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When Is An Ambulance Ride Not An Emergency

When we think of ambulances, most people automatically think of taking someone to the hospital, but that is not always the case. There are times ambulances are used for other reasons. Most of the time, these ambulances are private services and not tied to emergency services, but that can change if the need is great enough.

The Difference Between Private And Public

When you see an ambulance out on the road with the city name or the local fire department's name on it, that ambulance is more than likely a public service. Owned by the town or city, these are the ambulances that are most likely to answer emergency calls and are funded by your tax dollars. That does not mean they are free services, but it often means they are not for-profit services. On the other hand, a private service may or may not respond to emergencies. They are most often tied up with transporting sick patients to other facilities but can be under contract to a city or town. 

When You Need A Private Ambulance

Private ambulances are used a lot for transporting patients that are not able to walk or are sick enough that they need to go to a facility with more resources. In these cases, the patient still needs to be under some level of medical care so using an ambulance to move them allows the patient to be monitored throughout the trip. Sometimes a non-emergency ambulance transport will include a doctor or nurse on the ambulance but often it is the EMTs or Paramedics that staff the ambulance that accompanies the patient to their destination. 

How Far Non Emergency Transports Can Go

The distance an ambulance service is willing to go with a transport can be dependent on the condition of the patient and the staffing on the rig. If the patient is critically ill and there is not enough staff to support the transport, even one across town, the service may not take the run, On the other hand, for a relatively stable patient that needs to be transported over a long distance, they make take the call. So much depends on patient stability and the crew on the ambulance being sure they can get the patient there safely.

When To Take A Nurse Along

There are times with a patient needs specific care that is beyond that ability of the crew on the ambulance. In these situations, it is not uncommon to have a nurse ride along to give that care. In extreme situations, a doctor might come along on the rig instead of a nurse. But these are rare situations and extremely sick patients that require this level of care.