Friday, June 13, 2008

Respiratory Therapy Department Earns Special Honors

Angie Tolley, supervisor of cardio-pulmonary and vascular services, calmly spoke to the members of her Respiratory Therapy Department May 15 at a standard staff meeting. But her casual exterior just barely hid her excitement. She had a secret, and couldn’t wait to share it with her team.

Angie had known for more than a month that Fauquier Hospital had been named a Quality Respiratory Care institution, but wanted to surprise her staff with the news at the staff meeting.

When Angie finally let the cat out of the bag, there were gasps, cheers and applause.

She explained that only 700 out of 5,000 hospitals in the United States have earned the Quality Respiratory Care designation. It means that patients at Fauquier Hospital “can be assured of receiving the highest standards of respiratory care.”

To qualify for the designation, Fauquier Hospital provided extensive documentation, including paperwork showing that all personnel providing bedside respiratory care services are legally qualified and available 24 hours a day.

While the respiratory team shared congratulatory cake, they talked about their jobs.

Tiffani Dombroff said that she and her co-workers cover a lot of rapid responses.

Phyllis Cordova agreed. She said that respiratory therapists are the first ones the nurses call when there is a problem. “From babies to geriatrics, we’re right there. The nurses depend on us for our respiratory expertise.

“We’re busy all the time.”

How many patients do the respiratory therapists see in a day? Phyllis responded, “About two dozen, but that’s in just the first hour. Anyone who is on oxygen gets seen every day, any kind of cardiac patient. But we’re not just machines. We have time to talk to patients. We do a lot of family education for patients who will be using ventilators at home, for instance.”

She added, “I am very surprised and impressed that we got this award. It’s great that Angie put in for it.”

Carla Adams, senior director of inpatient services and cardio-pulmonary and vascular services, recognized the honor as very special, but wasn’t surprised. “We have a very stable group and their expertise is evident. They have mastered the team concept. They seem almost invisible, they don’t get excited, they are very professional. They go in and do their jobs, with no muss, no fuss.”

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