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PMH HealthBeat

Respiratory Therapy gaining attention during COVID-19

During this year’s COVID- 19 pandemic, the Respiratory Therapy profession has gained much national attention and scrutiny through the media.

In celebration of “Respiratory Care Week,” October 25 – 31, Pocahontas Memorial Hospital is highlighting its Cardiopulmonary Department to educate the community about this important medical spciality.

The role of a Respiratory Therapist is to restore and improve lung health to patients. One of the main responsibilities of a Respir- atory Therapist is diagnosing lung diseases and recommending treatment methods. Therapists also analyze breath, tissue and blood specimens to determine levels of oxygen and other gases, manage ventilators and artificial airway devices for patients who cannot breathe normally on their own; respond to Cardiac or Respiratory arrest or other urgent calls for patient care, and conduct education of patients and families about lung disease so they can maximize their recovery.

Respiratory Therapists work in many different locations within hospitals and medical centers.  They work on main hospital floors, giving breathing treatments to people with asthma and other respiratory conditions as well as intensive care units, managing ventilators that keep critically ill patients alive. You will find Respiratory Therapists in Emergency rooms (ER), delivering life-saving treatments and even newborn and pediatric units, helping children with conditions ranging from premature birth to cystic fibrosis. Respiratory therapists are present in operating rooms working with anesthesiologists to monitor a patient’s breathing during surgery. They can even be found in patients’ homes, providing regular check-ups and making sure people have what they need to stay out of the hospital. These are just a few examples of how the Respiratory Therapist is a critical asset and team member in the healthcare world.

Pocahontas Memorial Hospital is proud to have a Cardiopulmonary Department staffed with experienced, knowledgeable Respiratory Therapists to bring new treatment and therapies to our community. At PMH, just a few of our outpatient services include: Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, Pulmonary Function Testing, EKGs, Arterial Blood Gases, Emergency Room care, Holter Monitors, Pulmonary Stress Testing, and Overnight Pulse Oximetry. 

If you are interested in any of these outpatient services, please speak with your primary care provider about obtaining a referral to our department. We may be reached by phone at 304-799-7400.

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