Patient Transport Attendants (PTA’s) and/or Ambulance Transport Attendants (ATA’s), Patient Transport Officers (PTO’s) are playing an even bigger role in relieving ambulance crews from moving non-critical patients to and from different locations.
Local government and health departments are now seriously looking to create better patient services for the community and at the same time, maintain high levels of critical care transport services.
What is Non-Emergency Patient Transport?
Non-emergency patient transport (NEPT) services are usually pre-arranged and response time is not given a high priority in comparison with critically ill patient transport.
Suitably-qualified Patient Transport Officers are required to fill this role, where every day is different from the next.
Private company patient transport
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. One solution is to allow private companies to take over the role of non-emergency patient transport services.
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 needs to private contractors.
In Queensland there are smaller operators who are breaking into the patient transport sector, although not in the numbers we see in the southern states. With healthcare spending on the increase and transportation demands hitting new highs, more jobs will be created to handle the volume of patient requiring transport.
What is a Patient Transport Officer (PTO)?
A Patient Transport Officer is a trained and qualified person who possesses the entry-level qualification called the HLT31115 – Certificate III in Non-Emergency Patient Transport and provides non-emergency transport and care of low risk patients who require transport for non-acute, chronic illness or suffer from a disability. A Patient Transport Attendant (PTA) however, has a broader skill-set than a PTO may be required to administer far greater patient management skills. For this reason, the HLT41115 – Certificate IV in Health Care and/or a HLT51015 – Diploma of Paramedical Science are recommended.
In this industry, no two days are the same, and you could be called upon to;
- Transport patients to hospital from their home
- Transport patients to and from doctor’s surgeries and private hospitals
- 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) are required to transport bariatric* patients. This is because normal patient transport vehicles, (usually a Mercedes Benz Sprinter) are deemed unsuitable.
*Bariatrics is the science of providing healthcare for those who suffer from extreme obesity. A patient’s weight and the distribution of this weight throughout the body determine whether someone is a bariatric patient.
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.
Jobs 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 Non-emergency Patient Transport course overview.
The content we will share with you will save a lot of time researching from scratch.
Add your details below.(We promise you will find the information helpful).
Inside the email 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