Tom is a medical escort for a very special reason
42-year-old Tom Erik Westgaard from Oslo loves his job as a medical escort for SOS International because it combines the two things he feels most passionately about: Travelling and the nursing profession. But the 2004 Asian tsunami also plays a crucial role.
“My first contact with SOS International took place when I myself was a patient in 2004. I was injured as a result of the tsunami wave when I was on Phuket in Thailand. I was followed closely by SOS International during my stay in hospital, and transported home together with a caring nurse from SOS International,” says Tom Erik Westgaard.
Tom has educated himself as a nurse himself since 2004, and focused on applying to be a medical escort at SOS International. Since 2018, he has been part of SOS International's corps of escorts who are sent out all over the world when help is needed to transport Nordic citizens home if they have fallen ill or been injured abroad.
Round-trip from Tenerife and Thailand
SOS International have called on Tom Erik Westgaard three times during the summer of 2002:
The first trip was to Tenerife to accompany a Finnish man who was recovering after 14 days in hospital, but needed help on the way home because, among other things, he was in a wheelchair.
Next up was a trip to Granada where a young woman needed to be helped home to Norway. No specific treatment was needed during the trip, simply assistance.
The third and final trip was a little more demanding, as a Swedish man needed to get home from Thailand. The man was suffering from blood poisoning and had been bedridden for a while. He was also affected by both anxiety and rheumatic pain. The patient was agitated, and both sedatives and sleeping medicine were necessary during the trip from Thailand to Sweden.
According to Tom Erik Westgaard, this summer's tasks were uncomplicated: The trips were well arranged and the dialogue with affiliated doctors was good. Aside from flight delays, he avoided airport chaos and cancelled flights.
“As a medical escort, you must be prepared to face various challenges and be creative in the way you solve problems. You have to feel secure in your professional expertise, as you work independently with the patients,” says Tom Erik Westgaard, who does not hesitate to recommend a job as a medical escort if you are a doctor or nurse and have both experience and the desire to travel.
As a medical escort, you must be prepared to face various challenges and be creative in the way you solve problems. You have to feel secure in your professional expertise, as you work independently with the patients
Tom Erik Westgaard:
- 42 years old and lives in Oslo
- Surgical nurse at Martina Hansens Hospital in Oslo
- Graduate student in Nurse Anaesthesia at Oslo Metropolitan University
- Medical escort at SOS International since 2018
Do you know someone who might be interested in being a medical escort at SOS International? We are particularly interested in receiving applications from doctors