Patient transporters help move patients throughout the hospital so they can get to and from treatment areas, take tests, and recover from procedures. They also do much more than that, making them an essential part of a hospital team.
A lack of standardized processes or communication often causes errors in patient transport. Having a dedicated patient transport team helps reduce these errors.
Patient transport may be a vital service for hospitals to offer, but that doesn’t mean it can be taken lightly. Whether moving patients from one location within a facility to another or taking patients from an ambulance to the hospital, medical professionals are entrusted with keeping patients safe during their journey.
Errors related to patient transport can happen quickly and often, affecting everything from the health of patients to healthcare costs. The most common errors include transporting the wrong patient to the wrong location and communication or handoff problems that lead to missed or delayed orders or treatments.
A centralized patient transportation program can help to minimize these risks, with best practices and strategies including:
Ensure that all transporters are trained and certified in emergency medical services. Ensure that the transport vehicle has separate driver and patient compartments with doors/windows closed and ventilation systems set to non-recirculating mode.
Keep a nurse or other medical professional in the passenger area with each patient during transport to monitor vital signs and cardiac rhythms during transport. Incorporate technology to reduce the risk of error, such as telemetry monitoring. During transport, make sure that all patients are properly restrained based on their age and medical needs.
Make every effort to keep the vehicle’s temperature low during transport, particularly in the summer months. This can reduce the risk of heat exhaustion in patients and decrease the rate at which oxygen is used, thereby increasing patient safety.
Offer comfort to patients by using techniques like making them laugh or simply listening to their concerns. Transporters also follow protocols, such as transporting deceased patients to their final resting place.
During the course of a typical shift, a transporter can be tasked with up to two transports in an hour. With such a high volume of work, it’s critical that all of the pieces of the puzzle fit together smoothly and safely. This is where patient transporters truly shine, providing peace of mind for patients and ensuring that medical staff can concentrate on their jobs. This is why healthcare organizations invest in specialized training, facility improvements, and equipment upgrades for their transportation teams.
Patient transport companies help to keep hospital staff free from the burden of moving patients. This allows medical professionals to focus on their jobs and make sure that every patient is treated properly. This is especially important when a patient is in need of emergency care, such as in the case of heart attacks or strokes.
Within a hospital, it’s not uncommon for patients to be physically unable to walk from their rooms to other areas of the facility for tests or procedures. Patient transporters assist with these moves, using wheelchairs and stretchers to get them where they need to be.
The work is hard and often dangerous. For example, shear forces during a slide transfer can cause sores and lacerations on the skin. Additionally, if a patient is left in a position for an extended period of time without repositioning, they can develop pressure sores.
But despite the risks, Crothall and her team go out of their way to ensure that every patient has the safest, most comfortable journey possible. They use comforting techniques to put patients at ease, from calming music to friendly conversation. Novelette Forte knows that making a patient laugh can go a long way, while Rosalina Rivera has found that listening to a patient’s concerns is just as effective.
They also take care to protect themselves from the dangers of their job. They wear scrubs, which are comfortable, and loose cotton shirts and pants that their employer typically provides. The uniforms are usually color-coded, and some hospitals also require protective headgear and masks.
Patient transport is a fast-paced and highly specialized service that requires a high level of training. Its responsibilities include safely and efficiently moving patients to their destinations while ensuring that all the information about the patient is transferred properly. Transporters also communicate with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals on a regular basis. The ability to interact well with patients, understand the importance of confidentiality, and maintain a professional demeanor are also essential.
Although many hospital departments use a combination of staff to transport patients, dedicated patient transporters can provide consistency and standardized procedures that help reduce errors. A centralized team can ensure that a patient is always transported to the right destination and that the correct medical equipment is brought for each transfer. In addition, the team can verify patient identifiers before and during transport to prevent mismatches between records and in-person identification.
The transporter’s duties and responsibilities often include a variety of tasks, from taking vital signs to recording a patient’s condition throughout the journey. They can also prepare equipment for transport, answer questions from patients or their families, and follow standard safety precautions. Some transporters are registered nurses (RNs), while others have a lesser degree of medical training. They may be employed full-time or work as a PRN or “pro re nata,” meaning that they are responsible for covering shifts on an as-needed basis.
In addition to ensuring that the right transporter is at the right time for each request, a successful patient transport program must be able to respond quickly to demands during peak times. Patient transport teams can help manage demand by implementing a flexible, data-driven staffing model that keeps team members productive and avoids bottlenecks.
Unlike emergency ambulances, non-emergency patient transport is typically reserved for patients who need to travel between locations within the same hospital. It is commonly used to transport inpatients to and from diagnostic imaging, operating rooms, and other clinical areas.
In many countries, non-emergency transport services are operated separately from emergency ambulances. This is because the vehicles are not usually equipped with life-support equipment and are staffed by personnel who are less qualified than emergency ambulance crews.
Patient transport companies must provide a professional service for those who cannot drive themselves. They may need to travel a long distance, have special needs, or are recovering from an operation. A good patient transport company will help to reduce the stress of such situations by taking a number of measures into consideration. These may include arranging a suitable vehicle or determining whether the route is safe to use, making sure a driver is licensed and insured, and providing a support team that can assist with communication.
Patient Transporters are responsible for transporting patients into, around, and out of healthcare facilities. They also monitor a patient’s health and well-being during their journey. If necessary, they perform certain health care services during transportation, such as checking a patient’s blood pressure or oxygen levels.
To do this, they must follow all hospital protocols. They also ensure that all medical devices are working properly and are ready for transport. In addition, they maintain meticulous daily logs that record when a patient or medical equipment has reached its destination.
This information is used to inform staff and doctors at the receiving facility about the patient’s condition. It helps to determine if the patient is stable enough to transfer and if any further treatment is needed. The patient’s family members can also be informed if they will be traveling with the patient or not.
Patient transporters are an important part of a hospital’s medical staff. They are often the first and last impression that a patient has of the hospital, and it is important for them to treat each and every patient with compassion and respect. They must be knowledgeable of all hospital policies and procedures, including those relating to patient safety and privacy.
The ideal candidate for a patient transporter position will be someone who thrives in a team environment, has excellent customer service skills, and has the ability to stay calm in stressful situations. They will also be able to handle a variety of tasks, from handling patients to driving vehicles and assisting in the operating theater. They should have a high school diploma and be willing to undergo on-the-job training.