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Cal-Ore Flight Operations

A View From the Crew

Cal-Ore Flight Operations
I am a professional nurse who provides critical care transport services from the time I pick a patient up until the time I drop them off. I provide bedside patient care to patients from 28 days old to a hundred years old, everything from medical to surgical to trauma.

Tina Wood

Name, Title & Location

  • Tina Wood, RN (Registered Nurse) BSN (Bachelors, Nursing) CFRN (Certified Flight Nurse)
  • Base Supervisor, Clinical Education Director
  • Cal-Ore, Eureka, CA

As a child, Tina wanted to be…

I wanted to be a nurse. I grew up in a household full of nurses. My grandmother and my great grandmother were nurses—my great grandmother went to John Hopkins and taught at UCSF. I don’t really remember a time when I wasn’t going to be a nurse.

How did Tina get here from there?

I wanted to get out of Humboldt County after high school, and I had a scholarship to University of the Pacific. I got my Bachelors in Chemistry at San Joaquin. Then I went to Cal State Stanislaus.

When I was in Stockton, I got very interested in doing open-heart nursing. It was a very busy hospital—five or six open hearts a day. I love heart nursing because the heart is an organ that you have to have to be alive. When I worked in that unit, I started doing more trauma, and the hospital had a helicopter. It was like a status thing back then, for every hospital to have a helicopter. My boss came in one day and told me to get on the helicopter, said they needed an ICU nurse. I was young and I didn’t know anything, so I said, ‘Sure!’

I eventually moved from Stockton to Santa Rosa and worked for a heart surgeon at Memorial, and then I moved back to Humboldt and worked at St. Joseph’s. While I was there, I took a per diem job with the local air ambulance company. Ironically, I ended up on a flight to Santa Rosa with a really, really, really cute flight medic. That flight medic is now my husband.

I quit flying for a while because I was raising my kids, but I knew about Cal-Ore, and eventually I had a chance to meet with Joe and Dan. And here I am! I’ve been with Cal-Ore since 2006.

What does Tina like most about her job?

Meeting all the different people that I can meet in the space of one shift. I very much enjoy the challenge, the challenge of having to switch gears.

There is a large training burden that goes with this job, but that keeps you up-to-date, on the edge. And when you go to the teaching hospitals, you’re always meeting new people.

What’s the most challenging part of Tina’s job?

Keeping the routine stuff that we are required to do interesting. You can’t take what you do for granted or become complacent, so the ‘ingrained knowledge’ has to be reviewed periodically.

For instance, every year we have to do Flight Physiology. How do I make it not just ‘This boring thing that Tina made me go to’? How do I make them hear the repetitive stuff, keep it fresh?

Who does Tina live with?

  • Husband: Larry
  • Children: Alison (16), Jory (15) and Mason (13)
  • Dog: Coco (A chocolate brown ranch dog. My rescue mutt.)
  • Cat: Cessna (A tabby cat that was in the storm drain outside our hangar.)

Tina shares a surprising personal factoid

My passion is classical ballet—I take class twice a week. This all started when I was approaching 50. I’m about an inch away from my full split! I had it, and then I lost it, but I’m about an inch away now.

How does Tina feel about the company?

We are stronger together. I think that should be our motto: ‘We are stronger together.’ Each of us brings unique stuff to the table.

I’m not going anywhere. It’s a great gig. It’s really just such a neat job to do. The support that is offered to our employees is amazing, and it shows in our retention.