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General Transports

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Many people think of ambulances as those vehicles that only respond to critical, life-threatening situations. While ambulance services do provide care and transport during emergency situations, there are also many times when an ambulance is necessary for general transports, or those that may facilitate transferring patients between healthcare centers or on long-distance trips to other locations.



General transports through ambulance companies are options for those who need to get from one place to another but certain health conditions make transport in a car or bus unfeasible. General transports may be scheduled ahead of time by the company or a scheduling center that works with many different ambulance companies to provide service and make arrangements. These types of transports are often considered to be non-emergency transports, but they still require the services of an emergency medical technician, paramedic or nurse who is trained in providing medical care. This is necessary, often because the patient being transported may need supplemental medical care to remain on the transport, such as oxygen or a heart monitor.


A scheduling center, such as 1-800 Ambulance, is a type of company that works to arrange general transport services that are not considered emergencies. This type of company works with many different ambulance providers and can take in the patient’s information and transport needs and then connect him with a provider that will supply ambulance service in the right location and with the necessary amount of care required for this situation. This is essential, not only to the patient receiving services, but also to the healthcare facilities that are accepting patients through transports. Some facilities have specialized areas, larger numbers of working employees, or more room to accept patients than others. By working with local healthcare centers during the transport, ambulance service companies can ensure that the patient will arrive at a healthcare facility that has the capabilities and the staff available to treat his needs.




Depending on the level of care required, many general transports fall into one of several categories. An RN transport includes the services of a registered nurse to provide medical care and treatments within her scope of practice, which may include administering medications through an intravenous line, giving oxygen, or providing an airway if necessary. An advanced life support ambulance service will often include at least a paramedic who has advanced training in emergency medical care and providing higher level treatments if necessary, such as CPR, cardiac monitoring, and intravenous fluid administration. A basic life support ambulance is typically staffed with at least an emergency medical technician who is capable of providing CPR and administering oxygen.



Whatever the level of services required, a general transport is a safe method of transferring patients who are not stable enough to ride by private vehicle. They offer an alternative to those who may need to remain on bed rest or in wheelchairs, but still need to move from one place to another. This may be between healthcare facilities across town, or to another location across the country. By providing the necessary information for the transport to the ambulance or scheduling company, arrangements can be made that will provide the right amount of services for the patient in need.


Meg Brannagan RN, BSN is a registered nurse with a Bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She has over 12 years of experience in both clinical nursing and medical writing. Meg first became certified as an EMT in 1997 before starting nursing school the next year. After graduation she worked in women’s and children’s health as well as neonatology. She has also worked as a neonatal transport RN, transporting critically ill and preterm infants for medical care.

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