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Respiratory Therapists Share Their Tips For Confident Care

When a child is dependent on respiratory care, it can be scary as a parent who is new to the situation. Often times, it seems like there are more questions than answers. PHS understands the importance of confident, comprehensive care, which is why a primary respiratory therapist is assigned to coordinate equipment and services with each family, and is always there to help the family as they begin – and continue down –  this path.

We asked our respiratory therapists for tips they would give to new parents of kids with respiratory care needs, and gathered a great list – do you have any tips to add from personal experience? If you want more tips from a PHS nurse, check out the list we compiled last month.

Tips for New Parents of Kids with Respiratory Needs

  • It will get easier. Although they may seem intimidating now, after a few months the cares that need to be completed for your child will become second nature.
  • Take advantage of the education PHS provides in the home. We go over equipment, supplies, how to order them, and are happy to assist with any questions or concerns that arise in your child’s care
  • It’s good to have a book or manual you can keep important details in. If you can categorize the information within this manual, that will make it easier for you to access information as you need it.
  • Find one person who will do your ordering – if it’s the nurse that works on a certain day, or every other week, etc. Always oversee the supplies that are ordered and what is coming into the home, since ultimately it is for your child and will be on your insurance.
  • Take care of yourself, as well as your chidl. Reach out for help. That includes allowing others to provide cares for your child. When we do our education, we ask “who is your backup resource?” Not just a nurse, but someone should be there to assist the parents. It might be a relative or a friend. Whoever else wants to come to receive education and training, we will certainly provide that.
  • Hand washing is key for everyone who comes into the home – infection control is extremely important for kids with trachs and kids who have respiratory disorders.
  • Call us. We’re here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No question is stupid, and when you call us we will be there to answer any concerns you have.
  • Be organized – find a place to put all your supplies and label them if necessary. If you know where things are, it makes everything a lot easier if you’re trying to find something specific.
  • Many times families wonder if they can put additional items in the emergency bag PHS provides. I always tell them whatever they feel comfortable having in the emergency bag, they can have in there, as long as they have the items we recommend in the bag as well.
  • It’s important to review the steps for emergency preparedness. Especially as we enter storm season, make sure you know what your action plan is if you have a power outage or if you’ve moved recently and that plan has changed.
  • Check the emergency bag on a regular basis to make sure it has what it should. A nurse might have needed to use an oximeter probe for your child but you weren’t aware, and now you need one and it’s not there. Keep tabs on what is inside that emergency bag.

Don’t forget that we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions or concerns that arise with care and safety. Feel like you need training on a certain aspect of your child’s care? Check out our education calendar to find the class that works for your schedule.

Originally published: May 20, 2014