If you have ever been admitted to a hospital, it’s likely you have encountered a patient transporter. At Sharp HealthCare, they can be found behind patients in green scrubs, safely pushing a wheelchair or gurney to various locations of a Sharp facility.
Dedicated patient transporters are an essential part of a hospital’s overall operations and patient care. However, they are generally working in the background, ensuring the flow of patients run smoothly and efficiently.
Mobilizing patients is gratifying work, but it is not transporters’ only job. They can positively influence someone’s life when they are most vulnerable and can personally connect with a diverse patient population.
More than a job
Patient transporters enjoy having meaningful and engaging conversations with people from all walks of life. And sometimes these conversations are during or after life-altering experiences — from bringing a newborn baby into the world to recovering from severe COVID-19 side effects.
“I have the opportunity to connect with patients on a human level and help them feel more comfortable about being at the hospital,” says Andrew Allen, lead patient transporter at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center.
One of Allen’s unique patient encounters during the COVID-19 pandemic will never be forgotten.
“I first met this patient when he came to the Emergency Department and was relatively stable,” Allen says. “We shared a great conversation — even discovering that we lived in the same neighborhood — before I transported him to the intensive care unit. He was probably less stable than he perceived himself to be, but I think his nerves were put at ease after we spoke.”
Soon after, the patient was in critical condition and needed life-saving support. Allen jumped into action, assisted with compressions and eventually stabilized the patient.
“Two weeks later, I recognized the patient in a different unit of the hospital where he was on the road to recovery,” says Allen. “In an environment with added safety precautions and visitation restrictions, I was able to offer him comfort, companionship and celebrate his recovery. This is a moment I will take with me through my career.”
And the careers of patient transporters may be lengthy and diverse. While one might begin their professional journey as a patient transporter, the opportunities are endless. Allen joins many others who launched their career in health care as a transporter and go on to pursue other roles, such as nursing.
As emotional anchors of a hospital, patient transporters such as Allen are impacting lives one patient at a time.
This article is part of a series highlighting the hidden health care heroes of Sharp, whose dedication, compassion and commitment to excellence exemplify The Sharp Experience. Read the and in the series.