What is Specialty Care Ambulance Transportation?

An overview of Specialty Care Ambulance Transportation: What is it? How does it work? What are the medical treatment capabilities? and more.

Specialty Care Transportation or (SCT)

is a mode of ambulance transportation designed for individuals who need advanced life support and specialized medical monitoring and intervention by a critical care transport nurse during the transport. Think of it as a rolling intensive care unit.

In New Jersey, a physician medical director that is board-certified in emergency and/or critical care medicine must oversee all SCT transports.

A specialty care transportation ambulance is staffed with a critical care trained Registered Nurse and an Emergency Medical Technician. The required criteria for nurses aboard SCT ambulances include: emergency room and/or critical care nursing experience, certifications in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support, advanced airway training, and mechanical ventilation training.

Specialty Care Ambulances are equipped with cardiac monitors, infusion pumps, mechanical ventilators, and inverters that allow for safe transportation during advanced medical treatment. With this equipment the medical team is able to monitor the patient's heart, keep the patient stable on a ventilator, administer medications, and much more.

The most common reason a patient requires Specialty Care Transportation is for a transport from one hospital to another or an "interfacility transport."

Ailments/conditions that can be accommodated by a Specialty Care Ambulance include:

  • Post cardiac arrest
  • Head injuries
  • Heart failure
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Respiratory failure/arrest
  • Severe hypertension
  • Threat to maternal/fetal life
  • Trauma


What are the medical capabilities of Specialty Care Ambulances?

Specialty Care Transportation Units (SCTUs) can provide emergency and ICU level of care. SCT Registered Nurses operate under the supervision of a medical command physician via written protocols and/or online medical command. SCTUs carry mechanical ventilators, a wide variety of emergency medications, and can operate above the scope of a paramedic, specifically transporting patients on medications administered intravenously controlled by infusion pumps.


How do you know if a transport requires Basic Life Support or Specialty Care Transport?

State regulations require Specialty Care Transport (SCT) for any inter-facility transfers where the patient: has a running IV (any fluid), requires cardiac monitoring, is on a mechanical ventilator, requires advanced suctioning (via tracheostomy), or requires any level of care beyond the scope of an EMT-Basic.


Will the ambulance be using flashing lights and sirens?

In almost all cases, the answer is no. We will only use warning devices (lights & sirens) when transporting a critical patient experiencing an immediate life threat to the closest hospital. In all other cases, we will arrive without lights and sirens.


What are the requirements and training for On Time's EMTs?

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) are certifed by the State Department of Health at the EMT-Basic level. The training follows the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's blueprint for this national certification. All EMTs in the country (private, municipal, 911, non-emergent, etc.) are certified and trained to the same basic level.


What are the requirements and training for On Time's Registered Nurses?

In addition to the state's regulatory requirements, all of our nurses receive monthly continuing education from our Medical Director's team of advanced practice educators. The training varies from oral scenarios, "sim-man" training, and advanced airway practices. On Time's nurses are employed staff nurses; as we do not use agency nurses.

All of our SCT nurses must have a current NJ Nursing License as well as:

  • At least one year of nursing experience performing advanced clinical skills in an acute-care hospital's critical care unit or emergency department
  • A valid certification as either a critical care registered nurse and/or Certified Emergency Nurse
  • Certification in CPR
  • Certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
  • Certification in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) or successful completion of the Emergency Nurse Pediatric Course to the standards of the Emergency Nurses Association
  • Additional training in endotracheal intubation and a formal check off and verification of skills by the Medical Director
  • Documented completion of competencies on all ALS equipment including but not limited to:
    • Cardiac monitor/defibrillator
    • External pacemaker
    • IV pump
    • Mechanical ventilator
    • Intra-aortic balloon pump

On Time has been a licensed Specialty Care Transportation provider in New Jersey since 2008. We receive medical direction from an emergency physician at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold, New Jersey. You can schedule a medical transport right here on our site. If you have additional questions about Specialty Care Ambulance services, please give us a call at (908) 298 9500. We are always open and available to assist you.


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