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Medevac Honors Medical Assistants Recognition Week

medevacThis week is Medical Assistants Recognition Week. As the heart of the health care in the United States and all over the world, medical assistants provide several key needs for people that work in health care. Medical assistants also provide a vital role in the medevac industry.

You may think of a medical assistant as administrative staff who take appointments, however that is just one component of this profession. Medical assistants run the gambit from scheduling, medical records, as well as clinical duties like preparing patients for examination, medical histories and drawing blood, to name a few. Overall just over 571,000 people work as a medical assistant in the United States alone.

Medical assistants are people who truly care for the people that they help. Many work long hours and don’t receive the recognition they deserve. Medical assistants in the medevac industry are typically called into action at a moment’s notice and often risk their lives to help save lives. Nearly half of all medical assistants make under $32,000 per year and some make work on a volunteer basis. The average medical professional makes around $14.50 an hour according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Most medical assistants are the people that are responsible for communicating with medevac professionals when we are called to help transport a patient. Case managers often handle these roles and can be anyone from administrative professionals to nurses that work at the hospital. Case managers are the key that help medevac teams discharge a patient from a hospital.

Medevac flights also can have the support of medical assistants. Medical escorts are a key component of our medevac flights. These escorts help ensure a safe and easy flight and can also provide a smooth transition if we are meeting a patient at the airport instead of a hospital. Medical assistants also provide vital information to our staff about our patients, including diets, medicine, allergy and medical information.

At Travel Care Air we are proud to honor our medical assistants as well as those who work in hospitals to help save lives every day and help the medevac industry. Medical assistants are a wide range of people who take pride in the work they do and we are proud of our team as well as everyone we work with. For more information about our services follow us on Twitter.


A Guide to Handling the Flu

ID-10099477Did you know more Americans have already died from the flu this season than the lone man who died from ebola? Deaths due to influenza have already been reported in Idaho, North Carolina and South Carolina. While ebola is garnering more media attention and concern from many Americans, you are far more likely to contact the flu virus this fall or winter. On average about 15% of Americans will get the flu this year but you can take measures to help prevent the disease from spreading to you.

Flu Shot Pros & Cons

If you’re like me, you are terrified of shots. Many people debate whether or not to get the flu shot. There are pros and cons to the debate, however it is widely accepted among health officials that getting the flu shot is the best idea for you and your family.

What are the cons of the flu shot? It’s not full proof. Even with the shot you still have a 20% chance at getting the flu. Because there are many different strains of the flu there is no way to prevent it totally. Along the same lines, you may need multiple shots, which can be costly, if you don’t have health insurance. Also, allergies to eggs may make you ineligible for the flu shot because many of the shots are developed through the use of an egg protein.

But for most people the pros far outweigh the cons. Even if you are still at risk for a particular strain of the flu you are far less likely to contract the illness by getting the shot. It’s especially important for children and the elderly, who have higher risks associated with the flu. The shot, despite what many believe, does not give you the flu. Flu shots are almost dead, or dead viruses that help your body develop antibodies against the disease.

Other Prevention Methods

Aside from the flu shot there are other preventative steps to take during the flu season (lasting from fall through early spring). Hand washing and sanitizing office equipment, children’s toys, bathrooms and kitchens will all help prevent the disease. Frequent hand-washing has been shown to reduce the risk of acquiring the flu and other diseases by up to 20%.

Sleep is another important way to stay healthy overall, but it especially helps prevent the flu. Proper rest gives the body the time to boost your immune system. You can be 30% less likely to develop a cold or flu by sleeping seven to eight hours each night. A well balanced diet also plays a key role in fighting influenza.

Fighting the Disease

If you have the flu be sure to see a doctor immediately. Antiviral drugs will help you fight the disease. They are not available over the counter. It is important to act fast once you are sick. The Center for Disease Control reports antiviral drugs work best against the flu within two days of getting sick.

It’s also important to get rest when you get the flu. The CDC recommends staying home from work or school for 24 hours AFTER your fever subsides.

Drink clear liquids, especially water and avoid close contact with others so you don’t spread the disease.


Spot A Fake Medevac vs Real

medevacThose people who work in the medevac industry are some of the most well-trained and dedicated members of the medical and flight professions. We know because at Travel Care Air, we work with many of them. The medevac industry has seen rapid growth over the last three decades. With the advances of the internet it’s become even easier to promote your business.

But not all medevac services are the same. Unfortunately there are also frauds that you need to be aware of. Just last week a former California news helicopter pilot was sentenced to two years in federal prison because he lied to federal officials and was illegally flying air ambulance missions.

John Michael Dial worked under the name Thomas Cuni and made hundreds of flights between Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area from 2009 to 2012, according to the Associated Press. 63 times Dial flew medevac operations without a valid pilot’s certificate and was hired by an air ambulance service in New York state.

So how do you protect yourself and the needs of you or someone you love? Finding the right medevac takes research. While this is not a widespread problem in the industry, some medevac companies are better than others. Obviously, a company that is duped into hiring a fraud did not do proper research. But that doesn’t mean you can’t.

Finding legitimate medevac services should start online. Do a search for medevac or air ambulance. Do a few similar keyword searches on Google, like international air ambulance, medical transport, etc. You will find a lot of company websites on the first few pages (like ours) but you will also find third party websites. Many reputable medevac companies will be listed on state department websites. If you need a domestic medevac you can find the United States by state. The United States Department of State has a list of air ambulance companies on its website here.

When you call a medevac company you should always feel comfortable talking to them and ask them pressing questions. No reputable company will ever try to hurry your call along. A reputable air ambulance company will always be glad to answer any questions about the planes they use, medical equipment they have, training of the staff and their certificates and licenses. Typically you can find a lot of the legal information like accreditation’s and licenses on their website.

If you need an air ambulance, for you or someone you know, research will help you avoid criminals like John Michael Dial. When it comes to the safety of you or a loved one in need, no medevac team cares more than Travel Care Air. We are always available to you to answer any questions you have about our services. We have a background check process to ensure our team is the best in the nation and even the world. For more information about our services please like us on Facebook.


Medevac and the Hatch-Matheson Bill

medevacA lot of times Congress, or the government as a whole, is criticized for being ineffective and gridlocked. In most cases, this complaint is valid. However recently The US House passed a bill that will help medevac and emergency professionals to care for people in need, especially children. The Hatch-Matheson bill that was recently passed is a re-authorization of funds for emergency medical treatment for children. The bipartisan passage of the bill will help to ensure those of us in the medevac industry will be able to give children the care they need.

The passage of the bill was overwhelmingly bi-partisan 410-4, and has been sent to President Obama for his expected signature. The bill is a continuation of the Emergency Medical Services for Children program, which is entering its 30th year. The program is the only federal program dedicated to improving emergency medical care for children.

The funds in this bill will ensure that all emergency medical services are given to children regardless of where they live, go to school, or travel. This bill is an especially important need for medevac professionals who have to transport children frequently and deal with international issues at times.

Children often present unique challenges for medevac crews and having the tools we need for success is vital to the survival of a child in need. The Emergency Medical Services for Children program’s continuation means that grants and infrastructure is available to states to help with emergency treatment for children.

The Hatch-Matheson legislation was penned by Utah Senator Orrin Hatch and Representative Jim Matheson and is expected to further improve children’s health care throughout the country. In addition to grants and infrastructure improvements to help first responders, the bill allows for the re-authorization of the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network, National EMS Children Data Analysis Resource Center, National Pediatric Readiness Project as well as several other organizations that work to help children in immediate need. Most of these additional grants will be used to improve procedures and protocols for treating younger patients.

At Travel Care Air we applaud the passage of this bill and the continued effort to improve children’s health care. Our medevac team is happy that states will have the tools they need, which will help our medevac professionals to be prepared when we are called.

Travel Care Air’s medevac team is ready at a moment’s notice to help any child or adult in need of medical transport. For more information about our medevac services and for more health care news please follow our Pinterest boards.


How to Prevent Catching a Cold

ID-100111183Cold season is upon us and while there are no cures for the common cold you should have prevention as your goal. A study by the University of Arizona found it only takes four hours for office surfaces to show traces of the cold virus when there is a sick employee in the office. But experts have several tips that you can use in everyday life to keep those pains, aches, sneezes and sniffles away.

The most common advice that you may be tired of hearing, but is no less true is to wash your hands to keep germs away. But the results are in and those people who wash frequently will prevent infections. Try to wash with warm and soapy water for at least 20 seconds and use paper towels to turn off faucets and open doors in public bathrooms. And always keep your hands away from your nose and mouth.

Colds are caused by viruses that are easily passed between people and one of the most common areas viruses like to hang out is on surfaces. The most common breeding grounds for nasty cold viruses include (but not limited to) computer keyboards, telephones, doorknobs, and pens. You can carry around a bottle of hand sanitizer to use after coming in contact with these kinds of items. If you are in an office you can bring antiseptic wipes and frequently clean.

You should also drink less booze during cold season. Drinking in excess can affect your sleep patterns which can make you more susceptible to infections and disease. Drinking specifically affects your REM sleep, which is the most restorative part of your sleeping. Instead of alcohol opt for green or black teas. They’re the perfect hot beverage to enjoy during colder months and they stimulate your body to remove germs more quickly.

If you live with someone who catches a cold there are small ways you can try to prevent getting sick yourself. One small but helpful tip is to move your toothbrush. Some families place their toothbrushes in a shared glass, which means germs can come in contact with your toothbrush easier. Opt for holders that prevent touching and shake your toothbrush after using it because germs don’t do well on dry surfaces.

Believe it or not exercise is also a great way to keep the cold bug at bay. A jog around the block that gets the heart pumping is great for the body because it will strengthen your immune system. Research done on women who exercised for a year found they had one-third less colds compared to women who didn’t exercise. If you are sick, don’t exercise if your body temperature is 100 or higher.


Top 10 Superfoods For Your Diet

ID-1009414Looking to eat better? You can save your waistline and your health by including as many superfoods as possible. The term “superfoods” is a trendy way to talk about certain foods that are packed with essential nutrients, minerals and other things that will help you improve your health. Here is a handy guide to a few of the top superfoods that you should add to your diet immediately!

Blueberries

As a rule, the darker the fruit or vegetable the more power it packs. That’s certainly true for blueberries which are full of flavonoids which help make up its blue color. Blueberries have been shown to improve memory function and their water content will help hydrate your body. They’re also high in vitamin C, fiber and cancer-fighting compounds.

Greek Yogurt

There is a right way and a wrong way to do yogurt. Typical supermarket yogurts are packed with sugar and high in calories and artificial flavors. Greek yogurt, however has lots of protein and probiotics. Greek yogurt is a great option because it will fill you up as well as boost your immune system. You can even use it in some of your favorite dishes as a replacement for sour cream, mayo or cream cheese. Opt for plain and add some granola or fruits to your bowl!

Kale

Kale is the trendy superfood. You can find kale chips, kale salads, soups, and recipes that incorporate kale. There is a reason for the trends in kale consumption. Kale provides more antioxidants than most other fruits and veggies. Kale is also full of fiber, iron and calcium.

Spinach

Ok, maybe kale’s not your thing. If you don’t like the taste of kale it’s spinach to the rescue! Spinach contains a lot of vitamin C, vitamin K, beta-carotene and iron. A little known benefit of spinach is it contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which is a combination that acts like sunscreen for your eyes.

Sardines

A surprising addition to our list, sardines can go toe-to-toe with salmon in a lot of ways, while costing less. Sardines have just as much heart-healthy omega-3 fat as salmon and are a great source of protein. Sardines bought in a can are fine. In fact canned sardines with bones will ensure you’ll get calcium as well.

Green Tea

If green tea was your only beverage choice, you would do quite well. Green tea is an ancient Eastern health secret. Green tea contains EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) that slows irregular cell growth which can help prevent cancer. Green tea also contains lots of antioxidants and some health experts tout green tea as helpful to the body’s metabolism.

Eggs

Eggs often get a bad rap. But they are one of the most inexpensive sources of protein available. A single egg is also only 70 calories, perfect for anyone looking to lose a few pounds. Eggs also contain those all-important omega-3 fatty acids.

Pisatchio Nuts

Most nuts are full of fiber and protein. Nuts also contain lots of health fats. Pistachios are the pinnacle of nuts, containing phytosterols and soluble fiber. Those two natural compounds have been shown to lower bad cholesterol levels (LDL). Per nut they are also the lowest-calorie nut.

Dark Chocolate

Apparently, not all candy is bad for you. Eating a piece or two of dark chocolate every day will give you a boost of flavonoids, lower your blood pressure, improve blood flow and boost your overall heart health. Plus it will put you in a better mood. Trust us on that one.

Red Bell Peppers

Red bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as oranges. Bell peppers can help prevent arthritis or slow the progress of the disease. Red bell peppers also contain antioxidants that will help decrease the risk of eye diseases like cataracts.


Air Ambulance Bedside to Bedside

air-ambulanceOne of the most important services an air ambulance company can provide is bedside to bedside service. Bedside to bedside services means your needs are taken care of from your bed in a hospital, hospice or at home to your destination. An air ambulance that provides this service truly understands your needs. Bedside to bedside services means our air ambulance experts do all the work for you.

When you ask for a quote on an air ambulance you should always ask if bedside to bedside services are included. Without that insurance you could be booking an air ambulance and little else. Air ambulance companies like Travel Care that offer the service will take all the steps necessary to transport a patient. The first step for bedside to bedside service we undertake is we arrange for a ground ambulance to pick up a patient and transport them from their bed in a hospital, hospice or at home.

Once our staff arrives with the ambulance at the hospital we meet with nurses and/or doctors of the patient to go over medical reports and make sure proper medication, if any, is needed. We also meet with the patient and family before transporting the patient to the airport.

Patients are then loaded onto the air ambulance. During the flight our medical air ambulance staff is with the patient taking care of any needs until we reach our destination. Once we reach the destination we have a ground ambulance ready to meet the air ambulance and schedule an arrival at the new facility. We then meet with the doctors and/or nurses at the new facility to hand over paperwork and other information.

There’s also situations where an air ambulance patient may not be critical, like in the case of a broken bone or mild stroke, where the discharge information can be given to us over the phone and we simply meet the ambulance at the airport and do the same upon arrival. Each air ambulance patient is evaluated based on their needs. As always our air ambulance staff does whatever is best for the patient and can always work with the patient and family to best understand their needs.

At Travel Care our air ambulance services always include bedside to bedside services. You can relax and let our air ambulance experts take care of your every need so you can focus on receiving the care you need. For more information about our air ambulance services like us on Facebook.


How to Become a Medevac Pilot

medevacA common question we are asked is what it takes to be a medevac pilot. Our entire staff is composed of well-trained professionals who understand and know what it means to be ready at a moment’s notice. More than most our pilots are under the most amount of pressure. A medevac flight can be stressful for all involved and depending on the situation a medevac staff may risk their own lives to help save another’s. If you are interested in becoming a medevac pilot there are a few keys to making your career your own.

If you are younger and seriously considering work as a medevac start as early as possible. In high school you can take math and science classes that will help you get into a college that specializes in flight training. In college if you want to be a medevac you will need to undertake lifesaving tasks as the member of a medevac crew. You will also have a heavy load of math and science classes. Join the ROTC program at your college which will give you more experience.

You can also get medevac training a couple of other ways. Some people join the military to give back to their country and it can also be a great training ground for anyone pursuing a medevac career. The military can give you life experience and training that no college or simulation can prepare you for. Joining the military will, however, force you into a commitment of several years.

If you want to apply for any job in the airline industry you need two major things, hours and licenses.  There are also private-sector training courses to become a medevac pilot. If you choose one of these courses you can learn at your own pace. This may be the right option for someone who needs to work, has a family or other life-circumstances where you need to be flexible. You can also choose your own license you want to obtain: Commercial, private, instrument or several instructor licenses. You will also need at least 1,000 flight hours to get most licenses you need to apply for medevac pilot jobs.

Most medevac companies are very picky and require several different licenses. For most an FAA medical license is required to pilot a medevac flight. You will likely need the highest available flying license available. If you hold a first class FAA license you will have a better chance at landing a medevac pilot job than anyone without it.

The path to becoming a medevac pilot can be long but you will be rewarded for your efforts. There is no such thing as too much experience in the medevac industry and taking your time will help you build the dedication you need for a very demanding industry.a


Depression Symptoms & FAQs

depression-tips

Infographic with tips for dealing with depression

Whenever a celebrity succumbs to an illness it usually, temporarily, raises the profile of the illness. Since Robin Williams committed suicide last week the talk for treating depression has been on the increase. Untreated depression is the leading cause of suicide in the United States, claiming over 34,000 lives each year. Overcoming stigmas associated with mental illnesses as well as understanding symptoms of depression will help people receive the care they need.

The major deterrent that keeps people from receiving help with depression is the stigma that others will associate it with a sign of weakness. The reality is depression is a disease, just like heart disease or MS or any other disease. Depression is a complex medical disorder that is much more than “being sad.” Depression has social, psychological and biological components and even “strong” people suffer from the disease. A disease that affects the chemistry of the brain is no different than a disease that affects the chemistry of any other organ.

So how do you recognize depression? Depression symptoms are more complex and varied than many think. Apathy, pessimism and hopelessness are major indications of depression as are feelings of guilt. Another sign of depression is a loss of interest in hobbies you used to enjoy, including a decreased sexual drive. Thoughts or attempts at suicide can result due to depression.

Depression can affect other areas of your life, especially sleep patterns. Depression can cause insomnia as well as oversleeping. Depression can change your eating habits as well, lowering your appetite. People who suffer from depression may see extreme weight variations, whether they gain or lose a lot of weight. Depression can affect your productivity at work and at home, making it difficult to concentrate, make decisions or remember things.

Like most disease depression comes in many forms. Clinical depression and chronic depression are the most common forms. There are times where people may feel sad but when the sadness lingers more than a few days and keeps you from functioning normally it is a sign of clinical depression. Another sign of clinical depression is extreme moods that worsen and difficulty dealing with rejection. Bipolar, or manic depression is more of a mood disorder that alternates between clinical depression and times of elation.

Treating depression varies by the person. Many people incorrectly believe that if you are depressed you will be on antidepressants the rest of your life. Research done by the Archives of General Psychiatry found that around 40% of people prescribed antidepressants will experience no benefits. Some people who suffer from depression may benefit from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or a combination of medication and therapy. In some cases taking medication can be limited over time with medical supervision.

If you, or someone you know, might be experiencing depression it’s important to understand and not be ashamed of the disease. Help is available. For more information visit the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.


Medevac & Post-Transplant Travel

medevacWhen most people consider contacting a medevac company because of a transplant they typically are thinking about pre-transplant needs. A medevac may be required for someone who needs a transplant if finding a match means they have to travel cross-country or somewhere in the world. A medevac flight can help in these situations but they can also be beneficial to people post-transplant. After a transplant there are a few crucial steps that you need to take to ensure a safe recovery. Travel can be tricky but with the help of medevac it doesn’t have to be impossible.

Depending on what kind of transplant you are having will depend on how soon you can travel. Typically for a lung transplant you can start to travel again as soon as you are feeling better. Extra precautions should always be taken, however. A medevac may be a good option if you are traveling after a lung transplant or any other transplant where you need to worry about infection. Infections after a transplant can cause major issues and having a trained medevac staff with you at all times during your travel can help keep your recovery on track.

Traveling after more involved transplants, like a heart transplantation can be more difficult. Many people use medevac flights to travel to get a heart transplant. Organ donation may be low based on the country so it makes sense to travel to a country with a higher rate or donors. After a transplant it may be necessary to use a medevac to return home. Travel after receiving a new heart takes common sense and having a trained staff of medical professionals with you will help you learn as you heal.

Children can bring an extra set of challenges with them. Many children need transplants (like a liver transplant) and parents will likely want to do everything possible to make sure their loved one can start being a kid again as soon as it is allowed by their doctors. Travel with children after a transplant is very possible, and even worth it for the family and for the child. It will take a little extra planning however. While the child may not need a medevac it is still a good idea to take phone numbers for his or her doctor just in case. You should also give your doctors your cell phone number in case they need to reach you. This is especially necessary for longer trips that will last longer than the normal period between blood tests.

At Travel Care our medevac professionals are ready at a moment’s notice to take you where you need to go. If you need to travel for a transplant or want to return home with a little extra insurance after your surgery our medevac flights can safely bring you where you need to go. For more health and travel tips please follow us on Twitter.


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