Sharon Purdom, RN, BSN, CFRN, CEN
Why did you become a transport nurse?
I was doing a research paper on critical care, when I came across an article written by a Flight Nurse. It was then I know that someday this was going to be my dream job!
What is it about your job that you enjoy?
Everything! I enjoy the continued learning related to the care of critically ill or injured patients. The ability to get the patient to the very best facility whether it is via helicopter, fix wing, and or ground transport. It is a privilege to care for a patient in this setting. I also really enjoy teaching.
How did you become a flight nurse?
I was always talking about perusing my dream job (Flight Nursing) when my youngest of three started school. I got a phone call from my former ED Manager. She told me that she was the Director of Emergency Services and she had an opening at the hospital base flight program and thought I would be a great fit.
What do you enjoy in your free time?
I enjoy waterskiing, snow skiing, and playing outdoors.
Fun fact about you?
I wanted to be a nun when I was in grade school.
Why did you become an ASTNA member?
I wanted to be a part of this amazing organization to learn from the best of the best in Transport Nursing. As a member, I have a voice; I am supported in advancing my transport-nursing career.
Can you share a time when you felt especially proud to work as a flight nurse?
I transported a man from a horrific MVC whose wife, three children and family dog were killed in the accident. After being aired on the news I had many of my colleagues and physicians mention to me that he had the most compassionate nurse.
Describe the ideal partner/flight crew member.
I have been privileged enough to work with the ideal flight crew partner, no matter the call, scene or interfaculty we would not even have to verbally communicate at times because we knew exactly what the other was thinking and going to do. It was awesome to have such an amazing partner.
Do you have a patient / transport that you feel changed/impacted how you care for your patients today? Can you relay that story?
I was at the bedside when the doctor told my patient that his wife, three children, and family dog did not survive the MVC. The patient suffered several cervical fractures and needed to be transferred to another facility. Once we were airborne, I took off my gloves and held the patients hand until we landed at the receiving trauma center.
I found out years later that this simple act gave this man the will to live. When I held his hand, I gave him hope and he felt God was hearing his prayers.
We each do simple acts of compassion, I am blessed that I got to hear how it impacted him and changed his outcome.