Graphic: Flight Nurse Hayden Wilson
Growing up on Norfolk Island, Flight Nurse Hayden Wilson saw his fair share of aeromedical retrievals, and with a nurse in the family it’s no surprise that he’s landed the job he has today.
But to say it was smooth sailing would be an understatement. Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) flight nurses are some of the most highly qualified nurses in the country and Hayden is no exception.
From volunteering with his local ambulance service at 16 years old, to completing work experience at the island’s hospital, Hayden hasn’t stopped immersing himself in all things nursing since first getting a taste of the profession in his teenage years.
After becoming an Endorsed Enrolled Nurse and working in acute stroke and neurology, Hayden graduated as a Registered Nurse and began working at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in general medicine and rheumatology, all with one goal in mind — becoming a flight nurse.
In January 2018, Hayden’s dream became a reality when he began working for the RFDS at our Rockhampton Base.
Hayden says while his experience as an Emergency Nurse helped prepare him for his new office in the sky, there really isn’t anything that compares to aeromedical nursing.
“The role of a Flight Nurse is unique and diverse. We care for almost every presentation you can think of across every specialty, and no two jobs are ever the same.
“Approximately 70 per cent of RFDS retrievals are nurse-only flights so there lies a great responsibility in our staff to act and respond accordingly to every clinical scenario.
“It’s not like working in a hospital where you can call for assistance (at times) with the press of a red button,” he said.
But despite the high-pressure environment, Hayden finds his role extremely rewarding.
“RFDS staff do the work we do because we care, we’re internally driven to help those in need and want to make a positive difference to the lives of others.
“I’m proud to work for the Service and provide healthcare to those living and working in regional, rural and remote communities in Queensland.
“Seeing the relief on our patient’s faces when the Flying Doctor arrives is a really rewarding aspect of my job, and certainly one that never gets old!”