Healthcare Career Spotlight: the Patient Transporter

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A patient transporter, also referred to in some hospital systems as an orderly, is a multi-skilled allied healthcare worker whose primary workplace responsibility involves the safe transport of patients and clients from one destination to another within hospitals and other types of healthcare facilities. A competent patient transporter uses his or her skills to make things easier for patients and medical staff at healthcare facilities.

Most nurses and other healthcare workers would readily agree about the extreme usefulness of patient transporters. Furthermore, patient transporters are really important assets to the healthcare team at many hospitals because without their assortment of skills, many medical care settings would have extreme difficulty dealing with the most routine operations.

After all, facilities that do not use patient transporters usually force members of nursing staff to complete all transporting. For instance, a nurse who must transport a patient from the cardiac floor of a hospital to the interventional radiology suite must leave his other patients unattended for up to 30 minutes while he accompanies the lone patient. Imagine how inconvenient this would be for that nurse and his other patients!

Generally, the patient transporter needs to have a kind disposition, a lot of patience and an empathetic outlook toward the ill patients and clients that require transporting from one location to another. In addition, good body mechanics and some physical strength would be immensely useful due to the fact that patient transporters must bend, lift heavy loads, twist, and do a great deal of standing during a typical work shift.

The role of patient transporting has grown in recent years, so patient transporters have had to rise to the occasion to keep up with the demands and complexities of the present day health system in the United States.  Patient transporters transfer patients from beds to wheelchairs or stretchers to transport them to various locations, push occupied and unoccupied wheelchairs, and assist people to get into vehicles such as cars and vans.

Safety is essential when working as a patient transporter. They must transfer patients with extreme care and caution to avoid injuring themselves or the people they have been entrusted to transport. Confidentiality is imperative for patient transporters since they verify clients’ identities prior to transport and are privy to protected health information and other private matters. They must also adhere to infection control principles.

Patient transporters may have additional duties such as wheeling or pushing patients to the correct location within hospitals, taking patients to medical appointments, assisting patients onto examination tables, and transporting patients to the curbside or parking lot of the hospital in order to board ambulances and/or non-emergency medical transportation vans. Patient transporters also document their tasks upon completion.

In addition to transporting clients, patient transporters often transport and hand-deliver items such as heavy equipment, specimens and lab/diagnostic results to various locations within the hospital. At some facilities, patient transporters routinely transport bodies of deceased patients to the hospital morgue. Depending on the type of facility, some patient transporters serve as van drivers who drive clients to and from appointments.

Since the role of patient transporting requires constant contact with people, patient transporters should feel comfortable interacting with a wide variety of persons including patients, nurses, physicians, family members, coworkers, managers, visitors, vendors and others. Moreover, patient transporters must have a knack for swiftly gaining the trust and cooperation of the many patients who require transport each day.

Patient transporters can be found working in places of employment such as acute care hospitals, large skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, personal care group homes and non-emergency transportation companies. Individuals who have an interest in entering this healthcare career pathway must usually have a high school diploma or G.E.D. before training for this specific position on the job.

Prior work experience in the allied healthcare field and/or professional certification as an emergency medical technician (EMT) or certified nursing assistant (CNA) can be helpful to prepare for the daily functions of a patient transporter. Also, professional certification can provide a potential advantage that might result in an applicant standing out in a sea of other job seekers who apply for patient transporter positions.

The demand for patient transporters in the job market is projected to remain steady well into the near future. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, which classifies patient transporters under the Orderlies employment category, the projected growth rate for this specific position is 11 percent through the year 2024. This projected growth rate exceeds the average for all other jobs.

Much of this growth in patient transporter job openings can be attributed to the large wave of the Baby Boomer generation that is expected to have a profound impact on healthcare facilities. Aging members of the Baby Boomer cohort are already entering the healthcare system and requiring transport from one location to another. Therefore, patient transporters are very much needed in the employment market.

People who live and/or work in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas should call Legacy Healthcare Careers at (682)626-5266 to jump-start a life-transforming career in the healthcare industry. Legacy Healthcare Careers offers affordable career training as well as job placement assistance. Call today...

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