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Celebrating and educating during RT week

Around here, we know how to celebrate (just check out the Halloween afternoon we had a couple weeks ago!), and we love providing opportunities to educate. When Respiratory Care Week came around October 26-30, our respiratory therapists and educators took the opportunity to do just those things, both in the office and out in the community.

Educating our partners

One of the ways we provide comprehensive respiratory care for our patients is by partnering with hospital-based RTs to ensure all members of a child’s care team are on the same page. Whether this focuses on the standard practices of each provider or the education methods being relayed to the family, a focus on continuing to be a streamlined resource is important for PHS and its partners.

IMG_0546_250“It’s crucial to ensure a continuity of education and messaging between the hospital and home care provider, so family isn’t getting conflicting information,” said Bruce Estrem, Manager of Clinical Education at PHS.

During Respiratory Care Week, Bruce went to a number of hospitals along with other respiratory therapists to educate staff on the mechanics of trach tubes and the variety seen in the home care setting.

“There are many options beyond what is typically seen in the hospital,” mentioned Bruce. “There can be a lot of variety based on size, material, mechanical options, and more.”

Bruce brought this education opportunity to Children’s Hospitals & Clinics of Minnesota in Minneapolis and St. Paul, University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, and Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, where RTs received a contact hour while getting a better understanding of this equipment many of our patients utilize.

Dale Marks_RT educator_Gillette_250PHS also went to Mayo Clinic where the topic shifted to successfully discharging a vent patient to home, and how hospitals & home-based respiratory therapists can collaborate to ensure a smooth transition.

“My colleagues and I regularly see what an incredible difference it makes when durable medical companies take the time to collaborate with providers – and that is a commitment we see consistently from Pediatric Home Service,” said Brad Boynton, a respiratory therapist at Mayo Clinic. “When patients are being followed by PHS, we know it will be a partnership with collaborative care that results in the best outcomes.”

A fight for the sucker bouquet

In true PHS fashion, the week also included multiple ways for staff to celebrate our beloved RTs here at the office. All week, employees had the chance to make a guess at the typical weight of a high-tech set up for a shot at winning the Golden Trach Tube Trophy – executive assistant Sharon Munson took the trophy home after getting closest to the winning weight of 270 pounds!DSC_9587_250

On Wednesday, things got serious when staff signed up to compete in a delee suction tube contest to see who would suction up a thick green substance (spoiler – it was pistachio pudding) the fastest in 2 minutes. Naturally, the winner received a bouquet of suckers to show off their victory, and all the other competitors were left to eat their remaining pudding.

The week was capped off with apples and caramel, served by the RT department and consumed happily by everyone. It was truly a week of fun and respiratory insights as we took a closer look at what it really means to be an RT.

Originally published: November 12, 2015