Respiratory Care Week

Respiratory Care Week

October 22 through 28 is National Respiratory Care Week, a week set aside to recognize the professionals that work in respiratory care. The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital employs a team of more than 40 respiratory therapy specialists who work with patients to improve overall lung function.

The respiratory therapy specialists work with many patients that cannot manage their own airways; they perform cough assist, vest therapy, routine tracheostomy tube changes, administer inhaled medications, and monitor and manage the ventilators. Ventilators are a vital piece of equipment at the Hospital. More than 25 percent of the current patients rely on the assistance of a ventilator and each ventilator cost $18,000.

“A rewarding part of being an respiratory therapist is working closely with the providers to successfully wean the children from their ventilator. We assist speech language pathologists to help these children learn how to breathe while swallowing, eating or talking,” said Dawn Ayala, respiratory therapist educator.

Respiratory therapists are required to hold a licensure in every state in which they work and must also stay current on continuing education obligations. These requirements are due to the various settings in which they can work and services they can perform.

The Hospital is currently a clinical site for two local schools, Rose State College and Francis Tuttle. Beginning in the spring of 2018, Autry Technical Center will be part of the clinical program as well. 

“Being able to work with students who are on-track to become respiratory therapists is a great experience. We are able to teach them hands-on procedures and techniques they cannot learn in a classroom,” said Ayala.

If you would like to donate to the respiratory therapy department, please click here.

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