How to Become an EMT: An important Allied Health Field
It is common for EMTs to carry patients from the scene to the ambulance. When this happens, it is best to follow several key principles that can help you prevent injuring your patient, yourself or your co-workers.
Always try and wheel patients to the ambulance. Stretchers are wonderful and useful tools for transporting patients. Let the stretcher wheels take a majority of the burden from you. Depending on the situation, a stretcher may not be the best option. In some situations the crew will have to physically carry the patient to the ambulance. When this happens, use the same safety precautions that you would when lifting a patient.
If you can work with a partner of similar height, you will be able to maintain better balance when lifting and carrying. Of course, this is under ideal conditions. Since it is not likely that you will be able to guarantee a perfect height match, crew members should try and adapt to different height differences.
Carrying a Patient:
If there are only two crew members carrying a patient on a stretcher or backboard, always face each other on opposite sides or ends. The more crew members you have to assist with the transport, the easier the transport will be. If there are at least four crew members, each one can take a corner of the stretcher or carry board creating a safer balanced transport. Evenly distributed weight shared amongst the crew reduces the weight each person has to carry.
If you must carry a patient down stairs, try and use a stair chair. A stair chair gives the crew a lot more flexibility. The small size of the chair makes it easier to maneuver in tight, steep or awkward places. However, if a patient has a spinal injury a stair chair should not be used. In this instance, it is best to immobilize the patient on to the long backboard for transport.