January 22, 2014

NICU transport teamThe neonatal/pediatric transport team keeps the services of CAMC Women and Children's Hospital's intensive care units readily available to premature and critically ill newborns and pediatric patients up to two years old. The team may travel by ambulance or fly in a helicopter based on the patient's acuity and weather conditions.

"We bring in patients from outlying facilities throughout West Virginia and in other states who need a higher level of care," said Valerie Jones, RN-C, transport team member. "Our modes of transportation are Kanawha County Critical Care ambulances and HealthNet."

The transport team is a multidisciplinary effort that includes registered nurses, respiratory therapists and paramedics/ emergency medical technicians. The team functions under the supervision of a neonatologist or pediatric specialist who provides telephone consultation and advice.

"To be on the transport team, you must have good assessment skills because there's not always a physician available in person," said Amanda Kish, RN, transport team member. "We have specialized training in intubation, central and PIC line insertion, needle aspiration and also survival training for our flights."

Complex care is initiated by the transport team on arrival at the referring hospital and continued throughout the transport to CAMC Women and Children's Hospital's neonatal and pediatric intensive care units. Services include:

• Provides patient care through the use of the nursing process

• Transport of critically ill patients by ground or air

• Continuous non-invasive EKG, blood pressure, respiratory and oxygen saturation monitoring

• Invasive monitoring

• Medication administration

• Intravenous therapy administered through peripheral or central lines

• Management of artificial airways and ventilator management

• Family education

• Outreach education (NRP, PALS and S.T.A.B.L.E classes)

"Our outreach education is important because it allows us to educate outlying facilities on how to care for critically-ill babies," Kish said. "A big thing I've learned during my time as a transport nurse is how to be a leader on the unit and how to better work as a team."

"We don't always know the doctors in outlying hospitals, so to be able to work as a team to assess and treat the baby is a benefit," Jones added.

The CAMC Transfer Center facilitates transfers via the neonatal/pediatric transport team to CAMC Women and Children's Hospital. Physicians or hospitals requesting a patient transfer to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Women and Children's can call the Transfer Center's toll-free number at 1-877-226-2273.

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