Long Distance Transportation Checklist
Is the client stable?
Long distance transportation can be stressful to anyone. Making sure the client is medically stable is a must before considering transport over a long distance. Clients in intensive care units, on ventilators, and with unstable vital signs would not be considered medically stable. Consulting with a transportation service and with the client's primary care physician is crucial in determining stability.
How is the client transferred from bed-to-bed
The first step and last step of a trip are moving the client between beds. Be sure to choose a service that has a stretcher the can be brought into the facility or residence to pick up the client. Also be sure that the stretcher has a loading system. A loading system allows the stretcher to be loaded into the vehicle with the client on it. A familiar example would be the loading system in an ambulance.
What safety features does the service have?
Sometimes accidents happen. Some services carry inadequate insurance or even just a personal vehicle policy. Verify that a service is commercially insured-a commercial general liability policy is a must for safety. Ask about driver training and if the service checks employee records and requires defensive driving courses for all drivers. Be sure you select a service that provides safety features for client and rider. The safest stretcher systems have a floor-mounted system that the stretcher locks into. The stretcher should have a harness, lap, and leg belt to secure the client while moving.
How comfortable will the ride be?
In long distance travel safely providing comfort is a big deal. Beware of services offering amenities that seem to good to be true. Some amenities can compromise client safety in transit. Having the client face forward during transit is a great way to reduce motion sickness and anxiety. Ask the prospective service what sort of padding the stretcher has. Having a seat to accommodate a rider next to the client can also help reduce stress to the client. Inquire about the amenities provided in the vehicle (i.e. Satellite radio, things to read, or a way to watch movies).
What level of care can the service provide?
Make sure a service has CPR, First Aid, and AED training in case of medical emergency. Choose a service that can provide all of the care activities required for the client. Below is a list of possible care a stable client might require. Check those that apply to the client you are asking about the make sure the service can safely provide them.
- Tube Feedings/Medications
- Oral Medication Administration
- Diabetic Testing/care
- Changing Soiled Garments
- Infection Control
- Wound Dressing Changes
- Catheter Care
- Position Changes to avoid Bed Sores(Pressure Ulcers)