Paramedics and PTOs (Patient Transport Officers) both work to transport patients in an Ambulance to and from hospitals. However, Paramedics are utilised to attend emergency patients in the pre-hospital care environment, where as PTOs are primarily used to transport patients from one hospital to another or “pre-booked” patients from a nursing home or their individual address to the hospital. PTOs often have the medical background at a level of an Advanced First Aid Certificate, or a Industrial First Aid Certificate, as well as ongoing training in First Aid and basic resuscitation.
Some states in Australia use public Paramedics and public PTOs in the same organisation, some states however, like Victoria have privatised their PTOs so that private companies transport low risk patients to and from hospitals. This has resulted in more Paramedics and Ambulances to be available to attend patients in medical emergencies.