Rady Children’s CHET Team goes the distance to provide intensive care
Caring for the medical needs of children throughout the San Diego region and beyond often means bringing that care to them, no matter where they are. That’s the critical role of the Children’s Hospital Emergency Transport (CHET) team at Rady Children’s, which provides 24-hour emergency critical care transport to approximately 2,000 neonatal and pediatric patients throughout Southern California each year. This year, the CHET team celebrates its 50th anniversary—a half century of providing expert critical care. “CHET originally started 50 years ago when two physicians recognized a need to safely transport newborns to the Hospital from other facilities,” explains Dana Patrick, RN, BSN, MHA, CENP, director of critical care and emergency transport. “Since then, there have been numerous studies that have shown that when you transport kids with a specialty team, it’s safer and they have better outcomes.” The CHET team is actually two teams in one: a pediatric transport team and a neonatal transport team. Composed of 11 registered nurses (RN) and 11 respiratory therapists (RT) per team, each clinician must have intensive care experience, trauma care
certification and undergo extensive training. “It takes about four to six months to be trained for transport—it’s a pretty rigorous selection process,” says Patrick. “You must have years of experience, go through an application and interview process and pass a test with at least 90% accuracy. Then you can go on transports and shadow the team. We want everyone to have the experience of transporting a very sick child under their belt during orientation before they’re ready to go out on their own.” Additionally, “on their own” always means a team of two: an RN and an RT. “All of our teams are cross-trained—the respiratory therapists do a lot of what the nurses do and vice versa. That way if one is having trouble doing something, the other can step in,” Patrick explains. “One cannot go on the transport without the other, and you could never do a transport with two RNs or two RTs.” It’s this highly specialized training that makes the CHET team such a standout in the San Diego region. “We are the only specialty transport team within a two-county
To provide immediate response to requests for transport or consultation for ill and injured children throughout Southern California.
To function as an extension of Rady Children’s.
THE MISSION OF THE CHET TEAM IS FOUR-FOLD:
To provide pediatric and neonatal critical care during inter-facility transport.
To enhance the quality of pediatric and neonatal care in the community through outreach, education and support.
8 HEALTHY KIDS MAGAZINE FALL 2023
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