To start a career in the medical industry, a person might consider becoming a patient transporter. A patient transporter is vital in helping healthcare facilities operate efficiently by safely getting patients where they need to be.
A patient transporter is an entry-level position requiring minimal education and experience. Most patient transporter positions provide on-the-job training. For this reason, it’s a great way to start working in the medical industry and gain experience while working with patients.
Here are steps one can take to become a patient transporter.
Learn What a Patient Transporter Does
Safe and effective patient flow helps the hospital or clinic operate effectively and prevents backlog. The movement of patients is so important to a healthcare organization that medical facilities have a dedicated staff of patient transporters committed to ensuring the safe and efficient transport of patients.
A patient transporter works in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities. They are responsible for safely moving patients into and within the building and getting them to surgery or exam rooms according to schedule.
Review the Job Duties and Responsibilities
A patient transporter’s duties may vary day by day. They help patients move in and out of vehicles or ambulances to and from the facility and transport them throughout the facility while attending to the patient’s well-being.
When transporting a resident patient, they might have to first transfer the individual from a hospital bed to a wheelchair or gurney, then move the patient from their room to a treatment or operating room. Sometimes they must transport medical equipment, supplies, or lab samples with the patient.
While a patient transporter’s primary responsibility is to make a patient safe and comfortable during transit, they can also provide comfort and emotional support.
Develop the Necessary Skills
Image via Flickr by Justice Ender
Skills like customer service, compassion, empathy, and initiative can help sitters perform this job effectively. They need highly developed interpersonal and communication skills. Patient sitters ensure the patient’s comfort and safety during transit, and they also may need to answer questions, provide relevant hospital information, and reassure patients and families. They also communicate with healthcare professionals regarding the patient’s condition. Sitters might have to fill out written patient reports for supervisors.
Patient sitters need to become familiar with the hospital or care facility to move as efficiently and safely as possible from one location to another. They also need the physical strength and stamina to lift patients and be highly active, often spending entire days on their feet and walking around the facility. Hospital transporters need excellent time management skills to perform patient transport requests on schedule.
Obtain a High School Diploma
The minimum education requirement for a patient transporter is usually a high school diploma. Individuals without a diploma can earn a GED to qualify for the position. A GED is a substitute for a high school diploma and consists of four exams covering the subjects of mathematical reasoning, language arts, science, and social studies.
Pursue Relevant Certifications
While institutions may have different requirements for patient transporter positions, most patient transporter positions require current CPR training. Applicants can attain CPR certification through organizations like the American Red Cross. Some facilities may require a nursing assistant certification. The National Association of Healthcare Transport Management (NAHTM) offers a national certification for healthcare transporters.
If the patient transporter position doesn’t require certification, obtaining CPR or basic life support (BLS) certifications may set candidates apart from other applicants and improve their chances of getting hired.
Create a Resume and Apply for Positions
Applicants can create a professional resume highlighting relevant skills and any experience they might have in the field. Properly formatting a resume and proofreading it several times can ensure it’s neat and professional.
Next, applicants can look for local facilities that hire patient transporters, such as hospitals, outpatient clinics, and long-term care facilities. They might also check medical networks and health universities to find employment. By finding job listings and reviewing the job description, individuals can make sure the skills they listed on their resume meet the position requirements.
The next step to becoming a patient transporter is to submit a resume and practice interview skills so the applicant can interview confidently and present themselves as an ideal candidate for the role.
The job of a patient transporter is a fulfilling position that allows people to work directly with patients. In this position, one can become familiar with hospital policies and procedures, gain experience working with patients, and build a strong professional network. Becoming a patient transporter can get an individual started in the healthcare field and provide excellent opportunities to advance their career.