Description of Unit

ShandsCair is the pre-hospital and critical care transport system of UF Health Shands Hospital. We strive to deliver excellence in patient care during transport utilizing specialized teams, vehicles and equipment in a safe, cost effective manner. Our objective is to improve patient outcome. ShandsCair provides transport and specialized care by way of fixed wing aircraft, helicopter and ground ambulance. The ShandsCair helicopters typically transports patients from pre-hospital scenes within a 75 mile radius. Community hospital emergency rooms and ICU’s up to a 185 mile radius are also serviced by helicopter. ShandsCair 1 is located at UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville, ShandsCair 2 is located in Summerfield (Marion County) and ShandsCair 3 is located in Perry, Florida.  Fixed wing service range is a 1,500 statue mile radius and covers the eastern United States with international access to Canada and Central America. Care is provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is coordinated through the ShandsCair Communication Center, by the program’s Communication/Transportation Specialists.

Description of Patient Populations

ShandsCair consists of two distinct teams, the Neonatal/Pediatric Team and the Adult/Pediatric Team. The Neonatal Team transports infants and children up to 5 years of age. This team is composed of a neonatal Registered Nurse and a Respiratory Therapist. The primary diagnosis of patients transported by this team is infants born prematurely with respiratory or cardiac compromise and other medical or surgical anomalies. The Adult/Pediatric is composed of a Registered Nurse/Paramedic and a Paramedic. This team transports pre-hospital patients of all ages and interfacility patients greater than 30 days through the geriatric population. The primary diagnoses of patients transported by this team consist of multi-trauma, neurosurgical emergencies, surgical emergencies and medical emergencies. Average flight time is one hour. Procedures commonly performed are:

  • invasive and noninvasive monitoring
  • peripheral, arterial and central line placement
  • airway management (intubation, cricothyrotomy)
  • advanced life support procedures
  • trauma management

Unit Management/Personnel

The medical director of the Neonatal/Pediatric flight team is provided by a board certified neonatologist. The medical director of the Adult/Pediatric team is provided by a board certified emergency physician. Medical directors or their designees are accessible 24 hours a day. Attending physicians in the neonatal intensive care unit and the emergency department are available via radio and telephone for emergent intervention when required. Administrative staff is on call at all times.

Management consists of a Program Director, a Chief Flight Nurse and a Communication/Transportation Supervisor. Unit staff includes Registered Nurses, Respiratory Therapist, Registered Nurses/Paramedics, Paramedics, Communication/Transportation Specialists, and an administrative assistant.

Neonatal/Pediatric transport team members include: one Registered Nurse and one Registered Respiratory Therapist. Basic requirements include:

  • current state license
  • current BLS, PALS, NRP & ENPC
  • completion of a 20 hour transport certification course
  • 4000 hours RN experience including 2000 hours in a level II or III NICU experience
  • advanced skills credentialing completed on a quarterly basis

The Adult/Pediatric transport team members are licensed Registered Nurses/Paramedics and Paramedics.

Basic requirements include:

  • current state license
  • state paramedic certification
  • current BLS, ACLS, trauma certification, pediatric certification, NRP, AMCCC
  • advanced skills credentialing on a quarterly basis
  • minimum of two years critical care experience

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