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Students get an up-close look at a MedFlight helicopter at Ohio Dominican University.

Physician Assistant Students Get Up-Close Look at Air and Ground Ambulance Care

Students had an opportunity to learn more about the intensive care that is provided by air and ground ambulance services.

Jul 20, 2021

Students in Ohio Dominican University’s Physician Assistant Studies master’s program are trained to provide medical treatment and care anytime, anywhere – that includes in the sky.

Approximately fifty students participating in their final Emergency Medicine class of the semester had a unique opportunity to experience a MedFlight helicopter up close as it landed on ODU’s athletic practice field on Monday, July 19, 2021. MedFlight’s ground Mobile Intensive Care Unit also visited campus.

During the visit, the MedFlight crew explained the important role that air and ground ambulance services provide when treating and transporting critically ill patients, and they highlighted some of the various challenges they may encounter during flight. They also described the intensive care that is provided by air and ground services, and how the method of transport is determined.

ODU President Connie Gallaher, a Registered Nurse for more than 40 years, also participated in the visit.

MedFlight is a nonprofit air and ground critical care transportation company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. Owned by a consortium of hospitals, the company completes more than 6,500 transports each year to patients throughout Ohio.

During the visit, students had an opportunity to ask the crewmembers questions, climb in the helicopter and examine a MedFlight ground ambulance, all of which allowed them to learn how the units meet the community needs.

“ODU is committed to integrating active-learning experiences with a traditional lecture-based format to enhance our students’ learning and professional preparation,” said Scott Kravitz, ODU assistant clinical professor of Physician Assistant Studies.

“It is vital that we offer interprofessional experiences that highlight the various levels of patient care and engagement, especially in emergent situations,” said Shonna Riedlinger, ODU’s PA Program director. “I have worked clinically with some of the flight crew and it is wonderful to have them share experiences with our students. We discussed how both air and ground units work to provide intensive care throughout Ohio. We’re grateful to MedFlight for their outreach education to Ohio Dominican University’s PA program.”

Learn more about ODU’s Physician Assistant master’s program at ohiodominican.edu/PA.