Working at Air Methods Means Access to the Best Training


At Air Methods, we hire the best and then we make them better.

That’s why we created our Ascend Critical Care Clinician Education program for our employees and others in the critical care field.

This program, which is available in-person and online, provides the highest level of training and certifications for all emergency care clinicians, including flight and critical care medics, nurses, and prehospital and in-hospital EMTs. It’s for people who are lifelong learners, those who believe in acquiring new skills and advancing the ones they already have.  

As part of its in-person and online programs, Ascend employs emerging technologies, such as virtual reality (VR) and high-fidelity simulations, to extend the reach of advanced flight and critical care training. By learning with the latest technologies, emergency clinicians can advance their skills and feel confident that they will be able to deliver the best care possible to their patients.

Training with the best technology

Providing critical care is fast-paced and demanding. So is our Ascend training. We use engaging and interactive approaches that focus on problem-solving and communication while participating in care scenarios using a combination of simulation, constructivism, augmented and virtual reality, and serious gaming activities. Here are some examples:

  • VR, educators can provide training from anywhere in the country without having to travel, which reduces costs and makes the most effective use of highly trained educators.
  • the most appropriate care in the shortest amount of time by working through each step, such as accessing medications or locating lab values, which requires following clues. This competitive problem solving improves retention, helping learners apply knowledge to real-world situations.

Training with the best instructors

In Ascend, you’ll learn from the best, like Aviation Education Manager Melanie Smith, MIM, MBA, M.Ed. A former Army Black Hawk helicopter pilot who served in the Middle East and Europe, she leads in-person programs at our headquarters in Denver, Colo., bringing pilots and medical crew members together in an interactive environment to learn air medical operations. She also manages our online education program.

She typifies the lifelong learner for whom Ascend is designed. She holds multiple associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, three master’s degrees, including one in education, and is completing her doctorate in business administration.

Smith and other Ascend instructors help students raise their skills to unprecedented levels, so they can provide vital services to their communities.

Interested in becoming an Air Methods flight nurse or paramedic, pilot, mechanic, or support personnel or just want to improve your critical care skills? Learn more at