The respiratory therapists are part of the multidisciplinary care team providing treatment for medically complex patients requiring long term acute care in order to continue their recovery. With expertise in coronary and pulmonary medicine, respiratory therapy work to place and maintain advance airways in patients including trach tubes, breathing tubes, support system ventilators, and bipap machines. Additionally, the teams work to wean ventilator-dependent patients to regain the ability to breathe independently.
“Our goal of treatment is to figure out how to get patients weaned off of a ventilator, or if that is not possible, ensuring a better quality of life while on the machines,” says respiratory therapist Brian Walters, RRT, MA. “We work with the multidisciplinary team to figure out what the hurdles are and try to get over them together.”
The Specialty Hospital at Rittenhouse continues to treat the most complex patients. In fiscal year 2015, our ventilator wean rates surpassed national averages by 11%, with ours at 73%.
While working towards the goal of weaning patients off of a ventilator at the Specialty Hospital at Rittenhouse, respiratory therapists also help patients improve their quality of life.
“Losing the ability to communicate is one of the hardest things. Maybe a patient is unable to come off a ventilator permanently, but for a short duration of time they can come off to speak to their loved ones or to address a need we are not meeting,” explains Brian. “As a team, we work together to figure out how to make that possible in a safe way. For a patient to be able to vocalize that they are okay and say ‘I love you’ to their families eases anxiety for both.”
Our respiratory therapists collaborate with physicians, physical therapists and caregivers, so that patients have an entire team working to return them to the highest quality of life possible.
“Everyone in this building cares about the patients, and is committing to providing the best possible medicine that we can,” shares Brian. “Be assured that if you or a loved one are at the Specialty Hospital at Rittenhouse, we are all-in to do whatever it takes to progress during your recovery.”