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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Respiratory Therapists: There when you need us

We are your respiratory therapists, a part of a well-respected patient care team at a hospital near you. We are the experts when it comes to the heart and lungs, and we are always at your side when you need us.

You’ll see us everywhere in the hospital from the emergency room to obstetrics, from the patient floors to recovery. We evaluate and treat all types of patients from the tiniest newborn whose lungs are not quite ready to the elderly whose lungs are diseased.

We treat patients with respiratory ailments from COPD and asthma when they are having trouble breathing, to patients with heart failure and pneumonia. We do everything we can to help them breathe better from giving breathing treatments to offering our professional advice to nurses and physicians.

We work with patients that aren’t having trouble breathing too, as you’ll see us with any patient who can’t get out of bed or has recently had surgery. We encourage them to take deep breaths. We do this to prevent them from getting illnesses like pneumonia.

We love to educate. We work with smokers on how they can quit. We work with our COPD, asthma, heart failure and pneumonia patients and teach them what they need to do to avoid needing us again. Yet we assure them if they ever have trouble we are right here when they need us.

The procedures we perform are from the simplest breathing treatment to managing the most complicated breathing equipment, such as ventilators that keep people alive when their lungs aren’t working or simply need a rest. Likewise, we provide emergency services to any patients having respiratory distress, heart attacks, strokes, shock or who are involved in personal injury accidents.

Along with the nurses and physician, we work hard to make sure the patient is comfortable and breathing easy during difficult times, and we educate family members so they’re always aware of what’s going on and have all their questions answered.

You’ll see us in the respiratory therapy department performing outpatient tests such as pulmonary function testing that help physicians diagnose lung diseases, and we do tests that help physicians diagnose and rule out heart problems such as EKGs, Holter Monitors and Cardiac Stress Testing. Wedraw ABGs (a poke in the wrist) to see how well the lungs are working. Some of us do other procedures too, such as EEGs to rule out neurological problems, and even EMGs too.

We are your respiratory therapists: there when you need us.

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