RC Week Highlights

Vol. 18 •Issue 5 • Page 30
RC Week Highlights

National Respiratory Care Week is the perfect forum to provide information to the public about their lung health and the respiratory care profession, and possibly grab some media attention to help spread the word.

Allen Day, RRT, a staff therapist at Gaston Memorial Hospital in Gastonia, N.C., managed to do both with an exhibit he set up at his hospital.

The display featured three large pictures: one of a healthy lung, a blow-up of a diseased emphysemic lung and 30-plus vintage cigarette advertising and products from the 1930s-1960s.

The display caught the eye of and inspired Joe DePriest, a reporter for The Charlotte Observer, to write a column about his former tobacco addiction. In his article, “The Unfiltered Truth about Smoking,” DePriest wrote: “(Day) boiled down the message and drove it home hard. This could be just the jolt people need to make a commitment they’ve avoided.”

“Day said he wanted the attention of older smokers to view a ‘no smoking message’ from a different angle, with a possible greater understanding of how or why they started. This may allow the viewing public to formulate their own ‘take home’ message.”

Given the success he has had with the display, he’s offering it to other hospitals for their own use. For more information, contact Day at (704) 331-0920 or through e-mail at [email protected].

The Respiratory Care Department at Christiana Care Health Services in Wilmington, Del., added a new event for its annual RC Week celebration. Their Performance Improvement competition allowed staff members to present ideas for improving the department. Christiana offered daily raffles for AARC T-shirts and provided snacks for the staff to enjoy. The staff also held a food drive to support a local charity.

The highlight of the week was a visit from Renee Purzycki, representing Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner. She delivered the official proclamation commemorating Respiratory Care Week.

RTs at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg, Miss., used RC Week as a way to increase community awareness of therapists’ roles in the nation’s health care system by getting the local newspaper to write an article regarding the shortage of respiratory therapists facing hospitals nationwide.

Forrest General showcased photographs of therapists in action in the hospital’s lobby and also introduced the Web site, yourlunghealth.org, provided by the National Lung Health Education Program. An ice cream social was held for the entire hospital staff, and staff showed off both new and old pieces of respiratory equipment.

“We recognized our RCPs for their hard work and dedication to our patients with an awards ceremony complete with cake, ice cream, RC T-shirts, and door prizes,” noted Connie Hauk, RRT, LRCP, clinical coordinator. Hauk said the hospital’s CFO played his electric guitar and sang a tribute to the RTs called, “I Can’t Get No Respiration.”

RC Week went off without a hitch at St. Anthony Medical Center, Crown Point, Ind. The Respiratory Care Department created a colorful, informative display in the hospital’s cafeteria, focusing each day on a different theme—smoking cessation, pulmonary rehab, general lung health and sleep apnea. On Lung Health Day, staff members conducted demonstrations on how to properly use MDIs, pulmonary function screens, oximetry checks and CO Smokelyzer tests. Spokespeople for the event were Connie Sayers-Davich, RRT and Chris Ried, RRT.

Splicing some fun into RC week, RTs ventilated a pumpkin with BiPAP® while other hospital staff members carved Jack O’Lanterns as part of the hospital’s Halloween celebrations. Adding some relaxation, the local massage therapy school gave department members free chair massages.

Marion General Hospital in Marion, Ohio, hosted a variety of activities during RC Week. Respiratory Care Supervisor Travis Grasley, BBA, RRT, RCP, noted that with the help of sponsors, the department gave away prizes to those who correctly answered questions regarding respiratory therapy. Five gift baskets were given to people who answered questions correctly regarding smoking cessation to help launch the hospital’s new smoking cessation initiative for patients.

Prizes and other goodies also were given to staff members who correctly matched photos of the hospital’s respiratory therapists with their baby pictures.

MGH’s RC team also hosted a lung health awareness booth in the cafeteria. During this time, MGH employees offered free COPD screenings to about 30 individuals curious about the overall health of their lungs. Additionally, pulmonary function screens were available for those who qualified.

The department also provided Internet access in the cafeteria that showcased the American Association for Respiratory Care’s new Web site, www.YourLungHealth.com, which offered information about lung health.

Staff therapists at Stephens County Hospital in Toccoa, Ga., were visited during Respiratory Care Week by the town’s Mayor Ferrell Morgan, who signed a proclamation declaring the week as Respiratory Care Week in Toccoa.

The staff also received new scrub tops embroidered with Respiratory Care and free meals courtesy of a handful of vendors, said Jim Halsey, RRT, manager of the Department of Respiratory Care-Diagnostic Sleep Laboratory.

The staff set up a lobby display, where they demonstrated single-breath CO monitoring and provided information regarding smoking cessation, general pulmonary health and sleep apnea.