What Does An Ambulance Driver Do?
Working as an ambulance driver is a straight forward, yet very important job. Ambulance drivers are in charge of driving an ambulance to take emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to the setting of an accident or emergency, and then take EMTs and the sick or injured person back to the closest hospital or medical treatment facility where they can get help.
The most important part of an ambulance driver’s job is to drive the ambulance quickly and safely to the address of the emergency, and then back to the hospital.
They must be able to drive with care and skill to avoid any sudden turns or movements that might hurt the patient or the medical crew on board. Also, while the ambulance is driving back to the hospital, EMTs are taking care of the patient on board. The ambulance driver must drive in a way that doesn’t get in the way of this important care.
Ambulance drivers must be able to carefully listen and follow the directions given by the emergency dispatcher, the person who gives them information and tells them where to go in an emergency. They must also be prepared to clearly communicate back to the dispatcher to let them know what is going on and where the ambulance is located at all times.
Ambulance drivers must be able to drive the ambulance on busy streets, and change the route when needed to avoid traffic or other problems that might slow them down. This means they must be able to read and follow maps, as well as use the digital mapping system in the ambulance.
The ambulance driver also listens to the EMTs, and gives them help if they need it. This can include bandaging wounds, providing oxygen, or giving basic first aid to a patient.
Ambulance drivers help the EMTs carefully lift the patient onto the stretcher, gently and correctly strap them in, and then carry and load the stretcher into the waiting ambulance.
If at any time a patient starts to behave in a violent or unsafe way, an ambulance driver may need to help place safety restraints or handcuffs on them.
Once the ambulance reaches the hospital, it is the ambulance driver’s job to help unload the stretcher and get the patient quickly and safely inside.
In order to drive an ambulance, ambulance drivers must complete the necessary training to earn a special license, this license can be different depending on the state where they work. They must keep a good driving record, which means they can’t get tickets even while driving their own car.
It is also the job of an ambulance driver to report any facts and information that they may have noticed to police officers as well as hospital staff. They must also follow the rules to correctly fill out a daily log to keep a record of everything they did during their shift.
Ambulance drivers are often given the same ambulance for every shift, and it is their job to make sure it is ready. This includes checking the fuel and oil levels, checking the tire pressure, and making sure the ambulance is in good working order.
They also need to make sure the ambulance has all the medications, oxygen, medical supplies and bandaging materials necessary to respond to an emergency situation.
After the patient has been safely delivered to the hospital, it is the ambulance driver’s job to clean the ambulance, including placing clean bedding on the stretcher and returning it to the ambulance.
Ambulance drivers must be certified in both cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid. Some are also certified EMTs, which means they must complete the duties of an EMT on top of those expected of the ambulance driver.
Ambulance drivers can also work for private ambulance companies. These drivers can be responsible for driving patients in non-emergency situations as necessary. They can drive patients from a medical facility back to their home, or from one medical facility to another, or from their home to an assisted living facility or hospice care center.
Successful ambulance drivers must work well under extreme pressure, and be prepared to carefully follow safety guidelines while dealing with unexpected and ever changing emergency situations.
They must remain calm and use good judgement to make the best decisions possible in a stressful situation. They must always have a professional attitude while interacting with the public even when people are upset or being difficult.
Ambulance drivers must also communicate and work well with others since the job requires them to work as a team with emergency dispatchers, EMTs, police officers, firefighters and other emergency workers. Ambulance drivers must be able to handle witnessing very upsetting situations, and cannot get sick around blood, vomit, and other bodily fluids.