This month starts a fun new project I’m working on with the Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center. So many amazing people work in this building and I’m going to introduce you to them!
Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center
The Labor and Delivery team at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center. Their biggest goal? “Maternal and baby safety.”
If you asked me prior to a week ago what a respiratory therapist was my response would probably have been “something with breathing.” Well, it goes far beyond that.
The team of respiratory therapists (RTs) at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center are truly like a group of angels. They move quickly, most people don’t know the impact they have, and they are seemingly everywhere in the facility.
Working in respiratory therapy means treating the related side effects of diseases, viruses, and infections of the cardiopulmonary system. These conditions range from severe colds and pneumonia to asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and lung cancer. RTs are also on call for emergencies to provide treatment and care that often save lives.
Meet some of the “angels”: The Respiratory Therapy team at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center.
Interestingly enough, many of these “angels” who work at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center didn’t plan on becoming RTs. For example, Justin Farris (the fearless leader of the RT department) was presented with the specialized career in school during a Health Professions course.
“They brought in a respiratory therapist and I had never heard of [the job] before. I thought, ‘That sounds great!’ After that I connected with that therapist and started shadowing, and I thought this is really something I want to do. And from there I started to pursue the career and got into a program.”
Another RT, Nicole Guevara, was trying to figure out what to do after earning a Biology degree in college. “I knew I didn’t want to be a nurse and at the time I had a job working at the UConn health center and there was this therapist, I remember, who had a button that said I AM YOUR RT. And I thought, ‘What is an RT?’ She and one of her co-workers took me to the ICU and it was awesome. The fact that [a RT] was the person managing these people and their ventilators, and just the knowledge [they must have] and how essential [they are] to making sure these patients stayed alive--I just knew I wanted to do something that was that essential to life.
Kelly Smith, a RN working in the Emergency Department at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center, noted how vital RTs are in supporting the rest of the medical staff. “I love our respiratory therapists,” she said. “They actually make our job very easy. Any time any patient comes in with any type of respiratory complaint … all we have to do is call them and say, ‘Hey, you are needed down in the emergency room…. There are no questions—they’re just down here. They are pretty self-sufficient. They know what room they need to go to, they know what patient it is, they’ve pulled the meds themselves, and then they go into the patient and they’re on their way. They make it very easy and flawless.”
5 Things You Didn’t Know About RTs
- They are often confused with nurses.“A lot of people think we’re nurses,” Nicole Guevara said. “I always specify, ‘I’ll be your respiratory therapist for the night.’ And I even say that again as I’m leaving [the patient’s room] because they’re still not going to remember.”
- They are present at C-Section births. “We go to all [of the hospital’s] C-sections,” Justin Farris noted. “If anything goes wrong with the baby we are there as part of the team to help the baby breathe.”
- They’ve seen it all. The respiratory therapists that make up the hospital’s team have been RTs for a very long time, Jennifer Leinberger explained. “All of us have been doing this for 10-plus years so we’ve seen [numerous conditions] and we’ve been able to work with whatever comes through the door.
- They’re about to be very busy. The start of cold and flu season kicks off the busy season as it can be especially difficult for people with breathing related conditions.
- They work throughout the hospital.“In nursing you usually work in one unit and for the most part that’s where you stay,” Justin Farris explained. Melandie Brown added, “You see the same stuff just on different people. Whereas for us you see everything and anything that involved someone not breathing from the moment you’re born to the moment you exit. We’re involved with everyone everywhere.”
Meet the RTs!