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3 Nurses In Front Of An Ambulance.

Roseville team provides specialized care to critical pediatric patients

On any given day, the Roseville Pediatric Care Transport rig can be seen traveling any freeway in Northern California to pick up our youngest Kaiser Permanente members in need of a higher level of care.

“An ICU on wheels” as Melissa Lathuras, RN, refers to the unit, which has been in service since the fall of 2019.

Between January and July, the Roseville Pediatric Care Transport team ran 166 calls – which can range from near drownings, cardiac or neurologic events to respiratory viruses.

In partnership with a local ambulance company, the unit has 24-hour coverage with a specialty trained registered nurse and respiratory therapist onboard during each shift and a supporting physician partner at the Roseville Medical Center.

“We have maintained consistent “out the door” times, meaning from the time the patient is accepted to the team leaving the building, in under 45 minutes,” said Elyssa Lakich, MSN, RN, Assistant Nurse Manager.

The nurses, who are all experienced PICU nurses and have received specialized transport-specific training through Kaiser Permanente’s Transport Academy, get to work as soon as they get the call, explained Brian Mestressat, RN. “We review vitals and what’s been done so far so that we can jump in to provide care as quickly as possible.”

They take over care to stabilize critical patients for transport, many of which are on constant intravenous medication, cardiac monitors, or even intubated. When they arrive back in Roseville, they hand-off care to the awaiting PICU team. When they aren’t caring for a patient in transport, the team ensures all their equipment is ready for the next call, and also provide support in the PICU and ED.

“It takes a special team to do this work,” said Debbie Reitter, DNP, RN, CNS, NEA-BC, Roseville’s Chief Nurse Executive. “You can sense the love they have for nursing through the outstanding care they provide under some of the most challenging circumstances to our young patients and their families.”

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