January 7, 2015
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
All major hospitals and medical centres provide critical care transport to ensure that patients who are critically ill or injured can be transported to the facility so they can receive the treatment they need. Usually this transport is in the form of a well-equipped ambulance that is staffed by qualified and experienced medical professionals.
Any individual who requires immediate attention and needs to be transported to a medical facility urgently is taken care of by the critical care transport team. Patients who are transported by this means are typically elderly or may have suffered from some kind of serious trauma.
Critical care transport nurses play a key role in critical care transport. They provide essential nursing care to the patients while transporting them from one facility to another. Part of their responsibility involves keeping tabs on the patients’ vital signs, assessing their condition during transport, administering intravenous fluids and medications if necessary and keeping a record of any changes in the patients’ conditions during the entire process.
A critical care transport nurse is essentially a registered nurse. RNs who work in this field are given special training to equip them to deal with a wide range of emergencies such as bleeding and other conditions that require immediate attention and treatment.
Continuing education is an important aspect of the job in order to stay up to date on the latest developments in critical care.
It is highly unlikely for a newly graduated nurse to opt for a career in critical care transport. Medical facilities would also hesitate to employ an inexperienced nurse for this role. If you are interested in pursuing a career in this nursing specialty, it is advisable to first gain some experience in various nursing specialist roles especially in emergency care.
Efficiency and accuracy are of utmost importance in this role, as you will need to ensure that patients receive the right medications and care in a timely manner. You also need to be highly resilient and capable of working well under challenging, stressful conditions.
Having a warm, empathic personality is important in this role. Most patients would be highly distressed, in severe pain or in shock. Besides attending to the physical needs of the patient, it is equally important to offer the patient calm, reassuring support.
Working well in a team is another essential requirement as you would need to communicate with other facilities to ensure safe transport for the patient.
If your goal is to offer support and care to critically ill patients and if the intense pace of this role appeals to you, you should consider pursuing this hugely rewarding area of nursing.