| RTs perform in all aspects of health care
by Mary Helen Yarborough
Respiratory Care Week (oct. 19 - 25) celebrates respiratory therapists
who work in virtually every facet of critical care helping people
breath, survive and thrive.
Bunao, a registered respiratory therapist working in the MICU, provides
nebulized medication treatment to Maribel Wilkes of Summerville. The
therapy will help Wilkes, who suffers from lung disease and pneumonia,
excrete fluid from her lungs and breathe more easily. (Wilkes was moved
to a regular room after a series of RT treatments.)
“We are everywhere, from the neonatal ICU to the skilled nursing
facility,” said Donna Bolus, manager of adult respiratory therapy. “You
can find us in home health, the sleep lab, pulmonary function lab,
bronchoscopy-PICC lab, pulmonary rehabilitation, clinics, emergency
departments, Ashley River Tower, the adult care in the university
hospital, and the Children’s Hospital; just to name a few.”
In the Cystic Fibrosis Center, RTs work with patients from infancy to adulthood.
Respiratory therapists also are involved in patient and staff education.
“We are actively engaged with education on all fronts,” said PCICU RT
Barbara Hutchison. “We have a tracheotomy care team, and we utilize
assessors to evaluate and suggest treatment options.”
Many of the specialized therapists have passed rigorous national
testing in their specialties, Hutchison added. In addition, MUSC has
three certified asthma educators on the RT department staff, as well as
many certified neonatal/pediatric specialists.
The department also provides a pulmonary rehabilitation program and is
actively involved in the South Carolina Society of Respiratory Care,
American Association of Respiratory Care and the Cystic Fibrosis
Respiratory Care Week also is a time to highlight respiratory as
a career choice. Individuals interested in pursuing respiratory science
can contact the respiratory care program at Trident Technical College,
Friday, Oct. 24, 2008