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Respiratory Care

Overview

The Respiratory Care Department is an integral part of Overlake’s healthcare team. Respiratory therapists work together with medical and nursing staff in maintaining relatively stable internal physiological conditions (such as metabolic or oxygen levels) under changing conditions (physiological homeostasis) in the patient.

Overlake respiratory therapists are equipped to serve as consultants to physicians in the treatment and management of cardiopulmonary abnormalities, and to work with nurses and other allied health team members in coordinating and implementing an overall patient care strategy. All of Overlake’s respiratory therapists have a broad background in the biological, physical and behavioral sciences.

Respiratory therapists are considered the go-to experts in their facilities for respiratory care technology. But their high-tech knowledge isn’t just limited to the equipment they use in their jobs. They also understand how to apply high-tech devices in the care and treatment of patients, how to assess patients to ensure the treatments are working properly, and how to make the care changes necessary to arrive at the best outcome for the patient.

We have STANDANDIZE fleet of state-of-the-art Drager Critical Care Evita XL Ventilators, all with Smart Care/PS-CapnoSmart, NIV option- Mask ventilation, NeoFlow and Lung Protection Package.

We monitor volumetric CO2 on all ventilated patients and have close loop ventilation for wean available.

Staff Details

The Respiratory Care staff works well as a team with mutual goals in mind to provide the best care for our patients and their families, and the best customer service to our physicians and nurses. We work at improving care methods every day and are committed to patient safety and improving patient outcomes.

Overlake participated in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s 100,000 Lives Campaign from 2004-2006. The campaign aimed to save 100,000 lives by June 2006 by having participating hospitals implement six evidence-based interventions, one of which targeted ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). Respiratory Care had a large part in the campaign, and still has a great VAP rate. Currently, we’ve gone 14 months without a VAP.

The Respiratory Care Department has received several awards in the last few years:

  • AARC 2008 (each year since the start of the award) - Quality Respiratory Care Recognition given by the American Association for Respiratory Care.
  • 2005 - Qualis Certificate of Merit for Decreasing Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia in Critical Care.

Career Paths

Possible positions in this department for a Respiratory Care Practitioner are:

  • Respiratory Care Practitioners I and II Respiratory Care Team Leaders
  • Respiratory Care Clinical Specialist – Adult
  • Respiratory Care Clinical Specialist – Neonatal-Pediatric
  • Diagnostic Specialist
  • Respiratory Care Intern

We have annual competency training courses and check-offs including hands-on return demonstrations. CEUs are provided for that training.

Some outside education opportunities are supported.

New Grad and Student Programs

We hire two, second-year students for our Respiratory Care Intern Program. Interns work weekends for equipment, billing and patient care, and work side-by-side with a respiratory therapist for hands-on patient care to further their schooling experience.

Work Hours/Shifts

Shifts other than nights are 8-hour shifts.

We have 0.6, 0.7 0.8, 0.875, 0.91, FTE positions in the department. Nights work 10-hour shifts with 7 days off and 7 days on at the 0.875 FTE.

Day shifts: 06:30-15:00
Evenings: 14:30-23:00
Nights: 20:30-07:00

Number of Employees & FTEs

16.0 FTE – Respiratory Care Practitioners I and II (20 employees)
Varies – Respiratory Care Team Leaders (3 employees)
1.0 FTE – Respiratory Care Clinical Specialist – Adult (1 employee)
1.0 FTE – Respiratory Care Clinical Specialist – Neonatal-Pediatric (1 employee)
1.0 FTE – Diagnostic Specialist (1 employee)
1.0 FTE – Director
0.8 FTE – Respiratory Care Interns (2 interns)