RN1 Now On Duty
Introducing RN1 Rapid Response Unit
In July 2017, we placed into service an RN Rapid Response Unit (RN1). Yet another first in the industry, we are now deploying certified registered nurses who have specialized emergency medical experience that help our teams deliver emergency medical care more strategically and collaboratively.
A Registered Nurse (RN) is defined as having education beyond the basic nursing curriculum and certification from a nationally recognized professional organization in a nursing specialty, or has met other criteria established by the Board of Nursing. We seek RNs who have:
- Appropriate clinical certifications
- Emergency room experience
- Patient transport experience
This rare blend of clinical skills and experience allows us to fill a critical gap in our service chain and provide patients much more specific care based on their medical condition.
The purpose of the RN1 unit is to augment lower acuity patient care of interfacility transports. For example, a patient requiring cardiac monitoring and an IV pump would normally be transported in an ALS two-paramedic truck from one hospital to another for treatment as part of their care regimen. This is to utilize the advanced clinical equipment and medications standard on the ALS vehicle as well as the skill and experience level that only certified paramedics deliver.
With the RN1 RN role we created, we can now deploy RN1 and use a BLS truck to transport the same low-acuity patient. This frees up those same two ALS paramedics (and the ALS truck) to provide higher-acuity transports and respond to 911 emergency calls.
The RN1 Vehicle
The Brewster Ambulance RN1 truck is a brand new AWD Ford Explorer stocked with frequently used medications, cardiac monitors, IV pumps and other low-acuity clinical equipment that can be easily transferred to a BLS vehicle.
The RN1 truck is staffed with one RN, who can engage with nurses at both hospitals/medical facilities. Because they also have the appropriate medical certification, they can also care for the patient during transport and maintain the care regimen set forth by the doctor or medical director.
This RN deployment utilizes new dispatch protocols as well. Our EMDs have the new criteria for our RN role, and deploy RN1 to situations where paramedics and ALS trucks would normally be dispatched. This enables dispatch to have more flexibility in vehicle assignment and keep more ALS vehicles and medics at the ready.
Evolving Our RN Role
We continue to evolve this brand new role and expect to expand this capacity as we refine our protocols and evaluate the anticipated shift of ALS and paramedic deployment to more high-acuity transports. More efficient utilization of our ALS trucks and paramedics translates to improved staffing distribution and greater efficiencies that allow us to deliver better care across all of our municipalities.
As more and more RNs pursue paramedic certification and vice versa, it is an attractive career opportunity that many professionals will be eager to take advantage of as they progress along their EMS journey.