critical care transport


I have been a paramedic for 20+ years. Graduated with a MSN in Aug. I have an interview next week for critical care transport RN position. The other apps I have in are with the ED.

What does critical care transport as an RN involve? Do the lines of RN/EMT P cross on the job?

What does critical care transport as an RN involve? Do the lines of RN/EMT P cross on the job?

Critical care transport via ambulance or flight usually involves transporting ICU/DOU type patients to another facility's ICU/DOU; mostly due to insurance reasons or due to needing "a higher level of care". Some of these patients are on vasopressors, have drains, are intubated or trach'd to a vent that the nurse manages. Many have "lines" or devices such as IABP or LVAD. Sometimes the transferring hospital will send their own nurse to run the IABP or other devices. Although most are stable for transport, sometimes the patient codes in route. Most critical care transport companies hire experienced ICU or ER nurses for the position as you are the only one qualified to care for the patient. There are usually 2 EMT in the rig though (1 driver & 1 in the back of the rig). The EMTs usually help the patient onto the gurney and push the gurney and do CPR.

I'm not familiar with EMT-P role so I can't really answer that portion of the question.

Although I'm not a transport nurse, I have accompanied ICU patients via ambulance to out of hospital testings and to other hospitals with IABP's and Impellas. In the last case, the critical care transport nurse manages the patient and I managed the machine during transport. The EMTs also had to dead lift the IABP machine into the rig without accidentally dislodging it is difficult. It is large and awkward and weighs almost 100 lbs. Riding in the back of an ambulance is not for the faint hearted as it can be a rough ride. Many of my co-workers won't transport via ambulance so those of us who don't mind will do it.

Specializes in ED, Pedi Vasc access, Paramedic serving 6 towns.


I am both an RN and a paramedic and have worked as an ER RN for seven years. I would say get some tertiary ICU experience first, because that is what the nurse is expected to bring into the mix in general. If they are willing to put you into an ICU for a while then great, but other wise I would recommend getting that experience on your own before working as a CCT nurse!

I had applied for flight jobs and in interviewing realized that is what I am missing and I would not feel comfortable enough without it. You just don't get as in depth with vents and invasive monitoring working in an ER.


FlyingScot, RN

2,016 Posts

Specializes in Peds/Neo CCT,Flight, ER, Hem/Onc. Has 28 years experience.

Do you have any nursing experience?