Patient Transport Attendants (PTA’s) and/or Ambulance Transport Attendants (ATA’s), Patient Service Assistants (PSA’s) are playing an even bigger role in relieving ambulance crews from doing the basic movements of patients to and from location to location. With more and more strain being placed on State Ambulance Services, local government and health departments have to seriously look at ways to create better services for the community, and at the same time maintain high levels of critical care transport services.
One solution is to allow private companies to take over the role of Non-Emergency Patient Transport services. Over the next few years, strong growth is expected in this sector, as an ageing Australian population means more and more reliance on efficient transport options.
In Victoria , Non Emergency Patient Transport, or NEPT as it is commonly referred to, has been handled by private companies for many years. Ambulance Victoria currently provides non-emergency patient transport services to around 230,000 patients.
There is also a move by the NSW government to open up its Non-emergency Patient Transport services to private contractors in 2016.
In Queensland there are smaller operators who are breaking into the Non-emergency Patient Transport sector, but not in the numbers we see in the southern states. However, what with health care spending on the increase and transportation demands hitting new highs, it’s not too difficult to see where the opportunities lie in terms of jobs.
What exactly is Non-Emergency Patient Transport?
Non-emergency patient transport services are usually pre-arranged and response time is not given a high priority in comparison to emergency patient transport. Operators of these services employ suitably qualified Patient Transport Officers to fill these positions. In this role, where every day is different from the next, patients being moved around can be as young as a new born to a senior citizen, as long as they are not in need of critical emergency care.
What is a Patient Transport Attendant (PTA)
A Patient Transport Attendant is a trained and qualified person who provides non-emergency transport and care of low risk patients who require transport for non-acute, chronic illness or suffer from a disability.
In an industry where every day is never the same, you could be called upon to:
- Transport patients to hospital from home
- Transport patients to and from doctor’s surgeries and health centres
- Handle discharges from hospital to home
- Perform inter-hospital transportation of patients
- Transport patients between hospitals and diagnostic facilities
- Move patients and residents to and from nursing homes
- Transport non-urgent patient cases to and from hospital emergency departments
- Transport patients who suffer from being over-weight or are unable to move unassisted
Not all patient transport is restricted to on-road. Owing to their geographic locations, many rural town rely on aircraft to transport patients to hospitals. Aircraft can be rotary wing or fixed wing and can be also certified for bariatric use. Quite often, private companies can also coordinate escorts for domestic and international flights, commercial stretcher transfers and air travel companion services. So you can see, there is literally no limit to the variety of work you can enjoy in the patient transport sector.
Here is a link to Ambulance Victoria to learn about the different types of patient transport.
Complex Patient Ambulance Vehicle (CPAV) – Victoria.
In Australia, rates of obesity are growing at an alarming rate and ambulance services must adapt their transport systems to accommodate this. In Victoria for instance, Complex Patient Ambulance Vehicles, CPAV for short are needed when a patient is in excess of 160kg (bariatric*), because normal patient transport vehicles, (usually a Mercedes Benz Sprinter) are deemed unsuitable.
In a world of highly regulated Work Health and Safety compliance, there is a greater need for this type of specialised vehicle, and crews are well-trained as such.
- The CPAV is used when specialised equipment, including in-transit patient treatment to low, medium and high acuity NEPT complex and bariatric* patients is required
- The CPAV can also be used when emergency crews need assistance when lifting/extracting and/or transport of bariatric* and complex emergency patients
Job you can apply for
- Non-emergency Patient Transport Officer (NEPT)
- Ambulance Transport Attendant (ATA)
- Private company patient transport officer(PTO)
- Ambulance Attendant
- Ambulance Community or Volunteer Ambulance Officer
A guide to Non-emergency Patient Transport
Get the Australian Paramedical College 2016 guide to Non-emergency Patient Transport. It’s a quick download and the content we are about to share with you, you’d have a tough time to find it, yet it contains some insightful information on what you can do next.
Inside you’ll find everything you need to know:
- What courses you can do and essential qualifications you need
- Career pathways in the health care sector -> from PTO to Paramedic
- Where to find jobs online
- Overviews of every ambulance service in Australia
- Overview of NEPT services industry in Australia
- Overview of NEPT in each State
- Essential reading on national standards for the NEPT sector
- White papers and reviews of what the future holds for on-emergency Patient Transport