Transport Nurse Megan Boutin, RN, and Brian Barnett, director of Emergency Transport, have both been members of the Children’s National Emergency Transport team for the past three years. Nurses on the transport team serve in three different roles, including ground transport nurse, flight nurse and intake nurse. The main objective of each of these roles is to facilitate the safe care and transport of patients to and from Children’s National Hospital and our partner facilities.
The Emergency Transport team is comprised of 22 nurses, 23 paramedics, 12 communication specialists and 10 administrative and education staff that supports 6,000 transports a year, with about 900 of those completed in the helicopter. Forty percent of those patients are critical care patients, with the remainder of those patients having higher-level ALS needs.
Prior to any transport, transport nurses play a critical role in the triage and management of care for patients at referring facilities.
“Getting a patient here in a reasonable timeframe and to the right part of the hospital is critical,” said Megan. The intake nurse role has become a vital part of helping triage a patient's needs, rather than taking time away from a physician and their patient care responsibilities.
For Megan, being part of the Emergency Transport team is rewarding. She enjoys the first phases of a child being transported to the hospital and building rapport with the family during transport, which can take hours at times. “I have the opportunity just to spend some time with the family and patient on a one-to-one basis, getting to know them and finding out what exactly their needs are once they arrive at Children's,” she adds.
Providing specialized pediatric and emergency care is at the core of what the Emergency Transport team does. “We see ourselves as an extension of the specialized care provided at Children’s National,” said Brian.
Another unique aspect of the Emergency Transport team is that they provide radiation runs or “Rad Runs” for patients who require transport services to a partner facility for radiation treatment, and then return transport to their inpatient room. The Emergency Transport team not only transports the patient to-and-from their appointment but stays with them during their radiation appointments to provide additional support and care.
“It’s been a dynamic few years for the transport team, but exciting ones,” says Brian. “We’ve gone from extremely low request volumes during the pandemic to some of the highest volumes and demand that we’ve ever seen.” Despite some of the challenges the team has faced, Brian feels proud to have been able to remain focused as a team on providing superior patient care.
Thank you to the Emergency Transport team for your commitment to helping children in need of your support and care.