN John Rhodes.


McEwen, M. & Wills, E. M. (2011). Theoretical Basis for Nursing (3rd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.
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