MICNs On Board Specialty Care Transport Unit at Englewood

By | 2022-02-11T11:11:30-05:00 October 19th, 2009|0 Comments

ENGLEWOOD, N.J. — Nurses who wish to specialize in mobile intensive care nursing have another place to use their skills — specialty care transport units. “The mobile intensive care nurses who work in our unit at Englewood know how to intubate and defibrillate, manage balloon pumps and respirators, do needle chest decompressions and CPR, use the EZ-IO gun, and much more,” says Harvey Weber, MAS, EMT-P, director of emergency medical services at Englewood (N.J.) Hospital and Medical Center.

Unlike a number of other states, New Jersey mandates that every SCTU has an MICN on board with a paramedic driving the unit. The state requires nurses to have one year of critical care experience, be certified in CCN, EMT, and receive paramedic field training, which includes classroom, OR, and 100 hours of on-the-job experience. “Because a nurse is with the patient during transfer, we benefit from the continuity of nursing care from one facility to another,” Weber says.

Sometimes called “an ICU traveling 60 miles per hour,” the SCTU is outfitted with cardiac monitors, IV infusion pumps, IV supplies and medication, ventilators, intubation equipment, and positive pressure oxygen masks. “MICNs are recognized by the state as advanced life support, pre-hospital providers,” says Joe Reissner, RN, MICN, EMT, who works on the SCTU at Englewood and is a pediatric ED nurse. “In this nontraditional role, I am in charge, maintaining the patient who is on a ventilator, monitors, drips, and making the transfer as seamless as possible.”

“In years past, we used to put extra equipment on a regular ambulance or try to keep the patient stable without the critical support until we transferred them,” Weber adds. “Sometimes we chose not to move the critically ill person because we couldn’t care for them properly during a transfer.”

Although the unit has been used at Englewood for the past two years, the unit became part of the EHMC services in June. The SCTU has provided transport to patients as far away as Boston and Baltimore who have selected EHMC’s emergency services in bloodless medicine and surgery. More local runs have been for unstable patients coming from hospitals who do not have services such as open-heart surgery or cardiac catheterization. When not on a specialty care run, the SCTU responds to local 911 calls.

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