Offered at reduced fees for APFC Flight Program members

1. “Post-Crash – first days, first month, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months later.” No crewmember or manager wants to think about a crash. But preparation is crucial. This presentation explores the normal physical, behavioral, psychological and spiritual reactions of all human beings to a traumatic event during the 12 months after such an event. It explores the mine field of grief, and addresses how crews, staff and flight program managers can survive, and live to fly and work together again – as a team.

Brief description: The first days after a crash are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to responses to grief and loss after a crash. This presentation identifies the physical, behavioral, psychological, and spiritual reactions to a traumatic event at specific intervals during the post-crash time period: the first 24 to 48 hours, the first 5 to 7 days, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, and after the first year. The nature of grief and loss are described, making clear that responses to grief and loss cannot be easily managed or controlled. This presentation also explores how crewmembers’ responses can be self-destructive, and can compromise medical care, if not addressed. Specific ways in which healing, and emotional and spiritual health can be promoted are presented, so that crews and the transport program as a whole can work and fly together again in healthy ways.

For crews, staff, and managers.


2. “The Last Person.” Your patient, or the patient’s family, knows that death is near. You do, too. What you say and what you do will matter as nothing else does. Don’t let this moment haunt you the rest of your life.

Brief description: Individual crewmembers may not be spiritual or religious, but the last words they say to a patient, who may die during transport, or to the patient’s family during transport, will probably be among the most important words they ever speak. This presentation discusses what to say and what not to say, and other ways to comfort patients and families in this critical situation.

For crews, staff and managers.


3. “Celebrating Great Transports – restoring meaning and joy to the work crews and staff do every day.” This presentation outlines how your flight chaplain can help crews and staff on every shift become involved in celebrating their ‘best transports’ – not just from a medical perspective, but in terms of great teamwork, and the emotional connection crewmembers make with the patient and the patient’s family.

Brief description: With the approval of management, this program can help crews and staff (communication specialist), celebrate not just good medicine during transport, but the teamwork required, and the emotional connection crewmembers make with patients and/or patient families during transport. Recognizing such transports can make the difference between crewmembers and staff not caring that much anymore, and restored excitement and joy about the work they do every day. The primary work needed for this program is performed by the flight chaplain, thus not interfering unnecessarily with crewmembers’ or communication specialist’ time.

For managers, their flight chaplains, senior crew members, and communication specialist.


4. “A Broken Heart – Your Own”. How to survive a mistake made, or a bad transport, that may have compromised the patient’s outcome.

Brief description: The emotional side of the most difficult air medical transport work is often neglected, and the consequences can be devastating. When a mistake has been made by crew members in a difficult transport, shame, blame, self recrimination, and anger, all rarely spoken, can undermine crew cooperation long term, and can result in dangerous self-medication, serious personal crisis, and much worse. This presentation explores healthy and unhealthy ways of coping with such an event. Most importantly, it addresses the most important and healthy ways of moving through these experiences – the necessity of verbalizing these powerful emotions, forgiving others and oneself, and learning, with humility, from such an experience.

For crews, staff and managers.


5. “Fear and anxiety – silent companions to crewmembers’ families.” Crewmembers’ families rarely talk about the fear in their hearts for their loved ones – be they FNs, RTs, pilots, or EMTs. During harsh winters, especially, families suffer greatly, and rarely speak of their anxiety to their spouse, or loved one, who works in transport.

Brief description: This presentation focuses on the fear and anxiety experienced by families, and addresses how such anxiety is healthy and normal. The presentation also offers practical suggestions as to ways families and their crewmember can together reduce fear and anxiety.

This presentation, to be made by the flight chaplain, is most appropriate as part of a ‘Safety Night’ or ‘Safety Event’ for crewmembers’ families. Such an evening can include opportunities for families to crawl around inside aircraft and ambulances, and safety presentations by the safety officer and/or flight program managers.

For the families of crewmembers, crewmembers and managers.


6. “Control in the Chaos.” Emotional calm and mental focus are critical to functioning in unusually challenging or chaotic transport situations – which may occur at the sending facility and/or during transport.

Brief description: Six important, quick disciplines are presented, which crewmembers can employ to achieve calm and focus in the moment. These disciplines can become tools for crews in the longer term as well, and can help crewmembers live healthier emotional and spiritual lives at work, and in life.

For crews, staff and managers.


7. “Compassion Fatigue”. Compassion fatigue is an extreme state of tension that develops over time, and is experienced by those helping persons in distress on a regular, protracted basis. It is a state that traumatizes the care-giver, and may not be recognized before burn-out or other consequences affect the quality of care given by crews and other care-givers.

Brief description: This presentation describes compassion fatigue and explores how it specifically affects crews and staff working in air/ ground medical transport. The circumstances that exacerbate compassion fatigue in air medical transport are discussed. Symptoms are described and a Personal Assessment tool will be completed by crews during the presentation. Self-care and other ways to address compassion fatigue within the specific context of air medical transport are presented.

For crews, staff and managers.



APFC Curriculum is protected by Copyright @ 2013 Association of Professional Flight Chaplains. All rights reserved. Curriculum may not be reproduced or used without permission.