Matt Jensen BN RN BHlthSci (Public Health) CFRN CCRN CEN
Why did you become a transport nurse?
I became a transport nurse because I wanted to provide exceptional critical care to patients during the most tenuous and austere part of their critical care journey.
What is it about your job that you enjoy?
I enjoy the camaraderie of being part of a small team that exists solely to provide care to people in the most extreme of circumstances, I enjoy the acuity and pace, and I enjoy the scope of practice.
How did you become a transport nurse?
Over the course of my career I deliberately positioned myself through coursework, emulation, employment opportunities, and education towards a flight and transport career. I was fortunate enough to be successful in a recent hiring opportunity for Virginia Commonwealth University Health System’s LifeEvac.
What do you enjoy in your free time?
I love spending time with my wife and 4 year old son, oftentimes getting out and about in Norfolk (where we live) to visit local breweries and restaurants. In my own time I love to play golf and use that to decompress from the busyness and stress of work, which is ironic as my golf game is usually stress-inducing.
Fun fact about you?
I am an Australian citizen and permanent resident of the United States. I grew up and spent the first 27 years of my life in Australia, before moving to the US where I bought an F-150 after being in the country for 19 hours.
Why did you become an ASTNA member?
I became an ASTNA member because I believe in the power of a developing a community with shared professional ideals and passions, not only for the organizing of moving our profession forward but for the personal connection and relationship building.
Can you share a time when you felt especially proud to work as a transport nurse?
I was in my flight suit in the hospital elevator, and a gentleman in the corner caught my eye and began a conversation. This chap thanked me profusely for what “I” had done for his sister and how “my” interventions and timely transport had likely saved her life. I told him I appreciated his words greatly, and we went our separate ways. Now, I doubt very much that I was involved with his sister’s care as I didn’t recognize the case based on his description, and I don’t even know if it was my service or another that cared for and transported his family member but it didn’t matter – I felt honored and privileged to be part of a wider community that was able to provide the kind of care this woman needed, and to be able to not only impact the patient herself but also her family.
Describe the ideal partner/flight crew member.
The ideal partner is easy to describe – clever but still kind to patients and crew members, hard working and driven but able to relax between calls, taller than me to make loading the stretcher easy but still light enough that we can achieve lift, and a good cook. In short, my colleagues and partners.
Do you have a patient / transport that you feel changed/impacted how you care for your patients today? Can you relay that story?
The patient transport that changed how I care for my patients today comes to mind readily and was one of my first scene calls. We were called to a trauma patient based on mechanism, reported to be hemodynamically intact and stable, and alert and oriented. When we met the EMS crew in the back of their ambulance, the patient was in full cardiac arrest with compressions underway and an intubation attempt being made. This difference between what we were expecting and what we found required a quick change of mental gears and planned goals. This taught me early on the importance of being prepared for any eventuality, and developing mental agility. I take that lesson to every patient contact I now make.