In order to become a patient transporter, you will typically need to satisfy a minimum educational requirement and be physically fit. The minimum amount of education to qualify for an entry level patient transporter job is usually a high school diploma. You can also undergo training to get a job as a patient transporter, which may help you stand out when you begin applying for jobs. Most employers will provide you with on-the-job training though, in which case they will typically look for you to demonstrate excellent communication skills, manual dexterity, and the ability to take and follow orders. You may also need to obtain one or more certifications, such as a basic cardiac life support (BCLS) certificate, either before or after you are hired.
Patient transporters are responsible for moving people from one point to another within emergency room (ER), hospital, and clinical settings. They typically accomplish this through the use of stretchers, wheelchairs, and other transport devices. Any time a patient needs to be moved from an ER to a hospital room, between departments, or anywhere else, a patient transporter may be called upon to perform this service. Patient transporters are sometimes required to answer basic patient questions about procedures, wait times, and other matters, though they are usually not allowed to provide any food or water. Unlike technicians, orderlies, and other types of hospital staff, the educational and training requirements to become a patient transporter are often quite minimal.
If you are interested in a career as a patient transporter, then the first step is to make sure you meet all of the minimum requirements. Most employers will require you to possess the equivalent of a high school education, so you will either need to graduate from high school or earn a general education development (GED®) credential. You will also need to make sure you are healthy and in a good physical condition, since you will typically spend a lot of time on your feet if you become a patient transporter. Employers typically also look for excellent people skills, since patient transporters are required to interact with patients on a regular basis.
There are training programs for people who want to become patient transporters, though most employers are willing to provide on-the-job training. You will typically be trained in the use of stretchers, wheel chairs, and other transportation devices. In many cases you will also learn how to respond to difficult or unruly patients, and how to deal with health issues that can occur during transport. After you become a patient transporter, you will typically also be required to earn one or more certifications within a certain amount of time. If you already have a BCLS certificate before applying to become a patient transporter, that may help you stand out during the hiring process.