While hospital procedures will vary at facilities across the country, the urgency of care required for critical patients remains the same. For an EMT helping a critical care patient, it's all about quick transport and fluid consistency of care. Depending on the standing orders set forth for EMS, EMTs and paramedics will have a wide scope of alternatives in caring for a critical care patient before they get to the hospital. Upon arrival, it's all about getting them quickly and safely turned over to the receiving hospital staff.
Transport and Arrival
Critical care patients often don't have the luxury of time on their side. That being said, it is important that the EMS staff is familiar with the hospital procedures of the receiving facility. Making contact with the hospital first, so that they know to expect the patient, is key. Filling in the medical staff at the last minute with a surprise critical care patient could take precious minutes away from someone who may not have much time to spare. While many hospitals have a loading area specifically for ambulances, those that do not must have an area cleared for the arrival of patients. Set hospital procedures will likely mandate how to go about doing this and who should do it. Upon arrival, patients must be moved as quickly as possible to a bed. This must be performed in a manner that takes their specific care into consideration.
As the patient is being resuscitated or shortly thereafter, all stats and patient history must be passed on to the receiving staff. Depending on hospital procedures, EMS may have already received this information, during transport, via phone. Once the patient is settled and in the care of hospital medical staff, EMS can take care of any and all paperwork that needs to be filled out.
Critical care patients are usually those involved in life threatening situations. Sometimes, those cases involve a significant loss of blood and other bodily fluids. Before the ambulance can be used for transporting another patient, it will need to be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. Independent ambulance companies will have a set of guidelines to follow for accomplishing this task. Likewise, ambulances that belong to the hospital itself will have a strict set of hospital procedures to follow.
The transport and care of critical care patients is one of the most important services that EMS provides. If you're looking for a line of work that truly makes a difference, EMS is always a sound choice. With a national job outlook of 33 percent growth from 2010 to 2020, there has never been a better time to get started in this career.