What are the Different Types Medical Transportation Services?

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  • Written By: Nat Robinson
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2019
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Medical transportation services transport sick, injured and disabled individuals from one place to another. These services are usually called upon when an individual needs prompt medical attention. Many medical transportation vehicles have special highway privileges. For instance, an ambulance will generally have the right of the way at all points in traffic during an emergency situation. Most regions have established various types of medical transportation services to transport individuals in both emergency and non-emergency situations.

When most people think of medical transportation services, they usually picture an ambulance. Generally, ambulances are used to quickly transport severely sick or injured individuals to the hospital. In the United States, one can call for an ambulance for an emergency medical transportation by dialing 911. Most ambulances are driven by an emergency medical technician with at least one other technician on hand to ride in the back with the patient. When arriving at a medical facility on a ambulance, the individual will generally get very prompt medical treatment.


Sometimes, a person will need medical transportation services in a non-emergency situation. Non-emergency transportation is most commonly used to transport sick and disabled individuals to doctor appointments or for an outpatient medical procedure at a hospital. Often, these individuals are bedridden, meaning they are unable to sit up for an extended amount of time. To transport patients in a non-emergency situation, an ambulance or medically equipped van may be used. Patients who are able to sit, but still need transportation for a medical purpose, may be provided with car or taxi cab service as an alternative.

If an individual is critically ill, an air ambulance may be used to provide medical transportation services. Generally, this involves using a type of aircraft to quickly transport an individual from one medical facility to another. This is usually done if another facility is more equipped to provide more advanced treatment but there is not enough time to travel in a traditional sense. An air ambulance is usually differently staffed than a normal ambulance. In most cases, the aircraft will include a pilot, a nurse and in some cases a doctor, the patient and maybe a family member.

Typically, individuals who provide medical transportation services for a living are specially trained. Ambulances are usually equipped with trained emergency services technicians. In addition, individuals working on an air ambulance may include trained pilots, nurses and possibly a doctor. Rides on any type of medical transportation vehicle will commonly include some type of fee. The fee is generally covered by the individual directly, an insurance company or a government-regulated program, such as Medicare for patients in the United States.


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