Air ambulance

Choosing the right Medical Escort for Air Ambulance

Choosing the right Medical Escort for Air Ambulance

Choosing the Right Medical Escorts for your Patients

As a Medical Director - Medical escort on Commercial flights - whether it is a stable patient flying in Business or First class or critical patient who has recovered and wish to go Stretcher class - Choosing the "Right" Medical escort has always been a Challenge.

The Happiness of the patient in case of a Medical transfer depends on a number of factors.

One of the most important factors is the Medical escort should vibe well with the patient.

Vibe could be as important as the right medical management of the patient during the flight.
In the case of a critical patient, vibe with patient relatives is equally important.

How do we define Vibe or Cultural Fit?
We Need to Redefine “Culture Fit”
Hiring would be a lot easier if it were just a matter of finding someone with skills or the required qualifications – but it isn’t.

Example A patient recovered from Stroke or Heart attack need a basic BLS Nurse to accompany the patient, so we just check the database of our Nurse with BLS skills - is that enough?

It’s also a matter of finding someone who fits – someone who’s a good match for your transfer and your team not only because they have the qualification, but because they are fundamentally compatible.

But when you’re talking about a real, live person, determining fit isn’t necessarily as simple as it is with a glove, or a Speedo – it might take you more than a few seconds to feel out whether they’re right for you. 
That’s where the culture fit interview comes in.

Now, the idea of interviewing specifically for culture fit elicits a pretty wide variety of opinions.

It can also help you dodge a serious bullet and avoid hiring someone who’s likely to clash with your patient and your working style, though – which is exactly why culture fit should be on your mind from the moment you decide to choose the "Right" Medical escort.

It has never been simple.

But if you’re going to effectively interview for culture fit, there’s one big thing we need to know:

What “culture fit” is (and isn’t)
If we’re going to be honest, “culture fit” is a pretty obnoxious name.
It is repulsive to many.

It invites a lot of negative interpretations – including interpretations that encourage bad and biased hiring practices.

You could interpret it as, “only hire people just like yourself and the rest of your team.” Or, historically, “you have carte blanche to reject anyone against whom you have an inherent bias.”

But We do not realize that it is bad when you consider the prevalence of inherent biases we don’t even realize we have.

Frankly, it’s all too often the means by which marginalized groups of people continue to have doors closed in their faces while those shutting them out do so with impunity.
This is gross.

If this is the definition you know, then it’s time to redefine what exactly "Culture fit" means.

"Culture fit" is something you can interview for specifically whether it is face to face interview or a Skype talk – more on that later – but it’s also something you should look for from the beginning.

Because every time you interview someone either face to face or on skype, you’re already assessing their culture fit – you just don’t realize it because it happens subconsciously, and it usually manifests as feelings or instincts.

Feelings like:

“I just get a good vibe from them.”
“They come across as a know-it-all.”
“I like their attitude.”
“Something about them seemed weird.”
"He is an odd Ball"

When you make hiring for culture fit an explicit part of your process, though, you force yourself to unpack where those feelings come from, and what role – if any – they should play in your decision.

Hiring for culture fit means considering how someone will fit into your patient needs and organization, not just how a person made you feel. This means reverse-engineering your feelings, understanding where they came from, and deciding whether or not those reasons are ultimately a positive or a negative for your business.

What specifically did a Medical escort - whether he or she is a Doctor Nurse or Paramedic do or say to elicit your feelings about them? Get introspective. Don’t be afraid to overanalyze. Ask yourself “why” as much as you can.

Don’t just ask yourself what you feel about a potential choice – ask yourself why you feel it.

For example, you might get a good vibe from an escort because they’re enthusiastic, communicative, and optimistic – all things that would make them a good fit for your team, probably!

On the other hand, you might find that you get a good vibe from a candidate because you went to the same school, or they have a particularly symmetrical face, or you both have Aircraft or a Parachute back tattoos. Those aren’t bad things, but they don’t necessarily make someone better for the position you’re trying to fill.

That’s because culture fit is a matter of making sure that a talented escort is also a good match for reasons related directly to Medical transport or Air Ambulance Business.

Here are a few of the questions we try to answer when we assess for culture fit -

Is this person a strong communicator?
Do they seem like they’ll succeed in a remote work environment?
How will the person behave in stress?
Will he withstand the day and night travel?
Will she be quick enough to respond?
Is she reliable?
Will this person show the team something new and interesting?
Are they willing and able to see situations from multiple points of view?
Do they embody our company values of kindness, caring attitude and ownership?
Answering questions like these helps us understand whether someone’s working style is compatible with ours, and for reasons related to both their abilities and how they put those abilities to use.

A useful way to think of this is to ask “Why wouldn’t they be good for our Air Ambulance company,” instead of just “Why would they be good for our Air Ambulance company.”

Identifying whether someone’s a good fit for your business happens at every stage of the hiring process – but it’s also something you can take the time to look for deliberately.

How to interview for culture fit.

When you were in school, you probably had teachers you loved and teachers you hated – not just because of the classes they taught, but because the way they taught and the way you learned were or were not compatible.

Hiring for culture fit follows the same principle – the idea that someone’s compatibility with your team is a matter of how they do something, not just what they do.

A good way to make sure someone is compatible with your company because of talents or experiences that aren’t on their resume?

Look for those talents!

When you want to understand someone’s working style, or their perspective, or the way they communicate, it helps to not be distracted by focusing only on their technical prowess or medical qualifications - BLS or ALS or ICU experience – and that means getting help from someone else.

We at HI Flying - Air Ambulance International conduct a specific culture fit interview for every new hire – because when you bring someone new into your business, you’re not the only person they’ll ever interact with.

And in some cases, they’ll interact with certain types of people much differently than they would with others.

That’s why our culture fit interview is always conducted by people outside the Medical department – people whose goal is to suss out that person’s strengths and weaknesses as a well-rounded member of a team, not just as a bullet list of experiences.

That team conducting a culture fit interview. 

And the summary of the interview is placed into the database which acts as an important tool in the matching program.

When a transfer request is received from our client, be it an Individual, Hospital, Corporate or an Assist or Insurance company, this data acts as an important tool for choosing the Right Medical escort.

When an applicant isn’t concerned with impressing their interviewer with their technical skills – and when the interviewer isn’t asking about those skills directly – the conversation can focus more on their working style, and how that style does or doesn’t fit with your own.

What are this person’s priorities? What do they love about what they do, and what frustrates them? Is the way they operate compatibly with the way YOU operate?

 Even the most talented and experienced people can create a toxic work environment.

You can get to the heart of these issues by asking questions like:

In your current role, what do you feel is your biggest assets?
Tell me about a time you received feedback about your work that was difficult to hear. How did you react? Did you change anything as a result?
What are some of the things you’ve done in your current role that you’re proudest of?
Think of a time your team had to adapt to a big unforeseen change. 
Like the occasion when the flight was delayed or you did not have a Fit to Fly certificate from the treating physician.
Or there was no medical clearance in place with the airlines.
Did you talk with the airline doctor and get the situation under control? Or just said delayed the transfer.
Where did your team struggle? Where did you struggle? How did you adjust?

Questions like these help you understand someone in terms of how they confront problems, what sorts of challenges they like the most, what excites them, and how they envision their role in a team.

And remember –

Their answers can be a bad fit for you without being objectively bad.

You might find that someone who would be working with people outside their own department isn’t able to effectively explain things to someone without their own background.

Or that they prefer more or less oversight than is typical in your business.

Or you might find that they have talents and experiences as a team member that make them an ideal fit for business – talents and experiences they haven’t yet had a chance to talk about!

Ultimately, this interview is there to give someone more opportunities to show what makes them an asset – not to set them up with “gotcha” moments, or to allow you to judge them based on aspects of their personality irrelevant to the position. It allows someone to show you who they are – not just what they do.

Redefining “culture fit”

The idea of interviewing specifically for culture fit is admittedly a tricky one. There are those who embrace a slippery definition of it, and consequently, those who bristle at the idea of doing it at all.

In the end, though, you’re already interviewing for culture fit – consciously or not. Recognizing that, and embracing it by making it an explicit part of your process, won’t just make the hiring process less fraught for you – it can make it easier for everyone you interview to show their best self, too.

And as for your Air Ambulance organization - it can get you lot of Success!

By Medical Director of HI Flying - Air Ambulance International - India.

Choosing the Right Medical Escorts for your Patients.

Hi Flying has Medical escorts placed strategically all over Asia, Middle east, Europe, Africa Australia and the United states and has been able to provide happy services to Individuals, Corporates, Hospitals and Insurance companies.

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